Excerpt:

Controversy abounds in Moscow after Mayor Sergei Sobyanin's statement that he is opposed to the construction of new mosques in the capital, raising fears of the opposition and human rights activists that this could spark fresh religious tensions.

Citing a recent study, Sobyanin said that "two-thirds" of Muslims attending the main mosque of the city are not from Moscow, but "come from the surrounding areas and have no residence permit." "If only Muscovites who permanently live here go to the mosque - said the mayor - there would probably be no over crowding".

In August, to celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan, about 90 thousand people gathered in the streets surrounding the mosque near the Olimpiisky stadium, including traffic jams and complaints from the local population.


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