Russia Bans the Quran?

Photo Credit: Free Patriot

Photo Credit: Free Patriot

In an unusual court ruling, the “October” district court in the Russian port city of Novorossiysk, on the Black Sea, [held] 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. It 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.

The [court] 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 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.

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