Russia’s top Muslim body says it did not call for a boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics
Russian Islamic leaders have refuted suggestions that they have banned Muslim athletes from competing in the Beijing Winter Olympics to protest China’s treatment of its Uighur population.
A document shared in late December by the Global Imams Council’s Twitter account is said to come from senior Islamic leaders who have ‘banned’ Muslim athletes from competing in the upcoming Games in Beijing.
“This event directly serves the interests of a tyrannical and oppressive regime that is directly responsible for the genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Uighurs,” the statement read.
The World Council of Imams prohibits participation in and attendance at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. This event directly serves the interests of a tyrannical and oppressive regime that is responsible for the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Uighurs. pic.twitter.com/aZkxjrN7Wp
– World Council of Imams (@ImamsOrg) December 30, 2021
In a section below the title ‘Cc: Your Excellencies’, the document shared the names of high-ranking imams from around the world, including the Russian grand mufti Ravil Gainutdin.
However, the Muslim Spiritual Administration of the Russian Federation stated on its website that the message was “false”.
“A document appeared on social media: a statement from a certain organization Global Imams Council, containing a call to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics, scheduled for 2022”, read the answer.
The document claims that it was signed by Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin, as well as the Supreme Mufti of various countries, which, of course, is a blatant lie and does not correspond to reality.
“It is noteworthy that after telephone conversations with the offices of the Supreme Mufti of Egypt, Sheikh Shauki Allam, Supreme Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina Hussein Kavazovich and others, it was reliably discovered that the spiritual leadership of these countries also had no nothing to do with this document “ he has added.
“The Russian Federation of Muslim Spiritual Administration and the Council of the Russian Mufti formally declare that the president, Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin, has not signed this false document.
“The Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the Russian Federation and the Council of Muftis of Russia consider this situation a provocation and ask the media not to spread false information!
The ‘Global Imams Council’ Twitter account has less than 700 followers, but the post was shared by the largest “World Uyghur Congress” Bill.
The verified account shared the message as “An Important Step in Global Resistance Against the Beijing 2022 Games”.
The United States is among the countries that have announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Games, citing China’s human rights record and allegations of abuse against its billionaire population of Uyghurs, primarily in the northwest Xinjiang region.
Elsewhere, countries like Russia have criticized the boycott as an unnecessary political stance and have said that the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom denigrate the sport by using it to divide rather than unite.
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