Russia bans ‘Innocence of Muslims’

The Tverskoy Court of Moscow found the film "Innocence of Muslims" extremist. After the court decision comes into force, the film will be included on the federal list of extremist materials, says the BBC.

"The psycho-linguistic study of the film conducted at the request of prosecutors confirmed that the content of the film is aimed to incite religious hatred and hostility and to humiliate human beings on the grounds of nationality and religion," spokeswoman for the Prosecutor General's Office Marina Gridneva said. As the lawyer explained, the reason for the lawsuit was "the presence of video imagery and text aimed at developing ideas about the inferiority of Islam and its believers," said.

Earlier, a court of Grozny, Chechnya, made a similar ruling on the lawsuit from the Chechen Ministry for National Policy, Press and Information. After the ruling, mobile operators in the North Caucasus limited access to the film and to YouTube, where it was located, as well as to a number of other resources.

"Innocence of Muslims" sparked widespread protests and unrest in Arab countries. Following the unrest, Roskomnadzor (Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications) urged cellular operators to block access to the film even before the trial. The lawsuit to ban the film was filed by the office of the Public Prosecutor, reports Kommersant-Online. According to prosecutor Victoria Maslova, the film "in a negative light tells the story of Islam, promotes the growth of religious intolerance in the Russian Federation" and "was created to form an opinion about the inferiority of the Muslim religion."

A representative of the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation, Mikhail Odintsov, does not support the statement from the prosecutors. In his opinion, considering such statements without the participation of the second party - the authors or distributors of the film - is not legally justified.

Russian public figures prepared an open letter to President Vladimir Putin, in which they asked him not to ban the controversial film. "The darkest forces of international terrorism are trying to intimidate and impose their will on the modern civilization," the address says. The document was signed by political scientist Marat Gelman, TV presenter Vladimir Kara-Murza, architect Eugene Asse, and others.

Amateur film "Innocence of Muslims" was made in the United States by native of Egypt Nakula Basili Nakula, who was previously convicted of fraud. The low-budget film tells the story of Islam, exposing Prophet Muhammad as a liar, womanizer and killer. In September, a trailer of the film appeared on YouTube with Arabic subtitles, which triggered protests and riots in Muslim countries. In Libya, a crowd of angered people killed four employees of the Consulate of the United States, including the American ambassador.

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