Russiaâ€™s ban of readable and reliable Islamic books has infuriated the Muslim minority who denounced the move as unjustifiable.
MOSCOWÂ – Russiaâ€™s ban of a list of highly readable and reliable Islamic books on the claims of preaching extremism has infuriated the Muslim minority who denounced the move as unjustifiable and totalitarian, the Interfax news agency reported.
â€œThey published a list of banned Muslim books that does not violate the law on extremism or religious supremacy in the least,â€ Russiaâ€™s Mufti Ravil Gainutdin, said in an interview with Islam in the Russian Federation website.
Authorities have included recently more Islamic books to the Federal List of Extremist Materials.
They included â€œThe Personality of a Muslimâ€ by Muhammad Ali al-Hashimi. The book is seen as a staple religious text for tens of thousands of Russian Muslims.
It emphasizes kindness and generosity toward people of other faiths.
Other banned books included the works of famed Turkish Muslim theologian Said Nursi. (1878-1960).
Gainutdin said there is no excuse for the continuous banning of some of Islamâ€™s treasure books.
â€œWhy is there no specific answer? Why have they published a list of banned literature without specifying?â€ he wondered.
Under the Extremism Law, mass distribution, preparation or storage with the aim of mass distribution of any banned book carry a four-year prison term.
Gainutdin said the way Russian authorities have banned the books does not fit a democracy.
He said it is absurd and deplorable that no Muslim expert, no imam, no head of ecclesiastical department of Russian Muslims has been approached for counseling.
â€œNobody requested a conclusion or an expert opinion from the Muslim clergy,â€ he said.
He said Islamic books are banned in farce court hearings.
â€œThe court proceedings were held without our knowledge, secretly, nobody represented the defendant. We think it is inadmissible.â€
The Mufti said he plans to lodge lawsuits with the Supreme Court and complaints with the Prosecutor Generalâ€™s Office to stop the book banning drive.
There are some 23 million Muslims in the Russian Federation concentrated in the north of the Caucasus, representing roughly 15 percent of its 145 million population.
Islam is Russiaâ€™s second-largest religion behind Russian Orthodoxy.