Estonians fighting in Syria forcing local Islamic community to become more strict (1)

Güzäl Aisatullin (ERR)
1/27/2015 3:40 PM
Category: Society

Güzäl Aisatullin, the general secretary of the Estonian Islamic Congregation, said that they cannot be held responsible for all of its members, but recent deflections of Estonians to fight in Syria have led the community to research the backgrounds of new members.

“We can not guarantee the behavior of each worshiper. If that person has such convictions, then that is a personal thing. We have come to the conclusion that we must be more strict, even more conservative, if we want to accept new members. We try to research the background of member candidates,” Aisatullin told ETV.

She said that the original members of the Estonian Islamic Congregation were all Tatars, but that has now changed. She added that a group of ethnic Estonians has also joined the community. They come to the Mosque for prayers and feel as representatives of the religion. The Estonians are not members of the congregation, but they are allowed to use the facilities of the congregation.

The congregation has 1,300-1,400 members, mostly ethnic Tatars.

Two Estonians, although one does not have Estonian citizenship, have recently joined the fight in Syria. One, Abdurrahman Azan, is fighting with the Islamic State and another one, a 23-year-old Robert, is fighting alongside Kurds against the extremists.

J.M. Laats, S. Tambur

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