by Laura Stuart
Tuesday, July 17th, 2012
Islam is the second most widely professed religion in the Russian Federation but little news of how life is for Muslims in Russia ever reaches the U.K. however this story came to my attention today.
In March of this year, a Russian court ruled to ban 65 Islamic books. The ruling to ban the books was made at a district court in Orenburg, it includes some classic mainstream books on prayer such as “The Fortress of a Muslim” and a collection of authentic narrations of the Prophet Mohammed s.a.w. called “An Nawawi’s 40 Hadith“.
It is reported that in order to make a judgment on the content of the books the Russian police sought the expertise of a Russian Orthodox cleric named Yuriy Maximov, a man known for his anti Islamic views and who was part of a website previously deemed as extremist by a different court ruling.
The banning caused The Council of Russian Muftis to issue the following statement on its website
We consider the prohibition of religious literature as an attempt at the revival of total ideological control,” the body said in a statement published on its website. “Such practice is unacceptable in a democratic society…and is an alarm signal for Russian citizens,” the council pointed out.
A lawyer well known for defending Muslims, Rustem Valiullin filed an appeal to a higher court and has spoken out against the ban to the media saying
“year after year the number and brutality of oppression cases against Muslim are growing.”
It remains to be seen if the list of books banned by the regional court in Orenburg will be adopted into the Federal list of extremist materials by the Russian Ministry of Justice.