No new building permits will be issued. I think that’s enough mosques for Moscow.”
These are the words of Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, as told to the popular Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda.
According to The Christian Science Monitor, Sobayanin is banning further mosque construction because,
they are used by migrant workers. He claimed that between 60 and 70 percent of Muslim worshipers are migrants.”
There are about 2 million Muslims in Moscow; none of the four existing mosques can hold more than 10,000 people. During holidays, worshippers often unfurl their prayer rugs in the streets, especially on holidays.
It seems migrants are being targeted outside of Moscow as well. In the southwestern Russian city of Sochi, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, officials have rounded up hundreds of migrant workers in preparation for the games, according to Human Rights Watch.
Here’s the kicker: earlier this week Mayor Sobayanin acknowledged migrant workers, saying that Moscow economy
could not manage without them.”
Here’s some pictures of Muslims praying in the streets of Moscow, as well as some pictures of mosques in Moscow and Russia. Click on an image to view the images as slideshow.