Crimean Khabashis Changed Their Banner

Mr.Ruslan Saitvaliev, the former deputy of Mufti of SAMC Mr.Ridvan Veliev and now Mufti of the Tavrian Muftiate
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Central Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Crimea - Tavrian Muftiate was registered in Crimea. According to the InterFax Agency, this decision was carried out by the Muslim Congress in Simferopol, where about 100 delegates from all the parts of the peninsula were present. Ruslan Seitvaliev became the Mufti and Mr. Enver Ahtemov was elected Head of the new Muftiate.

Russian religious studies expert Mr.Roman Silantyev voiced his opinion on creating the Tavrian Muftiate: “This organisation has been known earlier as “Spiritual Centre of Muslims of Crimea”, has become one of the most important Muslim forces of Crimea only over the past few months… The believers put more and more trust in it, as this organisation popularised traditional. moderate Islam without political mottos,” - Mr.Silantyev said in his interview for ITAR-TASS. Known first of all for his islamophobic speech, he also states that the newly-formed Muftiate has good perspectives as it’s supported by the Supreme Mufti of Russia, Mr.Talgat Tajuddin.

It’s been a while since Mr.Ruslan Saitvaliev, the former deputy of Mufti of SAMC Mr.Ridvan Veliev and now Mufti of the Tavrian Muftiate, said that his Administration will revive the teaching of traditional Islam and confront extremism, terrorism, radicalisation and politicisation of the religion. “We will confront sects such as vahhabits and the others, as if they will develop and spread over Crimea, this will have a bad impact on the peninsula and the whole Russia,” - Mr.Saitvaliev said.

According to Mr.Silantyev, Tavrian Muftiate united 50 religious communities and became the second large Islamic religious organisation in Crimea after RAMC where the religious researcher counted about 200 communities (in fact, it unites over 350 communities, - editor’s note).

New Title, Old Goals
Religious Administration of Muslims of Crimea hasn’t yet made any statements on that case. Perhaps for the reason nobody announced the foundation of the new Muftiate officially. Any relevant information on the SCMC, to which the Tavrian Muftiate was set up as a successor, is also absent. At the same time the RAMC officials say that they are considering this matter and will make an official statement in the future.

Crimean Islamic researcher Aider Bulatov has doubts that changing the name will change the organisation as such. It is known that the SCMC popped up in 2010 as a result of continued conflict between the RAMC and the Religious Administration of Muslims of ukraine (RAMU). Head of RAMU, Mr. Akhmet Tamim, is of Lebanese origin and is an adept of khabashi sect. It was him to take the foster care of creating the SCMC. Mr.Bulatov stressed that the khabashi sect wasn’t popular in Crimea. “The new title, to my opinion, won’t help them increase the number of their adepts,” - the expert said in his interview for “Crimea.Realities”.

“The main goal of the newly-minted Muftiate is splitting the ranks of Crimean Muslims by exploding the reputation of RAMC as the Crimean Tatars’ main spiritual centre, and replace it” - Mr. Said Ismagilov, Head of the Religious Administration of muslims of Ukraine “Umma”, says. “This conclusion is hard to escape due to the fact that they started frequent rummages of RAMC-controlled mosques and medreses, searching the forbidden literature there”.

New Crimean Authorities can also be interested in the new Muftiate oppositional to RAMC, as pointed out by some indirect evidence. The fact that the new “Tavrain Mufti” served at iftar hosted by the Crimean Prime-Minister Sergey Aksenov in Simferopol, is the main of them.

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