Russian deputy prosecutor proposes penalties for professing Wahhabism

MOSCOW (AP) — A deputy Russian prosecutor-general on Monday proposed jailing anyone who professes the Wahhabi form of Islam, the Interfax news agency reported.

Islam / Islamism

Islamism is a totalitarian ideology adhered to by Muslim extremists (e.g. the Taliban, Hamas and Osama bin Laden). It is considered to be a distortion of Islam. Many Islamists engage in terrorism in pursuit of their goals.

Adherents of Islam are called “Muslims.” The term “Arab” describes an ethnic or cultural identity. Not all Arabs are Muslims, and not all Muslims are Arabs. The terms are not interchangeable.

Wahhabism is the austere Islamic sect dominant in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, whose adherents include Osaka bin Laden. Russian officials also claim Chechen rebels are inspired by Wahhabism.

“I think such criminal liability should be documented in the Criminal Code. It would be wise to require 12 months in prison for this as a preventive measure and the maximum punishment for those who refuse to step on the path of reformation,” deputy prosecutor general Vladimir Kolesnikov was quoted as telling journalists.

“Kids are zombied, then they start studying the jihad, then they take up arms and become criminals,” he said, according to Interfax.

Kolsenikov was quoted as saying that he has discussed such a measure with members of the security committee in the Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament.

But Chairman of the Duma’s Legislation Committee Pavel Krasheninnikov said that “proposing that people be thrown behind prison bars for their convictions is utter rubbish,” Interfax said.

Islam is one of the four “traditional” faiths recognized by Russia’s religion laws, along with Judaism, Buddhism and Orthodox Christianity.

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Associated Press, USA
Apr. 12, 2004

Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday April 13, 2004.
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