Russia: Respect for religious beliefs is an obligation, not an option
(MENAFN- Hip Hop-24) Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova criticized, on Tuesday, the comments of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on the incident of burning a copy of the Holy Quran in the Swedish capital, Stockholm.
Zakharova said on Telegram that respecting people''s religious opinions and beliefs was "a duty, not an option".
She noted that her remarks amounted to criticism of Stoltenberg for considering burning a copy of the Qur''an merely "an indecent and illegal act."
The Russian spokeswoman cited several international documents that oblige the signatory countries to address acts of intolerance and discrimination.
She added, "These documents expressly state that the right to freedom of expression does not mean the right to make critical statements, or even to disparage any religion or religious practice."
She also stressed that the West is "simply obligated to respect the right of hundreds of millions of people to their sacred beliefs".
On Saturday, the leader of the Danish far-right "hard line" party, Rasmus Paludan, burned a copy of the Holy Qur''an near the Turkish embassy in Stockholm, amid tight police protection, which prevented anyone from approaching him while he was committing a provocative act.
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