Viewing cable 04VILNIUS1402
Title: AMBASSADOR HOSTS IFTAAR FOR LITHUANIA'S MUSLIM

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
04VILNIUS14022004-11-12 15:54:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L VILNIUS 001402 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/NB (MGERMANO) AND EUR/PPD (JMLOCKARD) 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/11/2014 
TAGS: SCUL PHUM LH
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR HOSTS IFTAAR FOR LITHUANIA'S MUSLIM 
COMMUNITY 
 
Classified By: Pol/Econ Officer Christian Yarnell 
for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (c) 
 
 ¶1. (U) SUMMARY: Ambassador Mull celebrated Ramadan on 
November 5 with 20 leading figures from Lithuania's Muslim 
community, hosting an Iftaar dinner.  The Ambassador 
highlighted the importance of diversity and tolerance during 
the event, and Lithuania's chief Islamic religious figure 
praised the outreach to the country's small Muslim 
population.  The Iftaar was a successful and well-received 
first foray into this important minority community, which is 
likely to grow now that Lithuania is a member of the European 
Union.  END SUMMARY. 
 
¶2. (U) Ambassador Mull hosted an Iftaar dinner on November 5 
for approximately 20 leaders of Lithuania's Muslim community 
and other guests.  Representatives from Lithuania's small 
Uzbek, Tajik, and Azeri minorities attended the event in 
addition to leaders of the Tatars who constitute the 
overwhelming majority of Lithuania's Muslims.  The country's 
Muslim community dates back over 600 years, when Lithuania 
formally invited Tatars to settle here.  The population of 
the increasingly secular, even Christian, Lithuanian Tatars 
today numbers approximately 5,000. 
 
¶3. (U) Tatar leaders told the Ambassador that, while many 
Lithuanian Tatars no longer practice religion, an influx of 
foreign Muslim students has helped to keep their mosques in 
use.  They said that maintaining the historic local mosques 
was a critical community goal. 
 
¶4. (C) Diversity and tolerance were the primary themes of the 
event, and Ambassador Mull highlighted the importance of 
tolerance in his brief remarks.  The guest list reflected the 
country's diversity, and leaders of other faiths, including 
the chairman of the Jewish Community of Lithuania, were 
present.  Mufti Romualdas Krinickis, one of a few Lithuanians 
trained to lead Muslim prayer, praised the Ambassador for his 
outreach to the country's small Muslim community and led a 
short prayer as part of the festivities.  Krinickis also took 
the opportunity to denounce terrorism as "a violation of the 
teachings of Islam."  (NOTE: After we had invited Krinickis 
to the event, the Lithuanian State Security Department shared 
with us their suspicions about Krinickis's involvement in 
criminal activities.  We will address these suspicions as 
appropriate in future reporting.) 
 
¶5. (U) Comment: The Iftaar was a useful opportunity for us to 
engage a minority community that mainstream Lithuanian 
society generally overlooks.  Lithuania's small Muslim 
community will undoubtedly grow with the increase in 
immigration expected to result from the country's EU 
membership.  We hope to use this successful initial foray to 
strengthen our ties to this community. 
MULL