Moscow’s renovated Central Mosque will open its doors to over 10,000 worshippers on Eid Al-Adha (next day of Hajj in Makkah) on September 23, 2015. Watch a video below.
The mosque also known as Cathedral Mosque and Jum’ah Mosque was originally built in 1905, but was closed for renovation and expansion four years ago. Turkey’s Religious Affairs Ministry provided the interior design of the 204,500 square feet renovated mosque.
Russia has a Muslim population of nearly 20 million. 1.5 million live in Moscow. The city Mayor, Sergey Sobyanin, is known for his hatred toward Muslims. He is against building new proper mosques in the city, but has always welcomed new churches and synagogues in the city. He is supported by Russian Orthodox church and the Jewish Lobby.
Moscow has only four proper mosques, which makes very difficult for Muslim communities to hold large gatherings especially on Fridays and two Eids. Compared to Moscow, Toronto (Ontario) is home to nearly half of Canada’s one million Muslims population. The city is adorned by a dozen beautiful mosques. The very first city mosque, Jaffari Shia Mosque, was designed by a Jewish woman architect from Bosnia.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is flying to Moscow to attend the official opening ceremony of the mosque. He will be joined by Russian president Vladimir Putin, Palestinian Gandhi Mahmoud Abbas, and leaders from former Soviet Muslim Republics. Later, Erdogan is scheduled to hold a private meeting with Putin over crisis in Syria. This will be their first meeting since Putin told Turkish ambassador in Moscow: Erdogan can go to hell along with ISIS terrorists.
Unlike Muslim minorities in other Western nations, Russian Muslims are not foreign immigrants are refugees. They’re Native citizen of Soviet Republic.
Wishing a Happy Eid Al-Adha to all Muslim readers