Interfax: Making people choose between terror, blasphemy wrong – Russian church official

Archpriest Vsevolad Chaplin file photo

(Interfax – January 14, 2015) Forcing people to choose between terrorism and blasphemy is dangerous, public relations chief of the Russian Orthodox Church Vsevolod Chaplin has said. He was speaking on the Russian Orthodox Church TV channel Spas on 14 January, as reported by Russian privately-owned news agency Interfax.

A week after the deadly attacks in Paris, today the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published a new edition, with a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad on its cover.

“One should combat terror, terror should not be justified. However, this does not mean that one should identify oneself with provocative blasphemy and sacrilege or insults to this or that person which was the case in the notorious cartoons (of the French satirical Charlie Hebdo),” Chaplin said, speaking on the “Eternity and Time” programme.

When there was an attempt to bring everyone to identify themselves “with those rather unfortunate, to put it mildly, cartoons that were and probably will be published in the famous magazine, a certain political campaign was launched, an attempt to ask people a question: ‘Which do you support: terrorists or authors of infamous cartoons?'”, Chaplin said.

This is a false choice, “one cannot make a person face a thorny dilemma: either you support terrorists as well as the whole world evil or you support this magazine”, Chaplin added.

Attempts are being made to impose – and in a tough manner at that – the supremacy of the value of freedom of speech and creative work over “everything else: over morality, over believers’ feelings, over civil society and the future of society”, Chaplin said.

“I support a peaceful world, a world without pseudo-Islamic or any other terror and at the same time a world without provocative blasphemy. Absence of either of them is an important condition for the world to be peaceful,” he said.

[featured image is file photo]