MOSCOW: A Moscow court on Monday banned as "extremist" a US-made anti-Islamic film that fed deadly protests across the Arab world but whose showing was backed by human rights supporters in Russia.I don't like this last paragraph, that seems to try to compare Innocence of Muslims, which is just a film that says things, mostly taken from the official biography of Muhammad, that Muslims don't like to hear, so violates no law and is a simple exercise of freedom of expression, with the Pussy Riot hooligans who did violate the law by trespassing into a cathedral and then, by "bravely" denying having been in the church, deprived themselves of the possibility of receiving a lenient sentence through apologizing for their act.
Moscow's Tverskoi District judge sided with prosecution arguments presented in court that the low-budget "Innocence of Muslims" production "promoted the rise of religious intolerance in Russia."
"The prosecution's motion has been satisfied," a court spokeswoman told AFP by telephone.
But liberal activists and some officials urged the authorities to back free expression and not use the controversy to further a clamp down on rights under Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russia's human rights ombudsman testified at the hearing Monday that he was against the film's prohibition while a group of artists and liberal media personalities urged Putin not to be swayed by the global militant attacks on US targets.
"The darkest forces of global terrorism are trying to scare our civilisation and force us to accept their will," reads the open letter to Putin.
"Ban neither this film nor any other works of art that disturb religious extremists," it urged. (AFP)
"Religious extremists" is also a misleading expression, intended to muddy the waters regarding the vast difference between Islam and Christianity.
Christians don't like "works of art" like "Piss Christ" or the Venice Film Festival's Special-Jury-Prize winner Paradise: Faith or the painting of the Virgin Mary in elephant dung of a few years back, but by and large they accept freedom of speech.
Muslims, like communists, fascists and all totalitarians, are deadly enemies of free speech.