Anti-Islam film declared illegal by Russian provincial court

MOSCOW: A court in Russia's region of Chechnya has banned the anti-Islamic film that sparked deadly protests across the Muslim world, a ruling that in theory should be observed across Russia.

The U.S.-produced "Innocence of Muslims," a film about the life of the Prophet Mohammad, has led to massive demonstrations across the Muslim world although so far there have been no major demonstrations in Russia which is home to millions of Muslims.

A court in the Chechen capital Grozny declared the film extremist in response to a request from the regional ministry for national policies, media and information to ban the controversial film, a ministry official told AFP.

Chechnya, in the Northern Caucasus, is predominantly Muslim and the role of Islam in daily life has become more prominent under the rule of strongman local leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

The ruling was delivered Thursday. According to Russian legislation, the ruling of a local court will have to be enforced across the entire country.

"This is a ruling of the court that will have to be observed across Russia," said Ruslan Idrisov, an aide to the minister, adding that Russian media will be banned from distributing the online film.

However federal officials have yet to explain how or if such a ban will be imposed across the country's Internet.





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