Russia Bans the Quran
In an unusual court ruling, the “October” district court in the Russian port city of Novorossiysk, on the Black Sea, that the “Meaning of Qur’an” in the “Russian Language” is “recognized as extremist”. After the ruling the Russian court made a bold move to ban the Qur’an from Russia and not allowing it to be translated or distributed in Russian. They also recognized possession and distribution of the Qur’an as extremist.
The court cited expert testimony from Forensic Centre at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation (MVD) for the region who stated that the book contained:
…statements in which a person or group of persons (in particular, non-Muslims ) is portrayed negatively on grounds related to a particular religion; …. statements which address talking about the advantages of a single person or group of persons to other people on the grounds of religion (particularly the Muslims over non-Muslims ); … statements containing the positive assessment of hostile action of one group of people against another group of people on the basis of religion, specifically, Muslims towards non-Muslims; …statements of an inciting character, which can be understood as calling for hostile and violent actions by one group of people against another group of people on the basis of religion, in particular the Muslims towards non-Muslims .”
They cited a 2002 translation into Russian from Elmir Kuliev, who is the Director of Department of Geoculture at the Institute of Strategic Studies of the Caucasus. He was considered the leading contemporary on Russian Muslim Philosophy, and his translation is used and cited in several resources including Quransearch.org for the definitive Russian translation of the Qur’an.
The lawsuit leading to the ban was brought by the transport prosecutor’s office in Novorossiysk under general procedure article 45 of the Russian civil procedure code (which allows a prosecutor to act in the interest of unspecified citizens even where no complaint has been filed). The transport prosecutor is believed to have challenged the refusal of a different prosecutor’s office to institute criminal proceedings on the grounds of an offense under Art. 282 of the Criminal Code (incitement of National, Racial, or Religious Enmity), after the book was delivered by mail order to a local address.”
A member of the organization Stand for Peace, Colin Cortbus, stated, “The Judge’s decision is a sick and criminal throwback to the dark days of Stalinism and national chauvinism.”
A member from the Sova Center, Russia’s unit that monitors extremist activities, said that the ruling was “misuse of anti-extremism law”. They also described it as “not only illegal, but ignorant and scandalous”. They state it causes a lot of Muslims in Russia to be at risk for prosecution just for having the text in their possession.
The move is also likely to facilitate further bans on other Quranic texts, including those in Arabic. Over twenty years after the fall of the Soviet Union, the state’s drive to discourage religious practise has not yet been abandoned.”
They also are harking the attempt to ban the Hindu texts several years ago when Russia was still a communist country. This also prompted Muslim Clerics over the weekend to demand the court reverse its stance and warned “Global Unrest and Uprising” in the Muslim Communities world wide if the Russian government did not meet their demands.
Not all see this move as over reach by the courts. Some are calling the move a bold step in ridding the country of Radical Islamic Terrorists. Khloponin, a member of the leading party in Russia (the CE) even stated that they are more then happy to pay for the deportation of those who wished to be ruled by Sharia law.
My position is clear: anyone who does not want to live in Russia according to Russian, secular laws, should not live here. For them, there are states in the Middle East, go there and live”.
For now the Russian Court decision stands and the courts are not backing down from their ruling. They point to the violence and threats from the Muslim Clerics in the neighboring countries that this is proof that they made the right decision.