On Thursday, May 2, the newly elected President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky met with Ukrainian Muslim clergy. Among them were Said Ismagilov, Mufti of Ummah Religious Administration of Muslims of Ukraine, Seyran Arifov, the chairman of Alraid All-Ukrainian Association, the member of Ummah’s permanent Shari'a Committee, Aider Rustemov the Mufti of the Religious Administration of Muslims of the Crimea (based on the mainland of Ukraine- ed.) and others.
Representatives of Ukrainian Muslims congratulated Volodymyr Zelensky on his election as a head of the state, noting the high responsibility of the President to the people of Ukraine, a political Ukrainian nation, consisting of representatives of different nationalities, followers of various religions and ideological beliefs. In particular, Said Ismagilov, the RAMU Ummah Mufti, spoke about this during the conversation with the newly elected President of Ukraine:
- Ukraine is a powerful, strong and modern country, which needs its society to be consolidated and interreligious dialogue to be developed. We are all interested in peace, preserving the rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens, representatives of different cultures, confessions and religious denominations. - said Sheikh Said.
Aider Rustemov, Crimean RAM Mufti, noted that in the peninsula, occupied by Russia, the Crimean Tatars were currently living in isolation. He stressed the need to support the migrants, forced to leave the occupied territories, in particular, from the Crimea. He also spoke about the need to create new jobs and conditions for using the Crimean Tatars’ potential in Ukraine.
The meeting participants also discussed the possibility of investing in Ukraine by representatives of the Muslim states. Mr. Zelensky stated that he was ready to become a real guarantor of investments within his jurisdiction, enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine.
- Our strategy is uniting the country, because this unity is the key to our power. I mean indeed uniting, not just in words. We must launch a dialogue, constructive and frank communication with all citizens of Ukraine, including those, living in the occupied territories of Crimea and Donbass region. <...> I urge representatives of various religions and religious denominations to support us with this initiative - to start a dialogue with the Ukrainians who are currently living in the temporarily occupied territories. We believe that this is the first step to return them back home, to Ukraine, " - said Volodymyr Zelensky among other things.
Spiritual leaders of Muslims of Ukraine have confirmed their readiness to support initiatives, aimed to consolidate the society.
After the meeting Sheikh Said Ismagilov said that the conversation was frank and relaxed. It is clear that Volodymyr Zelensky is sincerely interested in establishing a dialogue with leaders of religious communities of Ukraine and intends to hold such meetings in the near future with all leaders of churches and religious associations.
- In my speech, I emphasized the importance of the high religious rights and freedoms, declared in the Constitution and laws of Ukraine, the active participation of Muslims in the defense of Ukraine's unity and freedom, the positive role, played by Islam followers in building civil society, the charity activities, being held by Muslims and their openness to interreligious dialogue and cooperation with Ukrainians of other ideological beliefs.
Mr. Zelensky said that he was seeking to unite Ukraine and the Ukrainian society, appealing everyone for reconciling and consolidating. He hopes that religious leaders will contribute to this, and stressed that Ukraine needs the adherents of different religions to live in peace.