Putin: Disrespecting Holy Prophet (PBUH) is ‘violation of religious freedom’

President of Russia and former intelligence officer, Vladimir Putin, while addressing his annual press conference, expressed the importance of artistic freedom without hindrance to religious freedom.

According to the details, Vladimir Putin on Thursday said insulting Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) doesn’t count as the expression of artistic freedom. Putin also criticized posting photos of Nazis on websites such as the one titled the Immortal Regiment and dedicated to Russians that died in World War Two.

Insults to the prophet are a “violation of religious freedom and the violation of the sacred feelings of people who profess Islam,” he said during his annual news conference, according to state news agency, TASS.

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Putin said these acts give rise to extremist reprisals, citing as an example the attack on the editorial office of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris after its publication of cartoons of the prophet. While praising artistic freedom in general, Putin said it has its limits and it shouldn’t infringe on other freedoms.

TASS reported that Russia has evolved as a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional state, so Russians, he said, are used to respecting each other’s traditions. In some other countries, this respect comes in short supply, he said.

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Meanwhile, Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan welcomed the Russian President’s statement, saying it “reaffirms my message that insulting Holy Prophet (PBUH) is not ‘freedom of expression’.” While taking to Twitter, the premier further said that “we Muslims, especially Muslim leaders, must spread this message to leaders of the non-Muslim world to counter Islamophobia.”

It is to be remembered that Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has been urging the western world to respect sentiments of the Muslim communities while practicing ‘freedom of expression’ for the past many years.

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