For the Iftar with the participation of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy – for the first time in Ukraine at the official level – the Mission prepared a photo exhibition “Islam. Crimea. Ukraine” about Muslim soldiers who defend the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.
The photo exhibition “Islam. Crimea. Ukraine” features photographs by photojournalists Alina Smutko and Taras Ibragimov, Mumine Salieva and other local activists who continue to cover human rights violations and political persecution in occupied Crimea. Portraits of Muslims of different nationalities, including women, who are currently at the front as part of the Armed Forces and volunteer groups. Stories of resistance and support of the civilian population of the occupied Crimea, which became a real rear for political prisoners.
The history of Ukraine’s relationship with Islam is primarily about Crimea, where the traditions of the Muslim faith are perhaps the oldest and most represented through the history of the Crimean Tatars, through such unique cultural monuments as the Khan’s Palace in Bakhchisarai.
On the initiative of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Parliament defined the status of indigenous peoples, the most numerous of which, the Crimean Tatars, is also the largest Muslim community in Ukraine. On the initiative of the President, certain Muslim religious holidays, such as Ramadan and Eid al-Adha, were also granted state status.
Muslims serve in every fourth battalion of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – in total, about 2% of the military profess Islam. Crimean Tatars, Ukrainians, Chechens, Azerbaijanis, Dagestanis, and Georgians. Citizens of Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Bashkortostan, and Tatarstan.
All of them are fighting for the freedom and independence of Ukraine, for the de-occupation of Crimea and the restoration of international law. They are fighting for a Ukraine that values its national and religious diversity. They are also fighting for the liberation of the Crimean peninsula, where there is a place for everyone except the occupiers.
This diversity can be preserved only in a democratic state, only with Ukraine’s victory. Together we will win!