April 2, 2013

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Russian Court Bans "How to Accept Islam" Book

(Photo credit: SalFalko)
A court in south Russia banned as “extremist” a book entitled “How to Accept Islam,” officials said on Tuesday. The Krasnoyarsk district court ordered all copies of the book to be confiscated and destroyed.

Investigators, citing linguistic experts, said the book, by Muhammad Suleiman Ashkara, encouraged religious hatred. The court added that the book was discovered during a May 2011 raid at the Krasnoyarsk home of a man suspected of links to an extremist Islamic organization.

The book had not, however, been added to the Justice Ministry’s extensive list of extremist materials as of Tuesday afternoon.

Russia's laws aimed at countering extremism were originally passed in 2002 and later amended in 2007. Originally introduced in a bid to curb promotion of nationalism and religious and sectarian hatred by fringe political groups, critics say the laws are often misused to put pressure on religious minorities or those who criticize the establishment.

Earlier this year, and specifically on February 6, a Kaliningrad court banned 16 works by Turkish scholar Said Nursi as extremist as well. A forensic "psychological-linguistic" examination determined that 14 books and two brochures with excerpts from the Risale-i Nur, a 6,000-plus-page collection about the Koran, written by Nursi serve to incite religious hatred and jeopardize the religious freedom of people who do not worship Islam.

The copies of the works by the 20-century Muslim theologian were discovered in an apartment in Kaliningrad. Russian news agencies say that the theologian is now suspected of organizing an extremist organization.

In its ruling, the court cited a 2008 Supreme Court ban on an extremist group called Nurjular (spelled Nurcular in Turkish), which used the works as a basis for its ideology. The banned works are now included in the Russian Justice Ministry's national register of extremist materials.


Combined Reports - RIA Novosti

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