(AP Photo/Local Committee of Arbeen) Syrian refugees cross into Iraq at the Peshkhabour border point in Dahuk, 260 miles (430 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban) Syrian refugees cross into Iraq at the Peshkhabour border point in Dahuk, 260 miles (430 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban) A general view of the Kawergost refugee camp in Irbil, 217 miles (350 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban) In this image taken from video posted by Ugarit News, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, purports to show a fireball from an explosion at a weapons depot set off by rocket attacks that struck government-held districts in the central Syrian city of Homs on Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video) Syrian refugees gather for food aid after cross into Iraq at the Peshkhabour border point in Dahuk, 260 miles (430 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban) In this image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, a Syrian man comforts a child injured by a missile strike in Raqqa, Syria, Wednesday, Aug.
Russia: clerics warn of unrest over Quran translation ban
We recall how the burning of just a few copies of the Holy Koran by a crazy American pastor elicited a firm protest not just from Russian Muslims but from our entire society, in solidarity with the stormy and longlasting anger of the global Muslim community and all people of goodwill, it said. A lawyer representing the texts author, Azeri theologian Elmir Kuliyev, said he will appeal the ruling, which calls for the text to be banned and copies of it destroyed. This is pure idiocy. Some local prosecutor sent this material to a local court and they together decided to ban a holy book, lawyer Murat Musayev, who has one month to appeal the ruling, told Reuters. On the one hand there is freedom of religion in Russia, on the other they are banning fundamental religious texts. Experts say the more than decade-old translation by Kuliyev is a respected scholarly work, one of four translations of the Koran into Russian. This is one step away from banning the Koran, said Akhmed Yarlikapov, an expert on Islam with the Russian Academy of Sciences. This is a very high quality translation, he said. The banning of Kuliyevs translation is utterly unprofessional, you could ban the Bible just as easily because it also has passages that talk about the spilling of blood. BLACKLIST Putin has championed the dominant Russian Orthodox Church as a moral compass but has also called for a multicultural Russian identity and emphasized the need to avoid religious strife in a country with a Muslim minority estimated at about 15 percent. The government is fighting against a persistent Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus, spawned by separatist wars in Chechnya, and tension between ethnic Russians and Muslim minorities have led to outbursts of violence across the country. Since Russias anti-extremism law was passed in 2002, with the purpose of curbing potential militant threats, over 2,000 publications have been placed on a blacklist posted on the Justice Ministrys website. The inclusion of some texts, such as the Russian edition of the diaries of Nazi Germanys propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and Adolf Hitlers Mein Kampf, has won praise from human rights campaigners. But critics say too many innocuous works have been added, threatening the rights of minority groups. Analysts say the abuse stems from vague wording in the law and procedures that empowering local official in a flawed justice system. Once a court anywhere in Russia judges a text extremist, it is automatically added to the nationwide blacklist. Among the controversial materials included are the books of Turkish theologian Said Nursi, another of Kuliyevs works, a hadith collection of the sayings of the prophet Muhammad and Jehovahs Witnesses basic texts.