Paying attention to tolerance and intercultural dialogue

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Makhachkala, February 20, 2014. On Wednesday, February 19, the deputy Daghestani Prime Minister Ramazan Djafarov chaired a meeting of the Council for Cooperation with Religious Associations at Daghestani Head, the department of press and information of the head and government’s administration reports.

The meeting brought together the chairman of Daghestan National Assembly’s Committee for interethnic relations  and public and religious associations Kamil Davdiev, the chairman of Daghestan Public Chamber Gamzat Gamzatov , heads of Daghestan ministries and departments, the chairman of Daghestani Muslim Board Ahmed Abdulayev, city and regional imams, and other officials.

Opening the meeting, Djafarov said that Daghestan is not only unique through its multiethnic and multi-religious nature, but also "Despite it all, we all live in peace and mutual understanding. There are favorable conditions for developing all traditional religions. Daghestan used to have 27 mosques, now there are 2,500 of them. There are also many religious educational institutions. Christianity is Daghestan’s second largest religion. Now there are about 50 Christian religious associations. 5 Judaic communities also operate in Daghestan."

Djafarov stressed that public authorities and civil society institutions, especially religious organizations need to enlarge educational activities about the danger of ideological ignorance and religious extremism, especially among young people.

"Every young man potentially prone to violence should be the focus of our attention. Children should know from school that religion brings peace, and the good has nothing to do with the murders and bombings,"- said the deputy Daghestan Prime Minister.

In addition, it was noted that another concern is the activity of Islamic schools operating without a license. This issue should be solved. According to Djafarov, availability of unlicensed schools is harmful even for the authority of Daghestan Muslim Board. The media must pay attention to issues of tolerance and intercultural dialogue. "We need to wean away from the phrase "Islamic terrorism". Everyone needs to know that Islam has nothing to do with extremism or terrorism,"- he said.

Following the meeting, participants gave a number of instructions and recommendations including the ones for the Ministry of Education, Science and Youth Policy, the Ministry of Physical Culture and Sports, the Ministry of Press and Information, the Committee on Freedom of Conscience and interaction with religious organizations, Daghestan Muslim Board, religious organizations, religious educational institutions, heads of municipalities and urban districts.

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