27th Summer Universiade in Kazan,

July 6-17 2013

Nurislam Gilmutnidov: The Universiade has been full of the spirit of tolerance

Chief Advisor to the President of the Republic of Tatarstan on Interaction with Religious Faiths Nurislam Gilmutnidov talks about the Religious Center at the Universiade Village and the spirit of tolerance that is being felt at the 27th Summer Universiade 2013 in Kazan.

Tatarstan’s Kul Sharif, the republic’s main mosque, was visited today by a few international delegations who performed the Friday Namaz. Are you happy to see new parishioners?

Yes, of course! This is a very important and significant event for us. It is good to know that sport and religion are finding common ground. The people that are aiming to develop both physically and spiritually will always attain their goals faster. We strive to provide assistance to the faithful in fulfilling their spiritual needs.

Have you already had to welcome international guests here who were part of the 27th Summer Universiade 2013 in Kazan?

Yes, the Religious Center in the Universiade Village welcomes 2-3 thousand people of various faiths every day. There are religious services every day where we usually see athletes, trainers and various officials from different participating countries. They are all very happy that they have this wonderful opportunity and that they do not need to interrupt their service to God during the Games.

Tell us about the Religious Center in the Universiade Village. What is its mission?

This is a unique project! Created at the base of the Main International Center, it combines 3 different areas: sport, religion and a powerful source of information. The Religious Center has 8 rooms, divided between the 6 major religions of the world. All rooms are adorned in accordance with the requirements of each of the represented faiths. For example, in the room dedicated to Islam, there are carpets on the floor and a Minbar. Various faiths organically coexist at the Center. Everyone communicates with each other, drinks tea and talks about their plans for the future. The atmosphere here is very friendly.

A few days ago, the Holy Ramadan started for the Muslims. Do the athletes also fast during this time?

Earlier we thought that since the athletes have such a tight and rigorous schedule at the Universiade, they would not strictly adhere to the writing of the Koran. However, as we see in practice, the athletes use our services very frequently. A large number of followers of Islam are present for the Namaz, earlier it was five, but now with the Ramadan it is six times a day and people still attend all of them.  

Media Department of Kazan 2013 Executive Directorate