State Duma passes law on immunity of sacred books from jurisdiction

The smallest and the largest books of the Koran are displayed at the "Book Museum" exposition opened in the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg.

The smallest and the largest books of the Koran are displayed at the "Book Museum" exposition opened in the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg.

Yuri Belinsky/TASS
The bill prohibites to recognize as extremist materials from sacred books

Russia's State Duma adopted on Nov. 11 at once in the second and third, final, reading the presidential bill prohibiting to recognize as extremist materials any content or quotations from the Holy Bible, Quran, Tanah and Gajur.

The bill also stipulates for making amendments to the Federal Law 'On Counteracting Extremist Activity', according to which, "the Bible, Quran, Tanah and Gajur, any of their content or quotations of them, cannot be recognized as extremist materials."

The explanatory note attached to the bill says that the Russian Constitution guarantees freedom of consciousness and freedom of religion to everyone, including the right to practice individually or jointly with others any kind of religion or not to practice any.

Moreover, there is a reference in the document to the Preamble of the Law "On Freedom of Consciousness and Religious Associations" stating that "particularly Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism constitute an integral part of the historic heritage of the people of Russia."

"According to the above and in order to ensure an equal respect to the world traditional religions, it is proposed to set forth in the bill that the Bible, Quran, Tanah and Gajur - all constituting the spiritual foundation of the aforesaid religions - or their contents, or quotations from them, cannot be recognized as extremist materials," the document says.

Sergei Popov, first deputy head of the United Russia faction in the State Duma, said that the bill is fundamentally important, pointing out that it "was backed by all the factions."

"Besides, I would like to note that a total consensus has been reached by the heads of all religious confessions in Russia who supported this bill," he said.

The emergence of such legislation, Popov said, is determined by the fact that "nowadays, there are some regrettable cases where a number of careless people or officials attempt to use sayings from the fundamental documents, on which all world religions are based, in order to achieve varied objectives."

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