: Russia-occupation authorities to allegedly ban Muslim religious rites in annexed Crimea

10:33 Aug. 8, 2016

Russia-occupation authorities to allegedly ban Muslim religious rites in annexed Crimea

Since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine, armed men have shown up frequently to search the cinder-block houses, mosque and school in the settlements of Crimean Tatars. (AP Photo)

Crimean Tatar imams are said to have been warned on possible ban of funeral and commemoration rites

Religious Muslim rites of Crimean Tatars may be recognized as illegal. This is according to the Mufti of Clerical Direction of Ukrainian Muslims "Umma" Sayid Ismahilov. Russian-occupied authorities have warned the Crimean Tatar imams the traditional ceremonies like funeral or commemoration of the dead might be banned.

Read also Telegraph: Crimea Tatars endure second tragedy under Russian rule

Mass gatherings on purpose of reading the Koran or praying for the deceased have never been forbidden even in the Soviet period, claims Ismahilov. He also adds the Moslems were not hindered to conduct their traditional religious rites even when there was no single mosque in the whole Ukraine.

Read also No illusion here – Russia roots out Crimean Tatars, says Dzhemilev

"Russia's interference into religious life of the people will result in no more than sooner collapse of the imaginary empire," says Ismahilov. He claims no authorities are entitled to deprive people of their national and religious identity.

Read also Russia is strengthening Crimea's coastal guard with new arms – Ukraine's Border Service

As reported earlier, Russia started increasing military presence in the occupied Crimea placing large amounts of military hardware near the towns of Dzhankoy and Armyansk in the northern part of the peninsula. Along with it Russian occupation authorities blocked access to Crimea from mainland Ukraine. 

Read also Crimea 'was returned' to Ukraine at 2016 Summer Olympics opening ceremony

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