During a visit to the Republic of Dagestan, Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out that burning the Koran is illegal in Russia.
– The Koran is sacred to Muslims and so should be sacred for others, he said during a visit to the Juma Mosque.
The statement is an indirect comment on the burning of the Koran in Sweden, the most recent of which took place last week in Stockholm.
In a meeting with senior Russian military and government officials, President Putin made it clear that such displays are not covered by Russia’s freedom of expression. On Thursday, while visiting the Juma Mosque in Derbent, Dagestan, on the occasion of the Muslim holiday of Eid al Adha, President Putin clarified and confirmed this decision.
– The Koran is sacred for Muslims, and should be for others as well. We know that in other countries they deal with it differently – they do not respect people’s religious feelings and say that it is not a crime. In our country it is a crime under the Constitution and under Article 282 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, Putin stressed during a conversation with an imam at the mosque.
“The Quran is sacred for Muslims and should be sacred for others.”
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin was gifted a copy of the Quran during his visit to the Juma Mosque of Derbent in Dagestan, known as the oldest mosque in Russia, on the first day of Eid al Adha pic.twitter.com/ZrwjCSxgbU
— TRT World (@trtworld) June 29, 2023
The Russian president has previously expressed his support for “artistic freedom” in general, but has also stressed the need to “discern its limits” and that it should not “attack” other important freedoms in society – including religious freedom.
The Russian State Duma has also explicitly commented on and condemned the recent Koran burning in Stockholm.
“Members of the State Duma strongly condemn another vandalism act approved by the Swedish authorities and call them to take measures to protect the religious feelings of Muslims”, the statement said.
– In whatever corner of the world the event takes place, we have to evaluate and cool down presumptuous and unintelligent people, said Chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin.
Facts: Muslims in Russia
The Russian Federation includes several Muslim republics, including Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Dagestan and Ingushetia. Around 25 million of Russia's 145 million inhabitants are Muslims.