12 March 2012, 17:33
Press officer for Russia's chief rabbi condemns Pussy Riot performance in Cathedral of Christ the Savior
Moscow, March 12, Interfax - The Judaic community of Russia has sharply condemned the recent performance by the punk group Pussy Riot in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
"These people did not only insult Christians, they insulted all believers. These young women turned a temple into a cheap political platform. In addition, the way they expressed their views was so inappropriate that I personally absolutely understand to what degree they generally don't care about their fellow citizens, at least those who believe in God," Andrey Glotser, press officer for Russia's chief rabbi, told Interfax-Religion on Monday.
Glotser said the protesters have committed blasphemy in a place where people pray to God, "which means that they don't care about any temple and, if we look at the situation more broadly, they don't care about other people. Their desire to demonstrate their views was stronger than respect for other people," he said.
"One can have different opinions personally about the activities of Vladimir Putin or any other politician, and one can have different opinions about a religion, in particular, the work of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Muslim ummah, or the Jewish community, but this attitude does not give a person license to express his viewpoint in such barbaric ways as this group did," he said.
Glotser said the group filmed its performance in the church to cause the broadest public response possible and "has reached its goal." "The media are reporting on them and many respected people have made statements on them, but their glory is the glory of Herostratus," he said.
"Their act will not bring peace to our conflict-torn society. I would also say that it is a very dangerous symptom. Society where such things are possible causes serious concerns. In addition, I find that the young women's act did not only caused them personal shame, but has also disgraced their parents, who did not explain elementary ethical norms to them," Glotser said.
At the same time, Glotser would not comment on the possible punishment for the young women, whose performance has been condemned by Russian Orthodox Church representatives and human rights activists, who nevertheless proposed not to imprison them.
On February 21, the feminist punk group Pussy Riot mad a performance near the entrance to the altar of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The young women said their performance was "a punk prayer." A criminal case was opened on the basis of the article of the Russian Criminal Code dealing with hooliganism. Three of the women have recently been detained, and two of them have been arrested. They have gone on hunger strike to protest their arrest. The Moscow City Court will consider their appeal on Wednesday.