The official ceremony of opening the reconstructed complex of Moscow Islamic Institute has been held. St Petersburg University was represented at the event by: Marina Lavrikova, Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities; and Damir Mukhetdinov, Head of the Centre for Islamic Studies at St Petersburg University and First Deputy Chairman of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of the Russian Federation.

The ceremony was also attended by: Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin, leader of Russian Muslims; Marat Khusnullin, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Chairman of the Organising Committee for Celebration of the 1100th anniversary of the adoption of Islam by the peoples of the Volga Bulgaria; representatives of state, spiritual and educational structures of Russia, Türkiye, the UAE, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Jordan; and Ambassadors Plenipotentiary of several member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

In his speech, Mufti Gainutdin recalled that the impetus for the development of Islamic education in Russia came from the head of state.

I am grateful to the President of our country, Vladimir Putin, for the impetus and support for the rebirth of the Islamic theological school in Russia. His speech at the opening of Moscow Cathedral Mosque on 23 September 2015 encouraged the development of Islamic education.
Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin

Ravil Gainutdin also expressed his gratitude to St Petersburg University as a partner university of the presidential programme. The Mufti noted the contribution of the Russian Government, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, and the Federal Service for Supervision in Education and Science (Rosobrnadzor) to name just a few.

Marat Khusnullin extended greetings from the Russian Government and also noted the importance of developing Islamic education in Russia.

Today, we are meeting in difficult times. In these circumstances, the aim of religious education must first and foremost be to create a framework in society whose main principles would be to strengthen inter-ethnic harmony and stand up for the priority interests of our country. This is of paramount importance for us today.
Marat Khusnullin, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation

The ceremony was attended by public officials of foreign countries and heads of foreign spiritual institutions: Muhammad Abdul Sattar Al Sayyed, Minister of Religious Endowments of the Syrian Arab Republic; Mahmoud Abdul Aziz Muhammad, Chairman of the Ulema Council of Iraq and member of the Iraqi Theological Academy; Professor Abdurrahman Haçkalı, Chairman of the Supreme Council of Religious Affairs of the Republic of Türkiye; Mohammed Matar Salim Al-Kaabi, Chairman of the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments of the United Arab Emirates; and Mustafa Abdulkarim Muhammad Murad, Deputy Grand Mufti of the Arab Republic of Egypt. Earlier, the distinguished guests had addressed the plenary session of the 15th International Theological Scientific and Educational Conference "Galimjan Barudi Readings", co-organised by the Centre for Islamic Studies at St Petersburg University.

Immediately after the ceremony, President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation personally congratulated Ravil Gainutdin during their telephone conversation. The Mufti told the Russian leader about the participation of foreign guests in the ceremonial events. Vladimir Putin expressed his gratitude for assistance and support to the Muslim Ummah in Russia, noting the huge contribution of foreign clerics to the development of relations between Russia and the Islamic world. The Russian President particularly emphasised the role of the Russian Muslim clergy in creating and maintaining an atmosphere of mutual understanding, trust and respect between states. Ravil Gainutdin promised that Russian Islamic clerics will continue to make every effort to intensify cooperation in the fields of enlightenment, education, science and religion for the benefit of our peoples and our countries.