23 January 2007, 13:36
Quotations from Bible and Koran as grounds for court ruling against a well-known publishing house
Moscow, January 23, Interfax - The Rodionov’s Publishing House has lost a four-year-long lawsuit concnerning an advertisement depicting a seminude model in its Moulin Rouge magazine. Building on the definition given by the Federal Antimonopoly Service in Moscow, the court, guided by quotations from the Bible and Koran, found the magazine’s advertisement unethical.
The Kommersant daily has cited on Tuesday the extracts from Jesus Christ’s Sermon on the Mount, ‘every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart’ and from the Basic Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church, ‘in the situation of a spiritual crisis, the mass media sometimes become instruments of moral corruption by praising sexual laxity’, referred to in the court’s ruling.
The newspaper writes that the clarification given by the antimonopoly service abounds with quotations from the Koran, such as ‘it is a sin to look at another’s wife and see parts of her body without clothes’ and ‘to put off one’s clothes needlessly and go around naked is a sin’.
At the end of its clarification, the antimonopoly service concludes that the publishing house’s advertisement is unethical as it violates ‘the commonly accepted norms of humanity and morality’ and contains ‘offensive images of the religious beliefs of natural persons’.
Rodionov’s Publishing House was founded in 1996. It publishes several magazines and a newspaper.
Its lawyer, Alexander Osokin, has been surprised at the court’s ruling and the conclusions of the Federal Antimonopoly Service. ‘The FAS’s stand is based on the Koran and Bible, but we did not insult religious things; the model in the advertisement does not hold any crosses or crescents or other symbols in her hands. The FAS can go too far in this way and turn our state into a clerical one’, Osokin said adding that he would appeal against the arbitrage’s ruling.
FAS deputy director, Andrey Kashevarov, believes the references to the Koran and Bible given in the FAS’s clarification to be ‘quite relevant’. ‘If this advertisement were not offensive for believers, we would not receive any complaints from citizens’, he explained. Vladimir Vigilyansky, Moscow Patriarchate press secretary, and Ravil Gainutdin, head of the Council of Muftis of Russia, welcomed the court’s decision as well.