Suicide bombers Asif Hanif and Omar Khan Sharif pose with the Qur’an
What’s in the Dag Bag? Not the Qur’an: Dagestan has banned the Russian version of the book of peace. There was a similar initiative to ban the Qur’an in Calcutta in the 1960s, on the grounds that it was an incitement to violence. The great Indian scholar Sita Ram Goel wrote a classic book about it, The Calcutta Quran Petition.
From IslamOnline, with thanks to Mentat:
DAGESTAN, May 17 (IslamOnline.net) – The religious administration of the Muslims of Dagestan, a republic of the Russian Federation, has decided to ban circulation of the Russian versions of the holy Qur’an as well as a number of Islamic books published in Russian, under the pretext of “fighting terrorist and fanatic ideas” these books are alleged to promote.
In a statement, a copy of which was obtained by IslamOnline.net Sunday May 16, the religious administration of the Muslims in Dagestan said that it has decided to ban all Russian versions of the holy Qur’an and books of prophetic Sunna (Tradition) as well as some Islamic books that are available in different parts of the Russian Federation .
It is worth noting that versions of the Qur’an have only been previously banned in Dagestan during the Communist regime in Russia between 1923 and 1991.
In its statement published also in al-Salam monthly newspaper, the religious administration reiterated that the decision was due to its keenness on “fighting terrorist and fanatic ideas,” in reference to the Wahabbi beliefs adopted by several Islamic schools and movements in Dagestan.
Dagestan Wahabbis call for setting up an Islamic State. They are supporters of Chechen fighters in the war currently underway against the Russian troops.
According to a 2002 report made by the research center of the governmental Dagestan University, Wahabbi followers in Dagestan represent 3% of the total Muslim population, who, in turn, represent 84% of the two-million total population of Dagestan.
Wahabbi movements appeared in Dagestan between 1980-1985. The “United Islamic Socialist Party,” led by Ahmed Qadhi Ahtayev is one of the greatest Wahabbi movements and it has several offices in south Dagestan .
The number of religious schools teaching Wahabbi ideas are 14, including two in the Dagestani capital “Makhg el-Qalaa.”
UPDATE: Some people have commented well here on the fact that only the Russian version was banned. I respectfully disagree that this is a move toward Wahhabism, although that may indeed turn out to be the case. I tend to think that restriction of Russian editions in a place like Dagestan will only decrease ready understanding of the text “” and rapid dissemination of the text’s message. Few Muslims there can be as fluent in Arabic as they would be in a place where they speak it every day “” although modern spoken Arabic differs considerably from Qur’anic Arabic in any case. Still and all, although time will tell about this measure, it is absolutely correct that it isn’t enough if its intention is to cut off violent fanaticism at its roots.