MOSCOW – Russian police has launched an investigation into a YouTube video showing Russian men burning the Qur’an and humiliating an injured young man on the subway, UPI news agency reported on Saturday, January 11.
The video, uploaded Jan. 5, shows five men with their faces obscured burning a Russian-translated version of the Muslim holy book with lighters.
The video then cuts to a man who appears of central Asian origin with a bruised and swollen face who is made to repeat the phrase "I renounce Allah" several times, the Moscow News reported Thursday.
Though no faces were visible, the video claims that the men are fans of prominent Moscow football club CSKA, known, like many other Russian teams, for its contingent of ultra-rightwing supporters.
The video was uploaded under the name Oleg Makarov. Social media accounts under the same name show a far-right Moscow native and soccer fan who rails against Islam.
A Moscow Police spokesman announced that a criminal investigation team was set up on Thursday to find the people responsible for the video.
Yet, he did not say which charges the perpetrators face.
The video comes with subtitles linking the Quran burning to the string of suicide bombings in the southern city of Volgograd.
Volgograd city, serving as a gateway to the southern wedge of Russian territory bounded by the Black and Caspian Seas and the Caucasus mountains, came under attack last December after two bombings ripped through the city’s main rail station and a bus.
Volgograd was also the scene of an attack in October, when a woman from Dagestan killed seven people in a suicide bus blast.
Condemning the attacks, the Council of Muftis of Russia and the charity foundation Zakyat have announced that Muslims will donate their blood and money to the victims of the terrorist attacks in Volgograd.
Islam is Russia's second-largest religion representing roughly 15 percent of its 145 million predominantly Orthodox population.
The Russian Federation is home to some 23 million Muslims in the north of the Caucasus and southern republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan.
Muslims consider the Koran the literal word of God and treat each book with deep reverence.
Desecration is considered one of the worst forms of blasphemy and there could be further trouble on Friday when the weekly prayers are held.
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