Insulting Prophet Mohammed is not freedom of expression, says Russia’s Putin

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Moscow – Russian President Vladimir Putin said insulting Islam’s Prophet Mohammed is not counted as freedom of expression, Russian News Agency TASS reported on Thursday.

69-year-old President said during his annual news conference that, “Insults to the prophet are a violation of religious freedom and the violation of the sacred feelings of people who profess Islam”.

He emphasized the fact that such acts help extremists with justifications. He cited the example of attack on the editorial office of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris after its publication of cartoons of the prophet.

Putin praised artistic freedom in general, but he said that it has limits and it should not violate other freedoms.

He highlighted that Russia has evolved as a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional state, which is used to respecting each other’s traditions.

On November 24, Saudi Arabia hosted Russia-Islamic World in Jeddah, which was held under the theme “Dialogue and Prospects for Cooperation”.

It included a broad participation of officials and scholars, and intellectuals from the Russian Federation and Islamic countries to discuss common issues and enhance cooperation in addressing the existing challenges.

Muslim leaders and religious figures welcomed Putin’s recent comments on mutual respect and coexistence.