Foreign students and national minorities in Donbass, who started worrying due to the separatists’ actions, hope for stability to be reached after the Presidential election on May 25.
Mr.Said Ismagilov, Mufti of the Religious Administration of Muslims of Ukraine, noted that the attitude towards foreigners and religious minorities in Ukraine is way better than in the neighboring Russia.
“We still have trust for Ukrainian people as we always used to, people of different religions, let it be Muslims, Christians or other confessions, support each other and find common ground easily. We don’t have all this hate and xenophobia, all those nazis and skinheads they have plenty in Russia. If you compare the situation, Ukraine is a much better place to live for a Muslim than Russia.”
According to Mr.Ismagilov, there are Tatar, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Greek, Jewish and many other ethnic communities living in Donetsk for generations and having found their new home in this city. All of them highly value their freedom, both ethnic and religious, they gained after the Soviet Union collapsed. “Ukraine granted Muslims’ rights and freedoms, giving us an opportunity for growth and self-development. We are in a much better situation than our brothers and sisters in Russia,” — Mr.Ismagilov said.
At the same time the Mufti is concerned that separatism and increased Russian influence will have an impact on local religious minorities. As the pro-Russian moods increased, foreign students started feeling racism-based threats. The Universities’ Administration advised them to leave the city in case of danger — for their own safety, the “Correspondent” reports.
There’s a video report as well, filmed by “Voice of America”