In the Russian-occupied Crimea the religious freedom is limited and all the religious groups and public opinion leaders suffer if not cooperate with the occupiers.
Russia uses charges of "radical Islamism" as an excuse to put pressure on religious groups.
In his last published statement the Secretary General of the Crimean Tatar World Congress (WCCT) Namık Kemal Bayar tells about the threat of using the influence of religious institutions on public in favor of the Russian Federation. The statement stresses that the Crimean Muftiat is no longer a representative body of the Crimean Tatar people:
“Following the Russian occupation of the peninsula, the Spiritual Administration of the Crimean Muslims, the Muftiat of Crimea, has defiantly distanced from such representative bodies as the Kurultai and Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, and started to cooperate with Moscow. Despite the repeated warnings from the leader of the Crimean Tatar people Mustafa Dzhemilev and the Chairman of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis Refat Chubarov, some representatives of the collaborative organization the Crimean Muftiat have held actions in Turkey in the places of Crimean Tatar Diaspora residence in recent days.
Support of the Crimean Muftiat cooperating with the Russian Federation, is regarded as support of the Russian occupation regime. In this connection it is necessary to be more attentive to the Muftiat activities, as Russia might use it to exploit the religious values of our nation.
The WCCT Secretary General”