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Authorities scrap plans for southeast Moscow mosque

© RIA Novosti . Ruslan Krivibok / Go to the mediabankAuthorities scrap plans for southeast Moscow mosque
Authorities scrap plans for southeast Moscow mosque - Sputnik International
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Plans for a new mosque in southeast Moscow have been scrapped, despite a pledge by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to build a fifth mosque for the capital's 2 million Muslims, a prefect for the administrative district said on Friday.

Plans for a new mosque in southeast Moscow have been scrapped, despite a pledge by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to build a fifth mosque for the capital's 2 million Muslims, a prefect for the administrative district said on Friday.

Prefect Vladimir Zotov said Putin had not specified the exact location of the mosque during his annual Q&A session on Thursday.

Moscow's architectural committee "could decide to locate the new Moscow anywhere in the city," Zotov said.

The mosque was originally planned to be built on Volzhsky Boulevard in southeast Moscow, in a district with a large number of ethnic Tatars, the vast majority of whom are Muslims.

However, local residents protested the construction plans and the authorities earlier vowed to coordinate the construction with non-Muslim residents.

There are currently only four mosques in Moscow - or one for every 500,000 Muslims in the Russian capital.

The construction of the new mosque has been long pressed for by Muslims, who have complained that the lack of premises in the city prevents them from properly conducting religious ceremonies.

Thousands of Muslims struggled to find a place to pray at the celebration of the end of Ramadan this year. Many of them were forced to pray on the sidewalks outside Moscow's biggest mosque.

The new mosque construction is stirring racial tensions in Moscow after the mass race-riots on Saturday and further disturbances on Wednesday caused by the death of a football fan in a brawl with migrants from Russia's mainly Muslim North Caucasus region.

MOSCOW, December 17 (RIA Novosti)

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