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Russia's Chief Mufti Slams Controversial Book

Ravil Gainutdin (file photo) (RFE/RL) Prague, 2 December 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The head of the Russian Council of Muftis has threatened to withdraw from the Russian Inter-Faith Council.

The chief mufti, Ravil Gainutdin, said on 1 December that he would pull out from the council unless it condemns a recently published book that allegedly contains slanderous remarks about the country's Muslim leaders.

The ultimatum is contained in a statement posted on the website of the Russian Council of Muftis.

In the statement, Gainutdin claims the book -- called "A New History Of Russia's Muslim Community" -- "contravenes all elementary principles of ethics and morality."

The author of the book is Roman Silantev, the executive secretary of the Inter-Faith Council and a member of the Moscow Patriarchate. Silantev has said his book focuses on the "positive side" of Islam in Russia.

The Inter-Faith Council was set up in 1998 to promote dialogue among the Russia's Orthodox Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, and Jews.

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