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Halal Novgorod15.11.2012 | 19:48
Recently, a resident of Veliky Novgorod Vadim Beriashvili learned: Novgorod district starts live on Islamic laws. Local company "Korona" from the district center Borovichi is going to produce food meeting Islamic halal standards. Specifically for this purpose the representatives of the Committee on Halal of Muslim Board of Bashkortostan, who started marking dumplings and pancakes with the labels "Approved by the Council of Muftis of Russia", have arrived to the workshops of the "Korona". There is no indigenous Muslim population in the region, and small communities consist of the Chechens and labor migrants from Central Asia. Vadim has naturally assumed that someone wants smoothly adapt his homeland to the needs of migrant workers and Caucasians.
"We have very few Muslims here. At the very most only a hundred people visit the prayer house in Novgorod. Moreover, if we have so few Muslims in general, then there are much less of really fundamental. Those who served with the Muslims in the Soviet Army tell that they are happy to eat pork, and even did not think about any halal. I do not know why the «Korona» offers its dumplings and pancakes only to "principled" Muslims. They say that the Orthodox population is shrinking, while Islamic, in contrast is increasing and the flow of migrants from the Islamic Republic is gaining momentum, so it is necessary to adapt to the rapidly changing situation. There is another version: authorities are spreading Islamic norms to please the radicals. Not only "Korona" has introduced halal in Novgorod region. The stores have been long selling curds of the firm "Lakktis" labeled "Halal". But it could be worse. In October, local Muslims wanted to build a mosque in Novgorod, close to Hagia Sophia. In an article for the local newspaper, I expressed my negative attitude to this and asked the governor Mitin about his view. Instead of answering, I got summons to the regional prosecutor and accused of fanning sectarian strife", Vadim Beriashvili told the "Big Caucasus".
There are really few of Muslims in the Novgorod region. The backbone of their community consists of the Chechens, who came in recent years, settled there, established contacts - that is, took root. Newcomers successfully master the economic sphere in the region. Among the Chechens of the Novgorod region profession of economist is considered prestigious, so Chechen youth is storming the Novgorod University Department of Economics, and then trying to get a better job, and many succeed.
It's needless to tell about the attitude of Novgorod residents to hyperactivity of Vainakhs. Against the background of stagnating and degrading Russian population this hyperactivity and the success is being perceived as the impudence of a conqueror. Chechens consider such attitude toward them the envy. "It's not interesting to listen to the fools. Similar fools are shouting "Russia for the Russians". If a person wants not to work but still live well, he hates the successful one. No matter who is this: a Muslim, a Christian or a Buddhist", the representative of the Chechen diaspora of Novgorod region told the "Big Caucasus".
"Many Russian also live here well", adds another Vainakh from Veliky Novgorod, a private entrepreneur. "Even better than many Chechens who live here for 20 years and have not built palaces for themselves. But the rich man has no nationality. He keeps aloof from all: both form the Chechens and from the Russians".
Chechens of Novgorod region admit they do not understand why someone do not like halal food in local stores. "If you do not want to buy halal - do not buy it. They sell vodka, and Muslims do not buy it, but they also are not offended by this", entrepreneur Kazbek Tama told the "Big Caucasus".
Local Vainakhs convinced that active opponents of halal should turn their righteous wrath on alcohol and tobacco, the journalist Mayarbek Abuezidov believes. Oddly enough, he is a friend of Vadim Beriashvili. "Accessible vodka and tobacco are ruining people. What is Halal food? It's delicious and healthy food, approved by the Muslim clergy. Everyone may eat it. There is no Islamization. In Moscow I saw a lot of Russian people in halal cafes and stores. I asked them: "Do you come here for religious reasons?" They replied: "No, for health. They say that these products are tasty and healthy". In addition, not every piece of meat labeled "Halal" is really halal", Abuezidov said.
In Novgorod region the "permitted" foods are marked by the Council of Muftis of Russia. To obtain this certificate, you must pass the examination of the Council of Muftis and pay for the services of experts. In exchange, the Council allows the enterprise distribution of its products in all mosques and halal shops in Russia. "Halal Alliance" brings profits to the enterprise. In pursuit of these profits, the Council of Muftis of Russia is testing not only milk and meat, but even stools.
For example, during one of the Muslim fairs in Tatarstan in 2011 there were presented halal stools and pans, approved by the Council of Muftis and the Mufti of Tatarstan Gusman Iskhakov.