Soviet Moslem leaders have backed Russia's military intervention in Afghanistan and accused the United States of trying to split the Islamic world.
CU Head of the Moslem board of Central Asia and Kazakhan, Mufti Ziyautdinkhan ibn, Ishan Babakhan, speaking in Arabic
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Soviet Moslem leaders have backed Russia's military intervention in Afghanistan and accused the United States of trying to split the Islamic world. In a joint statement, senior Moslem clerics from Central Asia, the Caucasus, European Russia and Siberia declared their "fraternal solidarity with the freedom loving people of Afghanistan and Siberia".
SYNOPSIS: The statement was delivered in Moscow by Mufti Ziyautdinkhan Ibn Ishan Babakhan, head of the Moslem Board for Central Asia and Kazakhan.
It was issued as part of the preparations for a conference later this year to mark the beginning of the fifteenth century of the Islamic Calendar. The Mufti said that on the eve of the new century the world was facing a severe ordeal. Quoting form the joint statement he accused the United States, Israel, Egypt and China of starting a campaign of slander against the Iranian revolution and social and political changes in Afghanistan.
The United States President Mr. Carter was accused of distorting the meaning of friendly Soviet steps in Afghanistan and with trying to undermine the solidarity between Moslem countries: This was being done, according to the Mufti's statement, because the United States and its allies wanted to distract world opinion from their own plans. The statement marked the first official response from Soviet Moslem leaders to Russia's move into Afghanistan.