The message says, in part:
“Uraza Bairam is one of the principal Muslim holidays. It promotes the ideas of spiritual progress and charity. Centuries-old customs today remain part and parcel of Muslim life in Russia.
“People of different faiths have lived side-by-side in Russia for centuries. The land we all share has always cherished peace and accord above anything else. Islam and Christianity both preach those supreme values. ‘Cooperate in good deeds’ and ‘Do not assist evil,’ the Koran says.
“The outgoing century has taught us many lessons, the most important of which is that a strong and worthy 21st century state can be built only by joint efforts. We will never attain wellbeing and prosperity unless we respect and understand each other, however different we might appear.
“We highly value the traditions of civil and interdenominational accord, which the Russian Muslim community has always respected. We attach great importance to the efforts of the Muslim clergy and to its ample peacemaking experience. We count on its further contribution to the cause of interethnic peace and religious tolerance in our country, and to the restoration of law, order and normal life in the North Caucasus.
“I again congratulate all Russian Muslims on this great holiday. I wish all of you peace, health, and happiness in your warm family homes.”