Russian Muslim clerics warn of unrest over ban of translation of Quran
MOSCOW (REUTERS) - Russia's senior Islamic clerics warned the country's leaders on Friday unrest could erupt in Muslim communities in Russia and beyond if a court decision ordering the destruction of a interpretive translation of Quran is not overturned.
Tuesday's ruling by a court in Novorossiysk, a city in southern Russia, ordered the widely read text outlawed under a Russian anti-extremism law that rights activists say has been abused by local officials out of prejudice or to persecute groups frowned upon by the dominant Russian Orthodox Church.
Rights campaigners said that the decision, which will apply nationwide unless it is overturned on appeal, comes dangerously close to banning the Quran itself.
Russia's Council of Muftis sounded the alarm in an open letter on Friday to President Vladimir Putin, who has frequently called for unity among the leading faiths and warned that ethnic tension could tear Russia apart.