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Russia Helps Muslims Celebrate Major Holiday Today, Western Governments Ignore It

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This post first appeared on Russia Insider

On Saturday October 4th in central Moscow and all over Russia, Muslims celebrated Eid Al-Adha.

Moscow authorities closed off several streets in central Moscow so that the day could be celebrated by those who follow this important holiday. An estimated 150,000 thousand people gathered in central Moscow to pray and celebrate this day as Russia shows the world its diversity and tolerance. 

<figcaption>Muslims praying in central Moscow</figcaption>
Muslims praying in central Moscow

Vladmir Putin personally congratulated Russian Muslims on their holiday saying that:

For centuries, this feast, filled with light and good feelings, has been bringing people closer together, praising societal ideals of goodness and mercy, fostering respect for religious perceptions and traditions. It is gratifying that the Muslim community in Russia is actively involved in public life; by developing extensive charitable, educational services while paying relentless attention to strengthening family values. Muslims make a significant contribution to the maintenance of inter-religious and inter-ethnic harmony.

In my native UK the streets of London were open as usual for their weekend shopping with no sign of a public holiday. I tried to find on Google some information about some public events to celebrate this day but instead all I found were articles linking to ISIL in Syria and a study released this week saying that hate crime against Muslims in London has risen 65% in the past year

As a specialist in Russian history, culture and business it nonetheless never fails to surprise me how diverse the country is. A Russian national may not even speak Russian as their first language.  Their skin may be oriental and their religion may be Buddhist or Islam. 

There are stories of inter-racial tensions in Russia.  These will continue as they do in all countries. Russia is not a perfect country in regards to social and religious integration. It will always remain on a national level a Christian country.

However, in many ways Russia is far more integrated and welcoming than the West despite the propaganda that Russia is not a tolerant country and that the West is the home of liberalism. 

For any of our readers who are celebrating Eid Al-Adha - Eid Mubarak


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