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Monday, 27 September 2010

Russia: holiday that marks the introduction of Islam in Tatarstan, approved
A holiday celebrating the introduction of Islam into Russia has just been approved in the Russian republic of Tatarstan.

The new holiday will be on 21 May of each year and marks the adoption of Islam by the Volga Bulgars, the ancestors of the present-day Tatars, in 922.

The new law was adopted by an overwhelming majority of the Tatarstan parliament (79 – "For", 1 - " Against"). In addition, it was decided to make a holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

Originally, the commemoration day was supposed to become a national holiday for all of Russia, after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on 1 June this year signed a law introducing a national holiday on July 28 each year to commemorate the adoption of Christianity in 988.

However, the initiative for the Muslim holiday got bogged down in disagreements between Tatars and North Caucasus Muslims on the date Islam was first established in Russia.

Volga Bulgars adopted Islam in the 10th century, while clerics in Daghestan claim that Islam appeared in the North Caucasus as early as the seventh century.
More here.

Russian Duma deputy downplays threat to Tatarstan's soreveignty.

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