Xenophobia is a bigger threat to Russia's unity than problems in the North Caucasus, Ravil Gainutdin, Chairman of the Council of Muftis, has said.

The growth of xenophobia, Islamophobia and chauvinism in Russian society is the most serious threat for all citizens, including Muslims, Gainutdin said. He was speaking at the Muslim Conference "Russia is our common home" in Moscow on Thursday. The forum is being attended by some 500 clergymen, public figures and businessmen from 70 regions.

Gainutdin condemned the action of nationalists staged in Manezhnaya Square late last year, explaining why, in his view, the bigger threat is coming "from Moscow" rather than the North Caucasus.

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