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Crimean Tatars respond to persecution with collective prayer

Du’a in Bakhchisaray, Crimea (photo: Anton Naumlyuk)
Crimean Tatars respond to persecution with collective prayer
Article by: Anton Naumlyuk
Translated by: Christine Chraibi

Crimean Tatars have gathered for D’ua, a collective supplication for Crimean political prisoners, especially those arrested for activities in Hizb ut-Tahrir, a Muslim organization that was labelled “terrorist” in Russia. Fourteen people have been arrested and four men are on trial in the North Caucasus Military District Court in Rostov-on-Don (Ruslan Zeytullayev, Ferat Sayfullayev, Rustem Vaitov, and Yuriy (Nuri) Primov-Ed.). Others are being investigated…

Flashmob #FreeCrimeanMuslims
Flashmob #FreeCrimeanMuslims (photo: Hromadske)

In February 2003, the Russian Supreme Court put Hizb ut-Tahrir and 14 other groups on a list of banned terrorist organizations. The Russian government did not actually ban Hizb ut-Tahrir for terrorist activity, but because the Russian government’s definition of terrorism includes anyone who supports Chechen rebels in their cause for independence. In June 2003, the FSB arrested 121 illegal immigrants suspected of having ties with Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami. Ukraine and most European countries have not banned the organization, which operates openly and legally. After Russian jurisdiction was extended to occupied Crimea, authorities searched all the mosques and confiscated Muslim literature that was banned in Russia, but is allowed in Ukraine. Similar searches took place in homes of Crimean Muslims, who were suspected of being members of Hizb ut-Tahrir.

D'ua gathering in Bakhchisaray, Crimea
D’ua gathering in Bakhchisaray, Crimea (photo: Anton Naumlyuk)
Nadzhiye Aliyeva, wife of imprisoned Muslim Aliyev, and son (Photo: Anton Naumlyuk)

One form of protest against the arrests and charges of terrorism is the D’ua, a collective supplication, which was attended by more than 250 persons praying for their compatriots.

Crimean Muslims recently celebrated Oraz Bayram, the completion of the holy month of Ramadan.

All Crimean mosques are searched (photo: Anton Naumlyak)
All Crimean mosques are searched (photo: Anton Naumlyak)

(The word “Du’a” in Arabic means “calling” – the act of remembering Allah and calling upon Him. Aside from daily prayers, Muslims are encouraged to call upon Allah for forgiveness, guidance, and strength throughout the day.  Muslims can make these personal supplications or prayers (Du’a) in their own words, in any language, but there are also recommended examples from the Quran and Sunnah-Ed.)


Translated by: Christine Chraibi
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