Putin: insults to the feelings of believers must be responded to, but not aggressively

17 December 2020


Mindless insults to the feelings of believers should always receive a backlash, but not an aggressive response, says Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Where another person's freedom begins, your freedom ends. This is a postulate, a common one, and those who act thoughtlessly, insulting the rights of believers, their feelings, they should always remember that this will have some kind of backlash," the head of state said on Thursday at his annual big press conference. On the other hand, he said, this backlash "should not be aggressive."

The president reminded that there was no hint of aggression in all world religions. He emphasized that the reaction to the trampling of someone's rights, including the feelings of believers, should not be aimed at the deprivation of human life, because this, in principle, contradicts the very spirit of any world religion. "God gave life and only God can take it away. That's what no one should forget," Putin said.

On multiculturalism

Putin said that the European project of multiculturalism had failed, while in Russia this format had developed on its own. "This project of multiculturalism suffered a fiasco, a collapse, of which many who called for this project and its implementation were forced to admit. But we have had it all by ourselves for centuries, and we treasure it very much," Putin said.

The President noted that in some European countries, members of Islam make up about 10 percent of the population. And they are usually immigrants, sometimes already in their second or third generation. In Russia, however, representatives of different confessions live in their own country, they have no other homeland. "This is a very important distinguishing feature of how interfaith relations have developed in our country and are still developing in, say, European countries," said the Russian leader.

On insults to members of different confessions in the RF

According to him, no one in Russia allows insulting outbursts against representatives of different confessions, it can destroy the country.

"The culture of relations between representatives of different religions, not only between religions but also between atheists, was developed in our country over centuries, thank God, so no one tolerates such offensive slurs against the representatives of any confession," Putin said. He expressed hope that this would never happen. "Because it would destroy our country from within. We can't afford it," Putin said.

Putin reminded that Russia was originally formed as a multi-confessional state. Therefore, a certain culture of relations between representatives of different religions and ethnic groups has developed. "This is an extremely important heritage inherited from our ancestors and handed down to us by previous generations," the president added. He also recalled a number of black pages in the country's history, such as the deportation of peoples after the Great Patriotic War. "This is such a hot topic, we try not to talk about it too much, but nevertheless it happened in our history," he reminded, noting that he does not intend to give any evaluation to what happened. Nevertheless, he pointed out that the ethnic representatives of the Soviet Union often greeted the invaders with bread and salt. "Were there no such people? There were traitors everywhere! And at the same time, there were people who heroically fought for the interests of their homeland to the last breath, to the last drop of blood, including representatives of those peoples who were repressed, by the way," he said.

At the same time, Putin stressed that there were no repressions based on religious affiliation in the country. "The Soviet government did repress the priests, but they affected all the priests, there was no selective persecution for a particular religion. This was never the case in our country. This is an extremely important thing," he said.


GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: official website of the President of the Russian Federation

Based on materials from TASS