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MOSCOW, September 12. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated the country’s Muslims on the Eid al-Adha holiday that marks the end of the hajj pilgrimage, the Kremlin press service said on Monday.
"Over the past centuries, this bright holiday has played a huge role in the life of the Muslim Ummah and serves towards the rapprochement of people, accustoms them to the timeless values of Islam, educates them to have careful and respectful attitude to the ancient history, customs and covenants of ancestors," Putin said. "I note with satisfaction that Russia’s Muslims honor the spiritual traditions and celebrate Eid al-Adha widely."
"The Muslim community actively participates in the country’s life and makes a significant contribution to educating the youth and developing interreligious and interethnic dialogue. Of course, its activity is very important for maintaining peace and social harmony in society," the president stressed.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has also congratulated the Muslims of Russia on Eid al-Adha, saying that the holiday "has a centuries-long history and is based on the Muslim traditions and is a symbol of unity, brotherhood and solidarity."
Eid al-Adha, known in Russia as Kurban Bairam, is a major religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide. It marks the end of the annual pilgrimage of Muslims to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Some 1.3 million people from around the world, including 16,000 from Russia, perform the hajj annually.