Newspaper "The Day", 8.12.2009
Islam became a real factor in the life of Ukraine, and the authorities, the politicians, the media, and the public are not ready to accept the fact that Ukraine is not only a Christian, but also an Islamic country. Therefore, for the people, seeking some form of political or subversive purposes, it is easy, using the mass ignorance, to sow distrust in the society, Islamophobia, to bring up xenophobia and suspicion among the people.
Recently Crimea faced several conflicts on religious ground. Suffice to recall the sensational, though not yet proven by the court, prosecution in the case of the establishment on the peninsula of "Islamic" terrorist organization, on which are arrested several people. In the peninsula also circulate disturbing, but conflicting information about organizations with unusual for the Slavic ear names - "Al-Raid", "Khizb ut-Tahrir", "Al-Takfir wal-Hijra" and others. Few people know for what purpose they are created and what they do. This shows that Islam became a real factor in the life of Ukraine, and the authorities, the politicians, the media, and the public are not prepared to accept the fact that Ukraine is not only a Christian, but also an Islamic country. Therefore, for the people, seeking some form of political or subversive purposes, it is easy, using the mass ignorance, to sow distrust in the society, Islamophobia, to bring up xenophobia and suspicion among the people.
— By the beginning of the XXI century in the Crimea was formed the largest Muslim community in Ukraine, - the deputy chairman of the republican committee of the ARC on Religious Affairs Ayder Bulatov said. - Islam in Crimea was the fastest-growing religion, but recently increased conflicts in the Islamic environment, which gets ambiguous response in the society. The situation worsens by the fact that the event gives an unprofessional and biased assessment of the tone in her attempt to set the security agencies, what is particularly unacceptable because suggested by them interpretations of the events and methods of response may not only encourage the anti-Islamic moods, but also destabilize the situation in Crimea.
The public authorities of Crimea, policy, many social organizations believe that under the current circumstances, must be conducted a serious and systematic work on religious education of the society, one should not hasten with conclusions, but to give priority to scientific assessments of events, to conduct qualified studies of the processes. In Crimea, they believe, like in many countries, there is a need for creation of the territorial research center engaged in systemic study of Islam in the peninsula.
— Work in this direction should be led by the Crimean intellectual elite, which deeply feels peculiarities of local mentality, - Ayder Bulatov says. - There was a need to bring together scientists' work in the direction of the objective analysis of events occurring in the Muslim religious environment of the autonomy.
The need for such studies is so dire that we have to act without delay. So the other day in Crimea was created a social organization "The Crimean Scientific Center of Islamic Studies" (CSCIS) under the leadership of Ayder Bulatov. Its tasks include monitoring of ethnic and confessional situation in Crimea (identification, collection, organization, primary analytical processing of information), study and deep analysis of the situation, compiling of scientific comments and elaboration on this basis of practical recommendations of a preventive nature, which could significantly reduce both intra-Islamic conflict in Crimea, and inter-confessional conflicts. The center will also provide advice to public authorities, educational institutions, research institutes, national-cultural and religious centers in the preparation of scientific, analytical and other materials concerning the development of Islam in Crimea.
Scientists will also examine the ideological characteristics and objectives of Islamic religious and religious-political movements, which declared about themselves in Crimea, hold conferences and seminars to get acquainted with Islam and overcome manifestations of Islamophobia in the Crimean society.
As Aider Bulatov said, in the Crimean Scientific Center of Islamic Studies will be established an annual summer school for young scholars of Islam, where will speak scholars, public figures, experts, religious scholars, theologists. It is also planned to publish scientific journal "Academic Islamic Studies in Crimea". The idea of establishing of the Center and its projects got positive responses from a number of authoritative Crimean scientists, scientific experts in the field of religious studies, history, culture, politics, law, education. The necessary asset of enthusiasts is developed; there is a sufficient statistical and analytical framework. The Crimean Scientific Center of Islamic Studies will become a partner of public authorities in the formation of national, ethnic and religious policies aimed at improving of interethnic and interfaith relations.
Original article on the website of "The Day" newspaper
Related articles in Ukrainian media:
Different View on Events in Crimea ("The Day" newspaper)
Islamic Heritage (Ukrainsky tyzhden)
With Widely Shut Eyes (UNIAN)