The star and crescent in Kamenka: fairness or favor?


An initiative of Muslim religious symbol’s installation was discussed recently in Simferopol. It is assumed that the star and crescent will be situated at the entrance to Crimean’s capital from the side of Karasubazar (Belogorsk) right in Kamenka neighborhood.

Mufti of the Region, deputy Ruslan Balbek and members of Inter-Religious Council of Crimea named ” Piece is a God’s gift” took part in the meeting devoted to the installation of the symbol.

“I am grateful to all the people present here for their respect of traditional confessions particularly of Islam, for support and sincere desire to assist this issue. I am happy to know that such a supportiveness does exist on our blessed Crimean land” – Balbek said.

It is specified that crescent will be installed opposite the cross situated on the other side of the road. Also, it is reported that philanthropists ready to implement it have been already found.

On the one hand, such an idea seems to be more than tolerant and demonstrates righteousness towards Muslims in Crimea. But if we look more deeply in the context of previous events, this initiative more looks like the favor of the authorities.

It should be mentioned that such a dubious tradition to install religious Orthodox signs along roadsides appeared in Crimea in 2016. At that time crosses were installed almost at all the entrances to Simferopol. The situation was compounded by the fact that those crosses appeared on the area with a high concentration of Cimean Tatars living there and whose point of view hadn’t been taken into consideration. Of course, all these events inflamed all the citizens – members of other religions. Even Orthodox people said that there were more serious problems to be solved. And what is more, such actions contradict the Constitution of the Russian Federation because the 14th Article of the Constitution states that the Russian Federation is a secular State. 

Later such crosses appeared In Sudak, Dzhankoy, Saky and other cities and districts of Crimea. It was happening simultaneously with strong statements of public officials about equality of peoples in Crimea and absolute inter-faith harmony in the Republic. During all those years nobody was saying about the installation of Muslim religious symbols at the entrances to cities and villages however they made a majority of the population in some of them.

That’s why this initiative to install the star and crescent in Kamenka looks like a one-time event to order to receive the loyalty of Crimean Tatars. Waiting for a repetition of such actions in the places with crosses is pointless. That’s why much depends on the reaction of Muslims adequate assessment of this idea.

Osman VELI

Author: Редакция Avdet