On March 18, 2013, 23:07
The orthodox sect expert Alexander Dvorkin who is the head of advisory council at the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation where he examines materials on existence of religious extremism and intolerance, recently gave students in Arkhangelsk an open lecture on history of Islam where he made offensive statements about Muslim doctrine and the prophet Mohammed. Video of this lecture was published on the website of the local diocese, as mentioned in Alexander Stepanov’s blog on “Ekho Moskvy”.
According to the author, this speech deserves special attention for several reasons. “First, the lecturer has no special education on the declared subject. Dvorkin was never engaged in a serious study of Islam and has no scientific works on this subject. He is often mentioned as a large expert in the field of sects study, and the bulk of his speeches is devoted either to the very sects or some topics of the history of the Orthodox church, on which he really has some education. Therefore his interest in the history of Islam looks more than strange”, – the author writes.
The second important point is Dvorkin’s post. “Dvorkin is the chairman of the Advisory council on religion examination at the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation. I.e. he is almost the first person whose opinion determines legal status of one or another religion in our country. So this first public lecture of the sect expert Dvorkin about Islam can serve as “sign” for all Muslim community”, – Stepanov claims.
“The main idea of that lecture consisted in – according to the lecturer – considerable perversions of real events in the official history of Islam, brought in the Writing knowingly. Dvorkin provides certain proofs, in particular, such statements that prophet Mohammed wasn’t illiterate as it is usually believed, that Mecca – the sacred city of Muslims – doesn’t correspond to the real geographical position described in the Koran (43:40) that many Muslim customs are actually customs of other religions and borrowed for specific goals (1:04:00). Concerning presence of Muslims in Jerusalem, Dvorkin quotes, allegedly, the western bishop Arculf that “they put some shed on the Temple mountain, which they name the prayer house and whose appearance is ridiculous because it is half… just about to collapse, awfully ugly” (57:30), etc. As a whole the lecture is given by Dvorkin in the spirit of epic exposure”, – said in the publication.
Finally the expert of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation brings listeners to a number of conclusions. In particular it was the conclusion that “Islam was an artificial religion which was created simply for joining the territories conquered by Arabs and is a mix of provisions of Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrism. Dvorkin triumphally declares this conclusion closer to the end of his narration. In completion of the lecture of A.L.Dvorkin points also to the source of his “discoveries” – the British writer of the horrors genre Tom Holland, the author of the scandalous movie “Islam: unrelated history” received a huge number of negative responses in the Islamic world and undergone to sharp criticism from Islam experts for unauthenticity of the statement. In reply to release of this movie, the Islamic educational and research academy (iERA) even issued a special press-release where historical inaccuracies of Holland’s work are stated in nine detailed points. It is unlikely that Dvorkin didn’t know of such “success” of the popular scientific works of Holland. Nevertheless the sect expert gives his disputable interpretation of Islam, moreover with own venomous comments, opposing it to the Christianity whose sacred book – the Bible – was, according to him, contrary to the Koran, verified, and whose historical reliability is undoubtful (1:06:30)”, – the author writes.
Also he summarizes: “To remember the recent uncompromising rebuke Dvorkin made to the orthodox missionary Stenyaev when he tried to make something similar to dialogue with Muslims, and also considering that Dvorkin is the vanguard figure of the Russian Orthodox Church in fight against other religious organizations, this first public Dvorkin’s lecture about Islam hardly can be casual and, most likely, doesn’t promise anything good to Muslims of our country.”
That fact that such an analysis of “strangenesses of the sect expert of the Ministry of Justice” appeared on the quite liberal and secular radio station “Ekho Moskvy”, certainly pleases. But the circumstance that the analysis of Islam by Dvorkin comes from the person holding rather powerful post, depresses. Thus tone of statements of the speaker testifies that the sect expert obviously confused one of four largest faiths of Russia with sect.
According to the mufti of Moscow and the Central region “Moscow Muftiyat”, the member of the Civic chamber of the Russian Federation Albir Krganov, Dvorkin’s speech practically coincided with the discussion in the State Duma on protection of feelings of believers. “Today we in the State Duma just discussed the bill of protection of feelings of believers which is being prepared now for the second reading, – the interlocutor of agency reported. – Two special committees organized a round table with participation of experts and representatives of different faiths, spoke about the mechanisms preventing play upon feelings of believers, avoiding various escalations.”
In this context the lecture of the “sect expert” is looking especially strange. “This expert (Dvorkin – IN comment) has no official position in the Russian Orthodox Church. He is the chairman of the Advisory council on religion examination at the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation, but this person has no status in the Russian Orthodox Church. Nevertheless it is certainly inadmissible for the person who makes examinations at such level, to tell so carelessly, offensively about the Prophet, our sacred book, and believing people. It is simply wrong”, – Albir Krganov emphasized.
Secondly, he added, “if the person is so confident in the knowledge of Islam, he can discuss these questions at the academic level”. “We have today our Muslim scientists in the country, Islam experts, imams, muftis who can discuss with him these questions at the academic level if he has serious, sound arguments in favor of his point of view, but it is unlikely”, – was emphasized by the interlocutor of IN.
And, thirdly, he advised Muslims to address for explanations concerning Dvorkin’s “lecture” to the Ministry of Justice. “We by no means can give in to a provocation of this sort, though someone want it. It is necessary to analyze this speech according to the law. I think that the Muslim organizations can address concerning this incident to the very Ministry of Justice where there is the given advisory council headed by Dvorkin in order that the Minister of Justice give his assessment to the statements of the chairman of the board“, – the mufti summed up.