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Russian court reverses ruling recognizing parts of Qur’an as “extremist”

It’s unclear which portions of the Qur’an came under the ruling, although Said-Magomed Chapanov’s saying that “every Muslim says the words of a prayer at least 17 times” suggests that it was the Fatihah, the first sura of the Qur’an, which pious Muslims who pray the five daily prayers will repeat seventeen times daily. In it, Muslims pray, “Guide us to the straight path, the path of those upon whom you have bestowed favor, not of those who have earned anger or of those who have gone astray.” Islamic tradition often identifies those who have earned anger with the Jews and those who have gone astray with the Christians.

Chapanov adds, “Does this make every Muslim an extremist 17 times a day? Banning Suras from the Koran is like banning a Christian from reciting ‘The Lord’s Prayer.’” The Fatihah is indeed roughly comparable to the Lord’s Prayer in Christianity, but the Lord’s Prayer isn’t widely understood by Christians as condemning believers in two other religions. Also, Chapanov isn’t speaking just of the Fatihah; he compares “Suras from the Koran” to the Lord’s Prayer, but the Lord’s Prayer contains no exhortation to “slay them wherever you find them” (9:5; cf. 2:191 and 4:89), or to beat disobedient women (4:34), or to make war against and subjugate Jews and Christians (9:5), or to behead unbelievers (47:4), or to take sex slaves from Infidel women (4:3, 4:24, 23:1-6, 33:50), and so on and on.

Whether or not Russia or the Sakhalin Regional Court decides to classify the Qur’an or parts of it as “extremist,” there needs to be an honest public discussion of the nature of the Qur’an, without glib wave-of-the-hand dismissals with “The Bible is violent, too,” and serious strategizing about what can and should be done about the Qur’an’s capacity to incite violence. But that is not forthcoming, in Russia or anywhere else.


“Russian court reverses ruling recognizing Muslim book as extremist,” RT, November 5, 2015:

A court in the Russian Far East has canceled the verdict that recognized an Islamic book with abstracts from the Koran as ‘extremist material’, which caused outrage from the Muslim community and some politicians.

On Thursday the Sakhalin Regional Court canceled the ruling of the Yuzhno-Sakhalinst City Court of August 12, 2015, which banned


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