Thursday, June 29, 2023
The desecration of the Holy Quran is not seen as a crime in some countries, but it is penalised in Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.
"In our country, this is a crime both according to the Constitution and the penal code," he said, as quoted by Turkey's wire service Anadolu Agency.
The Russian president, whose country is at war with Ukraine, made the statement during his visit to Derbent in the Dagestan Autonomous Republic of the Russian Federation.
Over there, he paid a visit to the historical mosque of Derbent and met Muslim representatives from Dagestan, according to the agency.
Russian news agency TASS reported that the president received a copy of the Holy Quran as a gift during his visit to the Juma Mosque.
"The Quran is sacred for Muslims and should be sacred for others," he said as he thanked the representatives for the gift. "We will always abide by these rules."
Putin's statement came after a man tore up and burned a copy of the Holy Quran outside Stockholm's central mosque on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
Police later charged the man with agitation against an ethnic or national group.
A series of demonstrations in Sweden against Islam have offended the Muslim world, including Turkey, whose foreign minister said it was unacceptable to allow anti-Islam protests in the name of freedom of expression.
In January, when a similar incident occurred in Sweden, the Russian Foreign Ministry had blasted the burning of the Holy Quran "as another provocative act of Islamophobia."
"These blasphemous actions predictably provoked a harsh reaction in the Islamic world, including the Russian Muslim community," spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a news conference.