What about all you Muslims threatening to leave Crimea if Russia took over? Unknown vandals have attacked Chukurcha-Jami mosque in Crimea, drawing Nazi swastikas before setting the mosque on fire in a new provocation to Crimea’s Tatar Muslims.
On Islam The attack which occurred on Thursday, June 12, was caught on surveillance cameras video which showed men throwing Molotov cocktails. Imam of Simferopol Muhammed Islamov said the incident was a provocation and the guilty would be found soon. The attack is not the first on the mosque which faced another hate attack in 2004.
The Tatar Muslims, who have infested Crimea for centuries, were deported in May 1944 by Stalin, who accused them of collaborating with the Nazis. The entire Tatar Muslim population, more than 200,000 people, was transported in brutal conditions thousands of miles away to Uzbekistan and other locations. Many died along the way or soon after arriving.
The Soviets confiscated their homes, destroying their mosques and turning them into warehouses. One was converted into a Museum of Atheism. It was not until perestroika in the late 1980s that most of the Tatar Muslims were allowed back, a migration that continued after Ukraine became independent with the Soviet collapse in 1991.
The Russian move to annex Crimea followed an earlier vote in March on the peninsula’s future. The referendum, approved by 96 percent, was followed by several steps from pro-Moscow Crimean parliament, issuing a law that allows Russia’s annexation of the disputed peninsula.
The hastily organized March 16 referendum was boycotted by Tatars who rejected as held at gunpoint under the gaze of Russian soldiers.