Russian Muslim Websites Defaced by Hackers During Eid

Mosocow Muslims praying during Eid. YouTube screenshot.

Moscow Muslims praying during Eid. YouTube screenshot.

As anti-migrant sentiments in Russia run high in the aftermath of last weekend's ethnic riots [Global Voices report], some individuals seem bent on increasing the tension. On October 15, the day that Russian Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha (or Kurban-Bairam as it is known in Russia), several websites of the Russian Muslim community were defaced with a photo of a severed pig's head holding the Koran in its mouth.

The photo, along with a short text, appeared on the websites of the Mufti Council of Russia, Moscow's Cathedral Mosque, and the personal website of Ravil Gaidutdin, the head of the Mufti Council, soon after a DDoS attack. Right now all three websites are offline. The text read as follows:

Здравствуйте, мусульмане. Обращаются к вам жители Москвы. Вы нас уже заебали. Мы прерасно осведомлены, что свинья является для вас грязным животным, поэтому вот вам свинка с кораном в пасти. Теперь ваше доменное имя осквернено и вы не можете больше держать тут ваш сайт. Скоро мы зароем свинок около всех ваших мечетей. Хороших праздников, хуесосы.

Greetings, Muslims. You're being addressed by the people of Moscow. We've f*cking had it with you. We know full well that the pig is a filthy animal for you, so here is a piggy with the Koran in its maw. Now this domain name has been defiled and you can no longer host your website here. Soon we will bury piggies near all your mosques. Happy holidays, c*cksuckers.

An angry mob destroys property in Biryulevo, near Moscow, 13 October 2013, screenshot from YouTube.

An angry mob destroys property in a market where many migrant workers operate, in Biryulevo, near Moscow, 13 October 2013, screenshot from YouTube.

According to Russia's Twitter aggregator Tjournal [ru], the first news of attack appeared [ru] on the social network VKontakte page of Evgeniy Volnov. Volnov is a ranking member of Russia's pranker [ru] community — a subculture of people who make prank phone calls, record them, and distribute the results via the Internet. It is unclear whether Volnov had anything to do with the attacks. In the meantime, it appears that the Mufti Council IT staff has identified the source of the attack. RIA Novosti quotes [ru] a Mufti Council press release:

[…] источник грязного и трусливого действия определен, о чем проинформированы соответствующие правоохранительные структуры

[…] the source of the filthy and cowardly deed has been identified, and the relevant law-enforcement authorities have been informed

Muslim religious festivals have in the past been used by Russian nationalists to point to the “growing threat” of (predominantly Muslim) migrants from Central Asia, as well as internal migrants from the North Caucasus. Both Eids are particularly susceptible to such rhetoric because tens of thousand's of Russia's Muslims congregate on the streets, sometimes engaging in the traditional slaughter of farm animals as part of the celebration, which alienates the locals.

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