ISIL's ideology is based on lies and perversion of Islam, says Putin

(Photo: Moscow Cathedral Mosque Facebook page: Александр Мухин)Moscow Cathedral Mosque 2015.

The Islamic State compromises Islamic beliefs, while its ideology is based on lies, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.

"Attempts are being made to cynically exploit religious beliefs for political goals," Putin said at the opening of the Moscow Cathedral Mosque, one of the largest in Europe on Sept. 23, Sputnik News reported.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were in Moscow to participate in the opening of the Cathedral Mosque,

The new mosque was built on the site of the historical Moscow Cathedral Mosque, built in 1904 and controversially torn down in 2011.

"We see what is going on in the Middle East where terrorists from the so-called Islamic State are compromising a great world religion, compromising Islam, spreading hatred, killing people, including priests, and barbarically destroying objects of world culture.

"Their ideology is based on lies and blatant perversion of Islam," Putin said in Moscow during a speech at the opening ceremony of one of the biggest mosques in Europe.

The central Moscow mosque was demolished and rebuilt and is now one of the biggest in the country.

Its minarets are 72 meters tall and its central dome is 46 meters high. It will be the second largest Muslim prayer facility in Russia after the Salawat Yulayev mosque, which is being built in Ufa, said Russia Behind the Headlines.

The new place of worship will be able to accommodate more than 10,000 people.

The cost of building the Moscow Cathedral Mosque stood at approximately $170 million, said Interfax news agency.

The original Moscow mosque was built in 1904 and was the only functioning Muslim place of worship during most of the Soviet era. Reconstruction began in May 2005, but in 2011 the old building was completely demolished.

Muslims are a majority in the Russian regions of Adygea, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Daghestan, Chechnya, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, and Karachai-Cherkessia.

The opening ceremony coinicded with the major Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, known in Russia as Kurban Bairam.

In recent years, the festival has resulted in street closures and a heavy police presence amid protests from non-Muslim residents and Russian nationalists who complain about the city being overcrowded with Muslims, The Moscow Times reported.

The newspaper cited a January poll by the Levada Center think tank that found 51 per cent of Muscovites are against the building of new mosques in the city. Only 4 percent support the idea.

Numbers for Russia overall are more balanced: 27 per cent of respondents said they were against new mosques, while 30 per cent saw them as a positive development. The poll was conducted among 1,600 adults and had a margin of error of 3.4 percent.

"In Russia's big cities, judgments of interethnic and inter-confessional issues are always more critical," Karina Pipiya, a sociologist at the Levada Center, told The Moscow Times.

"Moscow is a large center of domestic and international migration, society is more closely concentrated here, and as a result Muscovites are more negative and embittered."

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