“It has turned out that the praying Muslims are not atall Russian citizens and they are not Moscow residents. They arelabor migrants. There are only 10 percent of Moscow residents amongthem and building mosques for everyone who wants it – I think thiswill be over the top,” Sergey Sobyanin said in an interviewwith Moscow’s Echo radio.The top city official went on to say that “Muscovitesnow get irritated by people who speak a different language, havedifferent manners, with aggressive behavior. This is not purelyethnic, but this is connected with some ethnic traits,”Sobyanin said.At the same time, the Moscow Mayor explained that thereare no ethnic enclaves in the city and expressed the hope that suchenclaves would never appear as closed districts like that usuallyhave a very high crime rate.Sobyanin went on to say that the current quota of 200,000migrant workers in the city and only 35 percent are skilledspecialists. The official said that it was necessary to graduallydecrease the share of unskilled workers and added that this couldonly be done if wages were raised.According to some estimates Moscow has 10 illegal migrantsfor every registered one. This makes the number of unregisteredforeign workers in the city to well over two million. In 2012 theauthorities deported 16,000 foreigners from the city for workingillegally.Russian Muslims did not welcome the Mayor Sobyanin’sstatement.Co-chairman of the Councils of Muftis of Russia, NafigullaAshirov told the Russian News Service that Muslims did not agreewith Sobyanin’s plans and that they would, if the need arises,address President Vladimir Putin with a request forhelp.
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