Staunton, September 30 –With a Russian court having now declared the Koran to be “extremist,” Moscow has finally done what it says only Wahhabist and other Islamist radicals and hostile foreign intelligence services want: it has provoked not just the leadership of Russia’s 20plus million Muslims but this community as a whole.
Muslims in Moscow and in cities across the country have put up banners denouncing the Novorossiisk court’s September 17 decision to declare a translation of the Koran “extremist” – the one on the Moscow ring road reads “Russia Against Islam: the Koran is Banned” – staged demonstrations, and begun petition drives to have the Kremlin overturn this declaration.
In some places, the police moved quickly to take the signs down, but in others, including the Russian capital, these signs have remained up. The number of demonstrations appears to be increasing, and the number of Muslims signing petitions is growing as well. (For a sampling of reports, see islamrf.ru/news/russia/rusnews/29325/ tatar-centr.blogspot.com/2013/09/blog-post_4575.htmlrafis-kashapov.livejournal.com/61563.html.ansar.ru/society/2013/09/28/43672ansar.ru/rfsng/2013/09/26/43618
Whatever Putin decides to do, this latest case of overreaching by a Russian court, apparently animated more by anti-Islamic attitudes among many Russians than by any legal standard Russia or otherwise, has made the situation far worse for the Kremlin than have any earlier actions by any Muslim group in the Russian Federation.