Representatives of Central Religious Board of Muslims, Council of Muftis of Russia and Coordination Center of Muslims in the Northern Caucasus, the three major Musilm organizations in Russia, met on December 5th to discuss the possibility of consolidation. The meeting was initiated by Talgat Tadjutdin, the head of Central Religious Board of Muslims. The result of the meeting was a decision to make a working group for developing the details of the consolidation project.
For the position of grand mufti of Russia Talgat Tadjutdin suggested shaykh Ravil Gainuddin, the chairman of the Council of Muftis of Russia. Talgat Tadjutdin himself is supposed to take the central position of Shaykh al-Islam.
The necessity of such consolidation has been much talked about among Russian Muslim leaders in the recent decade. As a matter of fact, it was the principal issue discussed at All-Russian Muslim Conference held in 2005 in Nizhniy Novgorod by Religious Directorate of Muslims for the Nizhniy Novgorod region. However it wasn’t until now that the idea to create an organization to unite Muslims administratively is actually being worked out.
The initiative is widely supported by Russian Muslim leaders, however, some of them say the offered structure is disputable.
Muftis of Northern Caucasus welcome the consolidation process, but highlight the importance of Coordination Center of Muslims of Northern Caucasus. “Caucasus is a specific region and it requires specific approach‚” says Ismail Berdiyev, the chairman of Coordination Center of Muslims of Northern Caucasus and mufti of Stavropol Krai and Karachay-Cherkess Republic.
Mufti of Tatarstan, Gusman Ishakov, says it would be reasonable to form a High Council of Muftis of Russia out of the three organizations privileged with prior decision making.
Damir Mukhetdinov, the head of Council of Ulems of the Nizhniy Novgorod region, believes that all Russian citizens, not only Muslims, would benefit from consolidation of Russian Muslim community: “Today we see very well organized extremist groups creeping into our towns and to oppose them we need a well-structured administration with highly qualified and consolidated team.”
The meeting of the Conciliation committee is scheduled on the end of December.