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Muslims outraged at xenophobic graffiti

Published time: May 25, 2012 12:26
Edited time: May 25, 2012 16:26
Graffiti on a condominium wall in Moscow (RIA Novosti/Ruslan Krivobok)

Graffiti on a condominium wall in Moscow (RIA Novosti/Ruslan Krivobok)

Moscow’s mufti Albir Krganov has appealed to the capital’s Bureau for Human Rights over nationalistic slogans and graffiti which he says insult the feelings of believers and non-Russian nationals.

Krganov – vice chairman of the Central Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Russia – said the body had received a large number of complaints from believers over xenophobic graffiti.In particular, they reported such slogans as “Russia is for Russians” covering the walls along the railroad to Moscow’s Domodedovo airport.

It is worrying that in Russia – a multinational and multi-confessional country – some people allow themselves to express nationalistic statements, the mufti noted to Russian News Service.

“I simply wanted to draw attention to the problem so that the society would think about it. Fences and walls belong to someone and they should watch what’s written on them,” Krganov stressed.

In response, the Human Rights Bureau issued a statement calling on Russian Railways (RZD) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs to give an ear to “the glaring problem.”

“Nationalistic slogans and symbols are dangerous since they are insulting and, also, inspire people with fear for their safety as well as for the future of the country,” the document reads. Extremist statements on buildings near railroads are especially dangerous as they "poison the eyes and souls of tens of thousands of people.”

The head of the bureau, Aleksandr Brod observed that railway administration does not always erase xenophobic graffiti.

“More attention must be paid to such nationalist activities, especially since according to reports they create special groups for their tricks,” the body’s website quotes him as saying.

Thousands of people including foreigners travel by train and what they see on the walls of railway stations and buildings around is – to some extent – the face of the country, Brod noted.

“I wish this face didn’t cause concern. The law enforcement agencies shouldn’t turn a blind eye on these crimes,” the organization’s website quotes him as saying.

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