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Commentary :: Human Rights
Russia: 1917 Dec 7: Lenin's Appeal to Muslim Peoples of the East
04 Dec 2017
Henceforth your beliefs and customs, your national and cultural institutions, are free and inviolable. Build your national life freely and unhindered. You have a right to do so.
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Lenin 100 Years.jpg
December 7, 1917, Izvestiia publishes an appeal by the Sovnarkom to the Muslim Peoples of the East. It is signed by Lenin in his capacity as the President of the Soviet of People’s Commissars, as well as by Joseph Stalin, the People’s Commissar for Nationalities. The appeal plays an important role in establishing the popularity and prestige of the October Revolution and the Soviet government among the oppressed masses around the world. It addresses itself to both the oppressed Muslims of the former Russian Empire and those that have been exploited and subjugated by the imperialist powers for decades in the Middle East and Asia. The appeal begins:

Comrades! Brothers!

Great events are taking place in Russia. The end of the bloody war, which was begun with the purpose of partitioning other lands, is drawing near. The rule of the robbers and enslavers of the peoples of the earth is about to end. Under the blows of the Russian Revolution, the old world of serfdom and slavery is crumbling … A new world is being born, a world of workers and free men. At the head of this revolution stands the Workers’ and Peasants’ Government of Russia, the Soviet of People’s Commissars.

In the face of these great events we turn to you, toiling and disinherited Muslims of Russia and the East. Muslims of Russia, Tatars of the Volga and the Crimea, Kirghiz, and Sarts of Siberia and Turkestan, Turks and Tartars of Transcaucasia, Chechens and Mountaineers of the Caucasus–all those whose mosques and chapels have been destroyed, whose beliefs and customs have been trampled under foot by the tsars and oppressors of Russia!

Henceforth your beliefs and customs, your national and cultural institutions, are free and inviolable. Build your national life freely and unhindered. You have a right to do so. Know that your rights, as well as the rights of all peoples of Russia, are protected by the Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’, and Peasants’ Deputies.

http://soviethistory.msu.edu/1921-2/the-muslim-east/the-muslim-east-text/

This work is in the public domain
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