Muslims in Ukraine lack places of worship, Ukraine's mufti of the Religious Administration of Muslims said.
In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency (AA), the Muslim scholar Said Ismagilov said it was very hard to obtain land to build mosques, stating that the lack of places to worship was especially felt outside big cities. "Muslims in smaller cities with smaller communities face more problems as they do not even have places of worship or access to halal food," he added. The mufti added that there are not enough cemeteries for Muslims and that Muslim women have to remove their hijab for their passport pictures.
Calling on international Muslim organizations for support in building mosques and Islamic centers in the country, Ismagilov said it would be essential "for the future of Islam in Ukraine." Ismagilov said nearly 1 million Muslims live in Ukraine, the majority in Crimea and in big cities such as Kiev.
"During the Soviet Union [era], religions - including Islam - were forbidden in Ukraine, so when Ukraine became independent, Muslims started from the beginning to learn about their religion," he said. The mufti conceded that Muslims in Ukraine were not confronted with problems in their daily lives.
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