The head of the Nizhny Tagil Muslim religious organization “Mahalla” is accused of illegal business and removed from office. This was reported by the TV company “Vesti Ural”. Imam Fanis Galiev himself could not confirm such information, since he learned about it from a journalist from the Vse Novosti news agency.

Referring to a source in law enforcement agencies, Vesti Ural said that the imam-khatib of the Muslim organization of Nizhny Tagil was extorting money from parishioners by organizing an illegal funeral business. 23 books recognized as extremist in Russia, which he allegedly intended to distribute, were confiscated from his personal account. The imam was brought to administrative responsibility, and the Central Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Russia removes him from the post of head of the Nizhny Tagil mosque.

Fanis Galiev heard about this decision from the Vse Novosti news agency and was very surprised. According to him, he still continues to conduct spiritual activities.

“I need a decree from the Supreme Mufti of Russia, who appointed me until 2023, and the people elected me. I don’t confirm anything. Here they put a paper on the table for me that is removed from office, then I will agree. And then I will continue to go to the mosque. I am not a man of war, I just want it to be according to the law of Islam, according to Sharia,” said Fanis Galiev.

According to the leader of the Tagil Muslims, he really confiscated books, and he has already paid an administrative fine. But the imam himself does not see anything seditious in these publications: they are sold in the public domain. In his opinion, such literature should be assessed by experts in Muslim theology.

“They are sold in the public domain in Kazan, for example, and even in Yekaterinburg. The Quran will be banned soon. I did not even know that they were extremist, there is a saying of the prophet, a biography. Everything is constantly changing. The collection of prayers “The Fortress of the Muslim”* has been changed back and forth three times already – sometimes extremist, sometimes not,” says the imam.

Fanis Galiev graduated from the Kazan Islamic University. I arrived in Nizhny Tagil at the beginning of the 2000s. The monastery for local Muslims is located in a former kindergarten on Red Stone along Vostochnaya Street. Hundreds of people gather for the service every weekend. For 20 years, the imam led services, but three years ago, he says, attacks began on his person.

“Someone wants to eliminate me by any means. But you can’t pull me out of faith – that’s for sure. I lived honestly and will live honestly. The people are behind me. If people trust me, then we will work. If they remove it here, then there will be something else,” Fanis Galiev believes.

*The publication is included by the Ministry of Justice in the Federal List of Extremist Materials