Makhachkala, July 18, 2014. Daghestani Head Ramazan Abdulatipov delivered an address to media, saying:
"Today, it’s hard time for our country. At the instigation of certain external forces, Russia is experiencing the effects terrorism and extremism, which has become a real tragedy and quite a problem for everybody. Daghestan as well as the whole North Caucasus are no exception.
Media are shaping the public opinion about what is happening in the world today, and they can dramatically influence people. Therefore, it is extremely important to cover events that affect many people’s feelings with the utmost caution and pay particular attention to the words and terms you use.
Russia is home to many different ethnic groups and religions. Media should cover events relating to intra-and inter-religious issues precisely and correctly, because religious feelings are easy to get hurt, and each person is very vulnerable in perceiving any criticism concerning his or her religious values. In our country, we have been establishing good cooperation of all religious faiths for centuries.
Like all religions, Islam professes values of peace and good, it abhors violence in any form. It is time we called a spade a spade: extremism and terrorism have nothing to do with any religion including Islam. All those negative issues attributed to Islam today are inherently anti-Islamic, and what the so-called "Islamic terrorists" do is undoubtedly anti-Islamic. Extremism and terrorism of any suit are aimed at destroying the fundamental principles of Islam.
Therefore, it is critical for the media community today to avoid using terms like "Islamic terrorism" and "Islamic extremism" as factors contributing to accumulation potential of social confrontation and incitement of interfaith intolerance. Such terms offend feelings of millions of law-abiding Muslims who are active citizens and patriots of our country.
We are all responsible for the fate of Russia and peoples living here in peace and harmony, for our every move, for every word. The parade of freestyle phrases and sticking labels to what is happening in the country in press should become a thing of the past. Our foes skillfully use our mistakes against us. The time has come to seriously think about what we do and distinguish between anti-religious and ignorant actions and words.
Russia’s traditional religions are a powerful factor of its legal and cultural diversity; they greatly affect people’s spiritual and moral education, strengthening peace, stability and cooperation. So, we need to use them properly.
I urge all faiths to work together in strengthening interfaith harmony and ethnic unity of our homeland to help Russia become a powerful and prosperous power in line with the policy President Vladimir Putin – the leader of our country – has been pursuing for all these years," the address says.