A translation of the qaran by Elmir Kuliyev published in 2002 was found this week to be in violation of Russian federal law banning extremist materials. The court ruling, in the port city of Novorossiysk, has angered Russia’s top Islamic, Ravil Gainutdin, head of the Council of Muftis of Russia. He said in an open letter to President Vladimir Putin released Monday that the ruling was “illiterate” and “provocative.”
And by “provocative,” we presume that he means Muslims will be provoked to carry out even more terror attacks, two of which occurred in Russia just in the last two days.
FreeThinker Gainutdin said that:
Russian Muslims were appalled by the neglect of law shown by the court.
Not only Russian Muslims, apparently. This report says that other clerics are warning of a “global unrest and uprising” in Muslim communities worldwide if the Russian government did not meet their demands to have the ruling immediately reversed.
Details of the ruling are contained in this report, which says that the court cited expert testimony from the Forensic Centre at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation (MVD) for the region which 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 .
Elmir Kuliev, who authored the translation, 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 Koran.
A member of the organization Stand for Peace, Colin Cortbus, complained:
‘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.
And they claim it will put many Muslims in Russia to be at risk for prosecution just for having the text in their possession.
A lawyer representing Kuliyev, Murat Musayev, said he will appeal the ruling. This is pure idiocy. Some local prosecutor sent this material to a local court and they together decided to ban a holy book. On the one hand there is freedom of religion in Russia, on the other they are banning fundamental religious texts.
Experts say the more than decade-old translation by Kuliyev is a respected scholarly work, one of four translations of the Koran into Russian.
Said Akhmed Yarlikapov, an expert on Islam with the Russian Academy of Sciences:
This is one step away from banning the Koran. (Yes!) This is a very high quality translation. The banning of Kuliyev’s translation is utterly unprofessional, you could ban the Bible just as easily because it also has passages that talk about the spilling of blood.
But some see the ban as a positive step towards ridding the country of radical Islamic terrorists. Someone called Khloponin, a member of a leading party in Russia (the CE) even stated that they [his party] were more than 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.