N 2, 18.05.2001
OLDEST MOSQUE IN MORDOVIA BURNS DOWN
The mosque in the village of Iniati (called Puniat in Tatar), Liambir region, burned to the ground in the early hours of Monday, October 23. According to the local police department, the fire broke out around 1 a.m., as the result of a faulty heating system. The doors to the mosque had been locked, and all of the mosque's money remained in a metal safe inside.
The mosque was built in 1824, and had been the oldest mosque in Mordovia. During Soviet times, the building was used as the village club. In the 1990's, the mosque was restored, and returned to the Muslim population of the village.
Since the mosque was made of wood, it burned very quickly. As it so happens, the construction of stone mosques in imperial times was only permitted with the approval of the tsar.
Two stoves, heating pipes, some metal shingles and ashes were all that remained of the mosque in the village of Iniati.
Translated by Michelle Hartner.