Putin: Insulting Prophet of Islam ‘Violation of Religious Freedom’

Russian President Vladimir Putin holds his annual press conference at the Manezh exhibition hall in central Moscow on December 23, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Moscow- Russian President Vladimir Putin says insulting Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace upon Him) is a “violation of religious freedom”, according to Russian News Agency TASS.

Insults to the Prophet are a “violation of religious freedom and the violation of the sacred feelings of people who profess Islam,” Putin said in his annual press conference on Thursday.

Putin also criticized the publication of blasphemous sketches of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in French magazine Charlie Hebdo last September, saying that such acts give rise to extremist reprisals.

“Praising artistic freedom in general has its limits and it shouldn’t infringe on other freedoms,” the Russian president said.

He said Russia has evolved as a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional state, so Russians are used to respecting each other’s traditions.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a twitter post, welcomed Putin’s statement, saying, “Putin’s statement reaffirmed my stance that insulting our Holy Prophet (PBUH) is not freedom of expression.”

I welcome President Putin's statement which reaffirms my message that insulting our Holy Prophet PBUH is not " freedom of expression". We Muslims, esp Muslim leaders, must spread this message to leaders of the non-Muslim world to counter Islamophobia. https://t.co/JUKKvRYBSx

— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) December 24, 2021

The premier urged leaders of the Muslim countries to spread this message to heads of non-Muslim nations to counter Islamophobia.

He also called on the Western world to respect sentiments of the Muslim communities while practicing "freedom of expression" for the past many years.

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