Putin: Insulting Prophet Muhammad is not freedom of expression

Russian President Putin during his annual press conference, expressed the importance of artistic freedom without hindrance to religious freedom.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said insulting Prophet Muhammad does not count as freedom of expression.

Insults to the prophet are a “violation of religious freedom and the violation of the sacred feelings of people who profess Islam,”, Putin said on Thursday during his annual news conference, Russian News Agency TASS reported. 

KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Putin also criticised posting photos of Nazis on websites such as the one titled the Immortal Regiment dedicated to Russians that died in World War Two.

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 should not infringe on other freedoms.

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, Putin said.

The Russian president, according to the publication, said his country has “evolved as a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional state”, adding that its people “are used to respecting each other’s traditions”.

Such respect is not found in the same measure in some other countries, Putin remarked.

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