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Tatar Lawmakers Want Annual Islam Holiday


KAZAN, Russia -- Tatarstan lawmakers have proposed formally commemorating on May 16 each year the adoption of Islam in what is now the Russian Federation, RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service reports.

The proposal was made by the cultural, science, education, and nationality relations committee of Tatarstan's parliament.

The Volga Bulgars, the ancestors of the present-day Tatars, converted to Islam in 922 AD.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on June 1 signed a law introducing a national holiday on July 28 each year to commemorate the adoption of Christianity in 988 AD.

Last week, during a committee discussion of that legislation in the Russian State Duma, Tatarstan parliament speaker Farit Mukhametshin argued that the adoption of Islam should be marked annually too.
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