Putin meets with Russia's Grand Mufti Gaynetdin on Uraza Bayram day
MOSCOW. June 4 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has met with the head of the Council of Muftis, Rawil Gaynetdin, on the Islamic festival of Uraza Bayram.
"You are aware that this morning I already sent my greetings, my congratulations to all Muslims of Russia on the beginning of Uraza Bayram due to the end of Ramadan," Putin said.
He said he would like to reiterate his wishes of happiness, success and prosperity to all Muslims, who form an integral part of multiethnic Russia.
Putin said he was aware that senior members of his administration met with Gaynetdin earlier to discuss organization of a spiritual life and some administrative issues.
"So today we can talk about all this with you," Putin said.
For his part, Gaynetdin thanked Putin on behalf of Russian Muslims for the attention and today's congratulations on the big Islamic holiday.
"I had the honor today to read out your message on a Russian channel to all our Muslims. Not just those in Russia, but also, via satellite, in the CIS countries which are keenly listening and watching our broadcast of the festival from the main Moscow mosque," Gaynetdin said.
He said that he had discussed Islamic education issues with the presidential administration. "We have been dealing with this issue little by little since the late 1980s but were only able to find some success in the early 2000s. And I would like to note especially your contribution, your understanding, your support in the matter of creating a systemic Islamic education in Russia," Gaynetdin said.
Currently there are several state-accredited Islamic higher-education institutions in Russia, he said. "All our schools have received the license and are active. We have created a multi-stage Islamic education system," Gaynetdin said.
Thanks to the president's support, Tatarstan opened a Bulgarian Islamic Academy and there is now a Russian Islamic institute in Kazan. "I think the flagman of Islamic education is, of course, the Moscow Islamic Institute," Gaynetdin said.