MOSCOW, October 11 (Itar-Tass) — Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said Thursday “it is not an established fact that the city needs more new mosques”.
“An inspection has shown that people gathering in this area /near the Olympic stadium, which is located side by side with the city’s central mosque and the site where a new mosque is being built – Itar-Tass/ are not residents of Moscow by and large,” Sobyanin said.
“Two-thirds of them are not registered in Moscow because they either live in the Moscow region or are guest workers who very often don’t have even temporary residential licenses,” he said. “Were the mosques visited by Muscovites only, there would be no especially huge crowds of people there.”
Sobyanin said the city authorities have not passed any definitive decision yet on whether or not to build a new mosque in Mitino, one of Moscow City’s largest bedroom communities located on its western outskirts, since residents of the district raised objections to the project.
“A special commission passed a decision on selecting a plot of land for the construction of any church building there,” he said, adding along with it that the city’s legislation has changed and the current regulation requires consent to such projects on the part of local self-government agencies.
That is why a decision could be taken after two stages of coordination efforts as a minimum. However local residents organized protests.
“We heeded their intentions and cancelled the decision even at the preliminary stage,” Sobyanin said.