Thursday, September 6, 2007

Window on Eurasia: Moscow Mosque Launches Website – With Three Addresses

Paul Goble

Vienna, September 6 – Moscow’s Historical Mosque has launched a new Internet site as part of its outreach effort, but in an indication that Muslim leaders anticipate that the site will be hacked by opponents of Islam, the site’s organizers have linked it to three different addresses, Muslim news agencies reported yesterday.
This mosque, located near the Novokuznetskaya metro station, is the oldest Muslim center in the Russian capita currently operating, but now it has caught up with numerous other Muslim communities in the Russian Federation by launching a website (
That in itself would not be worth noting – at least until the site posts some real news. But the decision of the mosque’s leadership to give three addresses for those who want to visit it –,, and -- in itself reflects the current environment in Moscow.
Many Muslim sites in the Russian Federation are routinely driven offline by hackers. Sometimes sites are driven from the Russian web to foreign hosting companies, but more often the denial of service attacks end and the Muslim site is able to resume normal operation.
By providing three addresses rather than only one, the Historical Mosque’s leadership is clearly trying to protect itself from such attacks. But it is worth noting that this morning, the first full day of the site’s operation, one of the three was already blocked to potential visitors.

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