Head Mufti believes there are three times as many Muslims in Russia as polls have shown

Moscow, Russia - Ravil Gainutdin, head of the Council of Muftis in Russia, assesses the number of Muslims living in Russia today and representing 38 nationalities at 23 million. He stated this at the meeting of the European Muslim Union devoted to opposing extremism on Wednesday in Moscow.

‘They are natives of our country who have lived here from time immemorial, not migrants or immigrants’, he insisted.

Gainutdin also stated that ‘the number of those who confess Islam is continuously growing’. He said that ‘our Muslims have no problems with adaptation to the European society, such as experienced, unfortunately, by our fellow Muslims who come to live in Western countries from the Arab world’.

In his address, Mufti Ravil Gainutdin condemned the terrorist actions ‘which are increasingly committed under the banner of Islam’. ‘By killing innocent people one cannot achieve one’s goal, but only add to the grown of islamophobia’, he said.

According to the averaged data obtained through polls, 5% of the adult respondents in Russia (about 7 million people) claim to be Muslims. According to the 2002 census, the total strength of all nationalities confessing predominantly Islam is 14,5 million.