The forum’s plenary session was held on November 10th.
Rector Ilshat Gafurov greeted the guests and noted that the topics of the forum are very timely. He emphasized that expert analysis of events in the Middle East and in Central Asia with regard to Russia’s interests is very important.
“Today, when external challenges are growing, especially in the Middle East and in the Islamic world as a whole, raising educational, scientific and cultural capabilities of Russian Muslims, spreading objective knowledge about Islam in Russia are necessary prerequisites for the consolidation of our society and preservation of civil and religious peace, as well as positive interaction between different worldviews”, said the Rector.
He also thanked the co-organizers of the forum for their efforts and for choosing Kazan University as the ground for strengthening religious dialog and joint work by academics, clerics, and public officials.
He added, “Kazan, historically on the crossroads between the East and the West, has always played a key role in the Eastern vector of Russia's policies. This was a major reason to create Kazan University’s Eastern Studies Section 210 years ago, which later played a key role in developing Eastern studies in the country and in promoting mutual understanding among representatives of different cultural traditions and studying their religious and philosophical heritage”.
KFU has become a center for national Islamic studies lately. This was noted by Vice-Chairman of the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of Russia Damir Mukhetdinov in his greeting, “Critical attitude towards Islamic studies has fallen out of fashion; on the contrary, Islamic studies must become a source for a new theological strategy. I am very glad to state that KFU Islamica Resource Center is one of such platforms which work out common ground for everyone to move forward.”
The session also included contributions by state officials and foreign diplomats; among the latter were Kazan-based consuls Turhan Dilmac of Turkey and Alibeman Eghbali Zarch of Iran.
The forum's events span for three days - November 9th–11th.