Moscow: Muslim Slums Breeding Grounds for Despair

Moscow: Muslim Slums Breeding Grounds for Despair

An increasing number of Muslim guest workers in the Russian capital “are living in inhuman conditions, suffering from cold, hunger and disease,” harassed by government officials, and largely ignored by the traditional Muslim hierarchies, a combination that is turning them into breeding grounds for despair and possible radicalization.

In a report carried on the portal, Rustam Dzhalilov describes the settlement of Chelobityevo, where some 3,000 Muslims from Central Asia, whose misfortunes people in Moscow “either do not know or do not want to know,” live only 200 meters from the Garden Ring Road.

Many of the buildings there are little more than crude huts, the journalist notes, assembled from found materials, lack any indoor plumbing or heating and often have as many as ten people to a room. The migrants there at one point did manage to purchase an electric generator, but militia officers took it away.

Dzhalilov spoke with Firuza, a woman from Kyrgyzstan living in one of the huts with her three children. She and her husband came to Russia to work 12 years ago, but then six years later, the family lost its apartment and took to sleeping in a Moscow railway station. Shortly thereafter, they came to Chelobityevo and built the hut she lives in now.

Her husband continued to work at a construction site, but then he suffered an accident and had to return home to Tajikistan. “But [Firuza] could not return: There was no home, apartment or means for existence” for her there. As a result, she remains in the settlement with two teenage boys and a 6-year-old daughter. None of them are in school.


Dzhalilov writes that he left Chelobityeva “with a heavy heart,” recognizing that after “20 years” of “a capitalist economic system,” most Russians have become indifferent to the fate of anyone except themselves and react with indifference even to those who have “to live in a cardboard box” as many in this settlement on the outskirts of Moscow do.

But he says that he is appalled by Russia’s Muslim “leaders.” The latter, he adds, are not real “representatives” of the umma “or defenders and exponents of [its] interests. Only Muslims themselves, voluntarily following the injunctions of their faith, can form unions that will be concerned about the interests of the entire umma, including those” in places like Chelobityeva.

Source: The Moscow Times (English), h/t EuropeNews

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