18 June 2012, 16:08
Russia's Council of Muftis protests court ban of Islamic books
Moscow, June 18, Interfax - The Russia's Council of Muftis has expressed its protest against an Orenburg court ruling with respect to Islamic books.
"On March 26, 2012, Judge A.V. Nuzhdin at the Leninsky District Court in Orenburg granted a prosecutor's request to ban 65 book titles of theological and historical content from all Russian Islamic publishing houses," the Mufties Council said in a statement.
A copy of the ruling effective as of April 2012 was produced to book retailers at a recent Islamic book fair in Kazan.
"The prosecutor and judge at the Leninsky District Court in Orenburg, having failed to invite a single author, translator or publisher to act as a defendant at the hearings, made a behind-the-scenes decision that jeopardizes Muslims' loyalty to our state!" the statement said.
The ban of religious literature is an attempt to revive "total ideological control," the council said.
"Russian Muslims are convinced that determining a list of extremist religious literature is an internal affair of every religious organization and it is at this level that such decisions should be made. Decisions on whether to put religious literature on the list of extremist material require an expert opinion from Russian religious organizations, for which purpose boards of experts have been set up and are operating, including experts on religious literature," the document said.
There needs to be a legal framework for dealing with organizations which violate the effective laws, "instead of making the religious literature responsible for the existing socio-political problems," the Mufties Council said.
Very often, decisions to put Islamic literature on the list of extremist material are based on "expert opinions that are not always objective, substantiated and comprehensive," Russian Muftis said.