Putin vows to construct new mosque in Moscow

Russian PM promised the construction of a new mosque to meet the needs of growing number of Muslims.

Last Updated: Dec 16, 2010, 21:03 PM IST

Moscow: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir
Putin on Thursday promised the construction of a new mosque to meet
the needs of the growing number of Muslims in the capital,
amid opposition from Moscow residents.

"The construction of the mosque has been planned in
Moscow. It will be done," Putin said as an annual live TV
questions-answer session.

Significantly he gave the assurance for the
construction of the mosque amid high ethnic tensions in Moscow
and other Russian cities against pre-dominantly Muslim
Caucasians in the wake of last Saturday`s racial riot.

Moscow residents have been opposing the construction
of a mosque in southeast Moscow, in a district with a large
number of ethnic Tatars, the vast majority of whom are
Muslims.

There are currently only two mosques in Moscow.

Russia is home to 10 million Muslims, but due to
immigrants from the former pre-dominantly Muslim Soviet
republics the number of followers of Islam has swelled to 2
million in the capital.

PTI