Ukrainian Magazine “KorrespondenT” has published its traditional Top-100 Most Influential Ukrainians on the year gone by. The jury of famous Ukrainian scientists, political analysts, journalists, and political engineers (25 persons in total) awarded each of the 200 candidates with points of influence. Mufti of RAMU “Umma” Said Ismagilov hit the 94th position — not bad, considering that the number of Ukrainian Muslims is estimated 4% at the best. The Mufti himself learned the news from congratulations he started receiving from both Muslims and Non-Muslims, and it was a surprise to him.
Sheikh Said’s influence on both Muslims and Non-Muslims was stressed by the medium’s short characteristic:
“...A huge patriot of Ukraine. During the Revolution of Dignity supported the protests. Has a very strict pro-Ukrainian position on Crimea and Russian Federation’s aggression in Donbas. Ardently supports the Crimean Tatars suffering from repressions in Crimea. Over the post-Maidan years became very popular in Ukraine, even among people that are a far cry from Islam. Conducts dynamic international activities, such as establishing links with Turkey and other countries with strong Muslim communities.”
The “KorrespondenT” stressed that its Top-100 had very little change over the past decade. On the other hand, the persons who obtained levers of influence after the Revolution of Dignity, managed to keep their positions and go stride for stride with the experienced players. According to various surveys, the Ukrainians have high demand for new faces n politics.
Said Ismagilov is the Mufti of RAMU “Umma” and President of Head of the Ukrainian Centre for Islamic Studies and famous public figure. He is a follower of Sunni Islam and advocate of al-Wasatiyyah (“the Golden Mean”) principle, which means refusal from any extremities and radicalism. He always underlines that Muslims are the integral part of Ukrainian society, and calls for his adherents to take active role in creating the new Ukraine, without corruption and lack of responsibility of the state officials.
The Sheikh is one of the initiators and a collaborator of the Ukrainian Muslims Charter and the Ukrainian Muslims Social Conception.
A Donetsk native, he stayed in the occupied city and continued taking part in the prayer marathon and other pro-Ukrainian gatherings. In one of his speeches, the Mufti reminded the freedom of faith the Muslims enjoyed in Ukraine, and addressed the plea not to send warmongers here to all the Muslims worldwide. Escaped imprisonment by the “Donetsk People’s Republic” fighters by the skin of his teeth: the fighters paid a visit to his home the next day after Mr.Ismagilov’s friends convinced him to move to another place. Soon after, he was forced to leave Donetsk to avoid becoming an addition to the existing number of hostages. Along with representatives of other religions actively participated in delivering the compatriots who had less luck from captivity, in particular, Greek-Catholic Priest Tykhon (Kul’baka) and famous religious researcher Ihor Kozlovskyy.