The past decade has seen a resurgence of the spiritual life of Muslims in Russia, Mr Putin said. After many decades when religious education in the country was banned, there are now more than 100 madrasahs and other religious schools. The number of mosques in Russia has increased from 870 in 1991 to over 7,000 today.
Muslims are an inalienable part of the people of Russia, the President stressed, adding that inter-religious harmony was one of the strengths of the country, its legacy, wealth and advantage.
Mr Putin said that the kindling of interethnic and religious conflicts was probably the biggest threat in the modern world. Russia confronted it in Chechnya, he said, stressing that attempts to provoke Islamophobia in Russia had failed. Mr Putin assured the OIC Summit that the political process in Chechnya would continue.
The President expressed his gratitude to the leaders of the OIC member countries for inviting him to the summit and giving him an opportunity to address it. Russia, he said, sees this not as a gesture but as a far-sighted strategic decision. He thanked in particular the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, who chaired the summit.