Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Russian Court In Controversial Decision Bans Salafist Translation of Qur'an

In Russia last week, the Novorossiysk Oktyabrsky District Court ruled that a translation of the Qur'an into Russian by Azerbaijani philosopher Elmir Kuliyev should be banned under the federal law barring extremist materials, and that copies of it should be destroyed. The translation was published in Saudi Arabia in 2002.  According to Interfax and AP, Ravil Gainutdin, head of the Council of Muftis of Russia, strongly criticized the court's ruling in an open letter to President Vladimir Putin released Monday. He said the ruling violates freedom of religion protections in the Russian Constitution and international law, and called for the case to be retried with experts on Islam as witnesses. However, Farid Salman, the head of the Ulema Council of the All-Russian Muslim Board, has a different opinion. He agreed with the court's ruling, saying that Kuliyev's views reflect "the Salafi school, not the sect of Islam that is traditionally practiced by Russia's Muslims."

UPDATE: Forum 18 has more details on the decision and the mixed reaction to it among Russian Muslims.