Mar 1, 2007
From RFE/RL: A spokesman for Russia's Jewish Communities Federation (FEOR) said on February 28 that it condemns recent remarks by Council of Muftis ofRussia co-Chairman Nafigulla Ashirov, who called Israel a "malignant tumor," mosnews.com reported. Ashirov reportedly made that statement at an unspecified rally to protest Israeli excavation works near Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque, which triggered massive criticism throughout much of the Muslim world. The FEOR spokesman told Interfax on February 28 that comments such as Ashirov's are "absolutely unacceptable, because they go entirely against the human truth, including the Muslim truth, and because religious leaders bear double responsibility for the words spoken.... Instigating conflicts and wars is at absolute variance with a cleric's mission. Hopefully, the leaders of the country's Muslim communities will not leave such statements without a commentary and will distance themselves from them."