About 4,000 Russian police were on duty to guard Muslim rituals in Mosco Monday morning, as some 95,000 Muslims gathered at 38 different mosques in Moscow to pray and celebrate their Eid el-Adha holiday.
The event reported began about 6:30 am and lasted for about four hours. About 10,000 Muslim men attended the event at the large Cathedral Mosque, with roads being closed around the mosque, as well as on several other main Moscow streets.
RT News reported that the service at the Cathedral Mosque was conducted by Russian Grand Mufti Rawil Gaynetdin, who called on the Muslims to show mercy to one another and comfort those who need help. He also condemned terrorists acts “under the guise of Islam.”
“Under the guise of our religion, terrorists sow enmity and hatred, shedding innocent blood. We angrily condemn all crimes against people, their rights and liberties, and call on [Islamists] to repent immediately,” Grand Mufti said.
President Vladimir Putin praised Muslims in Russia for continuing their tradition:
“For centuries this holiday has played a huge role in the life of the Muslim Ummah, it brings people closer together, [teaches] them to be caring and respectful to the ancient history, the customs and precepts of ancestors. I’m delighted to note that Russian Muslims revere these traditions.
“[…] The Muslim community is actively involved in the country’s life, it contributes significantly to the upbringing of our youth, to inter-religious and inter-ethnic dialogue. And of course, its activity is very important for the maintenance of peace and civil accord in our society,” Putin said, as cited on Kremlin’s official website.
The Islamic holiday feast, “Eid al-Adha” includes a mandatory animal sacrifice. RT News said the ritual killings were held at fourteen pre-arranged locations in Moscow.
Eid al-Adha is celebrated in memory of the events described in the Koran. According to the Muslim Holy Scripture, Abraham once had a dream in which Allah demanded him to sacrifice his son Ishmael, testing Abraham’s faith. The prophet passed the test, and Allah spared his son, sending him a sacrificial lamb instead. Muslims do not treat the sacrifice as Allah’s thirst for blood or meat, but as their own display of faith and meekness. After the sacrifice, Muslims usually give most of the sacrificial meat away to those in need.
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