I don’t remember Russia’s stance during the Motoon crisis, but in the latest controversy over Prophet-insulting art in the Netherlands, Moscow is definitively opposing any blasphemous depictions of Mohammed.
The brief Interfax news article below doesn’t specify what the offensive art is, but I assume it refers to the photographs by Sooreh Hera, which are currently on display in Gouda. Ms. Hera is an Iranian expatriate who has created a series of photos of homosexual men wearing masks that depict the face of Mohammed. Her purpose is explicitly political, and is aimed at the despotic regimes in Iran and other parts of the Muslim world. According to Sugiero:
Our new brave woman, Iranian born artist Sooreh Hera, is decided to expose the hypocrisy regarding homosexuality and Islam. She says it is frequent that married muslim men have sexual relations with other men (she mentions specifically Iran and Saudi Arabia).
If you check out her pictures you’ll see that homosexuality is a major part of her work.
When she invited two Iranian men to pose they asked to wear a mask in order not to be recognized. The masks she chose were the ones you see in the pictures below: Muhammed and his son-in-law Ali.
Needless to say, the Muslim world is outraged. But now it seems that Russia is also weighing in on behalf of the Prophet. According to Interfax:
Moscow Alarmed by Exhibition of Prophet Muhammad Pictures in Netherlands
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Moscow, November 1, Interfax — Moscow is alarmed by an exhibition in the Dutch city of Gouda displaying what is sees as provocative pictures of the Prophet Muhammad and his followers.
“Russia harshly condemns this action and calls on all parties to refrain from steps that could complicate inter-civilizational accord,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its official website.
“In fact, this is a further attempt at a cartoon scandal, which has already blackened relations between the West and the Islamic world,” it said.
Hat tip: TB.