Said Ismagilov: Arab-Muslim world deems war in Ukraine to be Russia's war against America
Mufti of the Religious Administration of Muslims of Ukraine "Umma" Said Ismagilov, Imam-chaplain of the Kyiv Territorial Defense said this in an interview with RBC-Ukraine.
According to him, as a result of Russian propaganda, a significant number of well-known Muslim figures, in particular Mufti Talgat Tajuddin – is the Supreme Mufti of Russia and the head of the Central Religious Administration of Russia, Mufti of Chechnya Salakh Mezhiev, the same Albir Krganov and others, openly support, bless this war and call on Russian Muslims to war against Ukraine.
"Some agreed to the point that they called it "Jihad" – that this is allegedly a war in the way of the Most-High Allah against Ukraine. The fact is that immediately after Putin first came to the post of President in the 2000s, the process of taking control of all Muslim religious administrations in Russia was launched. To date, all the muftis there are either FSB officers or cooperate with the FSB. In any case, they are under strict control. And they push forward the Kremlin's policy. They make utterly absurd statements from the point of view of Islam," Said Ismagilov believes.
The Mufti is convinced that the Arab-Muslim world is also influenced by the staged videos of Kadyrovites:
"In the Muslim world, Kadyrovites are ironic. They are called "Tik-Tok battalions". They do not participate directly in the fighting but make staged videos. They stand behind the backs of other Russian soldiers, perform de facto punitive functions and work for advertising. This ad is aimed at two audiences. The first is the domestic audience in Russia, where they show: "Look how we easily capture and fight here, virtually without losses, we are all such brave Muslims." And this plays the role of a mobilization video for Muslims in Russia. On the other hand, all this advertising is aimed at the Arab-Muslim world, where there is great sympathy and support for Russia. And just these videos are designed exclusively for the Muslim audience. I am even sure that this is being filmed to show in Arab countries – in Iran, in Pakistan, in Syria: "look, the Muslims of Russia are such believers, so correct, they are fighting these Ukrainian nationalists and fascists here." All this is presented in this way."
Mufti Ismagilov notes that in the Muslim world, all this is presented not as a war of Russia against Ukraine but as a war against America. And Ukraine was simply unlucky to be on the battlefield.
"If we talk to the media of Muslim countries, they do not consider us a subject at all, and they say that Russia's war against America is taking place on our territory. And when you start explaining to them that there are no Americans here, Ukrainians are fighting here. We are defending our homeland. They say that this is all nonsense and that they are allegedly using us.
The Arab-Muslim world begins to perceive the subjectivity of countries no earlier than Germany. Germany is already a country, in their opinion. And all those who go to Germany – Poland, Slovakia – in the minds of the average person are very small, insignificant, and do not have the subjectivity of the country. And they supposedly exist only because the "evil" collective West – America and Europe – wanted them to exist here. And this approach completely takes us out of sight. We seem to be nothing to them at all. The Arab and Indonesian media cannot understand that this is our war, not the war of the United States, that we are defending ourselves. They do not want to see us as a separate entity a priori. They do not perceive Ukraine as a separate country. This is not because they have stupidity in geography, but because it was Russian propaganda imposed on them," says the Mufti.
According to said Ismagilov, in Ukraine, Muslims serve in the Territorial Defense, the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other units. This makes at least a thousand people only in Kyiv and the Kyiv region. There are Crimean Tatar battalions and Chechen battalions. And in these various units, there are Tatars, Arabs, Azerbaijanis, Ukrainians who converted to Islam, and Dagestanis.