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Russian Mufti Calls On Muslims To Show Patience During Crisis

Ravil Gainutdin
MOSCOW -- Russia's top Muslim official says that people must show "courage and confidence" while facing the current economic difficulties hitting the country.

Ravil Gainutdin, the chairman of the Council of Muftis of Russia, told RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service today that everyone should do their utmost to improve their own situation.

"We have to keep spiritual confidence and hope. I wanted that message to reach all of the people who came this morning to the [main Moscow] mosque to celebrate" the Muslim holiday of Kurban Bayram (Eid al-Adha), he said.

Today is the first day of the three-day holiday.

Gainutdin, an ethnic Tatar who was born in the republic of Tatarstan, has served as Russia's grand mufti since 1996.