19:35 Sep. 14, 2016
In Ukraine, Crimean Tatar Muslims are hailed as patriots
As Islamophobia Rises In Many Countries, Muslims Find Unlikely Sanctuary In Western Ukraine, writes Huffington Post.
After Crimea peninsula was illegally annexed by Russia in 2014, Crimean Tatars immediately started to experience oppression. They were arrested, tortured and even murdered. Thousands - had to flee to mainland Ukraine. Some of them decided to move to the Western part of the country, where Muslims had previously been a rarity in this part of Ukraine.
For Crimean Tatars, it has been a massive change in image within Ukraine. Where in the past stereotypes had remained about Crimean Tatars selling Ukrainians to the Ottoman Empire or encouraging modern fundamentalism, now talk about the brotherhood between Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians is a central part of official speeches at rallies.
The most recent Muslim holiday, Kurban Bayram, was celebrated in the biggest Kyiv mosque. Hundreds of Muslims came there for the festivities.