MOSCOW, September 23. /TASS/. The opening of the Grand Mosque in Moscow on Wednesday is a "milestone event" for the whole Muslim world, the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, Sergey Naryshkin, has said.
"I would like to extend my sincere congratulations on the occasion of the opening of the Moscow Grand Mosque, which is a milestone event not only for Russia’s capital but for the whole Muslim world," the State Duma speaker said a statement.
"Let the majestic look of the Moscow Grand Mosque become a symbol of the important role that Islam has always played in Russia’s history and our future joint achievements in the development of the motherland," Naryshkin said.
The Grand Mosque is due to open on Wednesday in the Russian capital after a decade of construction work. The ceremony will take place on the eve of Eid al-Adha, known in Russia as Kurban Bairam, a major religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide.
As a result of the reconstruction, costing some $170 million, the building’s floor space has been increased twenty-fold to 19,000 square meters. The mosque will be able to accommodate up to 10,000 people simultaneously, becoming one of the biggest places of worship in Europe.
The opening ceremony will be attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and the head of Tatarstan Republic, Rustam Minnikhanov.