Mukhammedgali Khuzin, the head of the executive committee of the All-Russian Muslim Board, has spoken against leniency for the members of the feminist punk group Pussy Riot, who are awaiting sentencing this week.

"Our religion does not allow lenient or good treatment of people who deliberately desecrate holy places," Khuzin told Interfax-Religion on Monday.

Last week, the prosecutor asked Moscow's Khamovnichesky Court to sentence the Pussy Riot activists, who are charged with hooliganism, to three years in prison. Soon after that, Nail Mustafin, imam of the Vologda mosque Al-Juma, which reports to the Russian Council of Muftis, told reporters the women would have been released if they had conducted a similar "punk prayer" in a mosque. The imam cited Prophet Muhammad's ordinance to support his contention.

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