Indonesian Muslims are on an official visit to Ukraine

19/03/2021
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The delegation of one of the largest Indonesian religious associations, Muhammadiyah, which has been in Ukraine for several days, visited Kyiv Islamic Cultural Center. During the visit, the guests from Indonesia met with the leadership of the Religious Administration of Muslims of Ukraine "Ummah" and the All-Ukrainian Association "Alraid". The head of the League of Muslim Women of Ukraine Niyara Mamutova also took part in the meeting.

The visit to the ICC began with an excursion. Members of the delegation, which included scientists and religious leaders, asked about the peculiarities of the functioning of such centers in Ukraine and the nature of their activity. The official part of the meeting, which was supposed to last an hour, lasted almost twice as long: the representatives of Muhammadiyah were surprised at how active the religious life of Muslims in Ukraine is.

According to the chairman of All-Ukrainian Association “Alraid” Seyran Aryfov, such meetings are of exceptional importance for Ukrainian Muslims:

"We are used to the fact that when it comes to Muslims or a certain Islamic activism, Arab countries or Turkey immediately come to mind. However, it is Indonesia that is the country with the largest number of Muslims. Their experience in the development and understanding of Islam, its place and role in the modern world is really crucial. During such meetings, we have the opportunity to exchange the experience, compare the situation of Muslims in different countries, and think about where and how we need to move."

At the meeting, mufti RAMU "Ummah" Said Ismagilov spent considerable time talking about the history of Islam in Ukraine and the current situation of religious communities in the country. In his view, the composition of the delegation indicates that the situation of Ukrainian Muslims is of high interest:

 "We highly appreciate the cooperation with our Indonesian colleagues. But the fact that, apart from the scientists and religious figures, the delegation also included representatives of the Indonesian parliament and the Indonesian ambassador to Ukraine, elevates the level of the meeting itself. "

During almost two hours of communication, the participants of the meeting discussed the peculiarities of the modern Muslim community in Ukraine, the Indonesian experience of interfaith dialogue and building relations with state institutions. Ukrainian Muslims had the opportunity to tell in detail about their activities, the challenges they face, and the possibilities for further cooperation.

A special attention was paid to the discussion of the problems that Muslim women face, in particular the issue of hijab, employment, etc.

“The women who were in the Indonesian delegation asked a lot about the situation of Muslims in Ukraine, about how society perceives us,” says the head of the League of Muslim Women of Ukraine Niyara Mamutova. - they were also interested in the number of Muslims in our country. They had not heard anything about the indigenous Muslim people - the Crimean Tatars, so we had to tell them. However, I was surprised by their words that 30 years ago, Indonesian Muslim women also had problems due to wearing a headscarf.

At the end of the meeting, the parties exchanged gifts and agreed on cooperation in the field of education and intercultural exchange.

Reference. Muhammadiyah was founded in 1912 by Ahmad Dahlan. Initially, one of the main activities of the organization was the opening of schools, lyceums and other educational institutions. It aimed at modernizing and reforming Islam to promote social and cultural development. Today, according to various estimates, the number of members of the organization reaches 30 million people.

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