16 January 2014, 12:31
Russian Congress of Peoples of Caucasus against rally 'against Islamophobia' in Moscow (updated)
Moscow, January 16, Interfax - The leadership of the Russian Congress of the Peoples of the Caucasus views the idea of holding a rally against Islamophobia on Manezhnaya Square in Moscow as unconstructive and will not support this action.
"The Council on Nationalities Affairs under the Moscow city administration and ethnic organizations is doing a lot together with the Moscow executive bodies to implement the goals of state national and migration policy in the city, are involved in forming a culture of interethnic communication, patriotic upbringing, and preservation of ethnic cultures and traditions of the peoples of Russia," the congress said in a statement signed by Chairman of its presidium Aliy Totorkulov.
"The preservation of interethnic and inter-religious accord is among the key priorities of the Moscow city government's policy," it said.
"Members of more than 160 ethnic groups live in the capital of the Russian Federation. The universal human concepts of peace, neighborliness and friendship are not just words for us. This is the foundation of our approaches toward a broad range of missions aimed at ensuring stability in society," it said.
"The Council on Nationalities Affairs under the Moscow city administration and the city's ethnic communities consider the idea of holding a rally 'against Islamophobia and Caucasophobia' to be unconstructive and are against its organization in Moscow. Ethnic associations of Moscow will not take part in actions that could have a negative influence on the state of interethnic and inter-religious relations in the capital," it said.
The official website of the Russian Congress of the Peoples of the Caucasus (RCPC) reported that the idea to hold such a meeting belongs to its member Abakar Abakarov. The issue was considered at a regular meeting of the Congress presidium on December 10. "According to the decision that was made, the RCPC is not planning rallies, processions, or pickets in the near future," the statement says.
It was reported earlier that the Moscow city administration was to give an official answer to the application for holding a rally against Islamophobia and Caucasophobia on Thursday, January 16.
"We are considering the application and will give an answer on Thursday," Alexey Mayorov, the head of the regional security department at the Moscow city administration, told Interfax on Wednesday.
The organizers asked the administration to approve the rally of 1 million people on Manezhnaya Square on January 26.
Mayorov had said on January 13 that the city administration would not authorize a rally against xenophobia on Manezhnaya Square. "Everyone who has held mass events in Moscow understand that there are no conditions on Manezhnaya Square for holding mass events. Nothing has been held there for a long time, and everyone is perfectly aware of this," Mayorov said.
Abakarov, one of the rally organizers, said a fundraising campaign for the rally had been started.