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Warning of increase in inter-ethnic tension over Crimean Mosque arson attacks

17.11.14

Both the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People and the Mufti of Muslims of the Crimea have expressed concern over the arson attack late in the evening of Nov 12 on a mosque in the village of Sonetchnaya Dolina. 

The attackers set fire to a window and broke into the mosque.  They left logs and began trying to light a fire.  They were fortunately noticed by a guard who lives on the mosque grounds.  He managed to avert a bad fire, but the culprits got away.

Head of the Mejlis, Refat Chubarov called the attack “the latest barbaric act in an endless number of crimes committed by the occupation regime in the Crimea”.  The Mejlis’ statement calls the attack more evidence that crimes committed on the basis of ethnic and religious enmity are continuing unpunished in the Crimea.  It notes that there are serious problems of safety for Crimean Tatars.

In his statement, Emirali Ablaev, Mufti of the Muslims of the Crimea stressed that attacks on any places of worship are unacceptable in a civilized country. He warned that such attacks would swiftly lead to an upsurge in inter-ethnic and inter-faith enmity in the Crimea.

The Mufti’s statement points out that attacks began on Muslim places of worship and cemeteries back in the 1990s when Crimean Tatars were able to return (after the Deportation) to their homeland.  They also led to an increase in tension, he says.

“In over 20 years of systematic attacks on Muslim holy places, not one culprit was punished.  However Muslims never responded to the provocation with aggression”.

4 mosques have been attacked since October 2013 (on Oct 13, Oct 15 2013; June 13 and now Nov 12).

Both the Mufti and the Mejlis call for the culprits to be found and punished.  They demand the same over the recent abductions of young Crimean Tatars.

Such arson attacks have been reported here for many years and the Ukrainian authorities always did too little to find those responsible.

The situation has now become much more serious.  Over recent months, as well as the murder of Reshat Ametov, two young Crimean Tatars have been abducted, and a number have disappeared.

There have been systematic attempts to crush the Mejlis and the Krym Foundation and armed searches of mosques, religious schools and private homes.

More details here: Russian Offensive against the Crimean Tatars

Halya Coynash

see also:
Arson attacks on mosques in the Crimea
More hate-related acts of vandalism in Mykolaiv and the Crimea
Provocation over Crimean Tatar Deportation anniversary
Dangerous manoeuvres in the Crimea
Mustafa Dzhemiliev: Assault on Kurultay representative threatens Crimean stability
Weekend attacks fuel inter-ethnic friction in the Crimea
Anger over latest desecration of Crimean Muslim religious symbols
Grave of Muslim Holy Man desecrated in the Crimea
Another Muslim grave desecrated in the Crimea
Muslim Grave in the Crimea desecrated