> Russia rejects HARRY POTTER BAN
> Russian school pupils will continue to be able to read about Harry
> Potter's adventures, after an attempt to have the books banned was
> rejected. A Slavic cultural organisation had alleged that the stories
> about magic and wizard could draw students into Satanism. But on
> Tuesday the prosecutor's office in Moscow, which had investigated the
> claim, said that it would not be taking forward the allegations.
> A spokesperson for the prosecutor's office said that it had considered
> a claim that the Harry Potter stories instilled "religious extremism
> and prompted students to join religious organisations of Satanist
> followers". But that "the probe revealed that there were no grounds
> for a criminal case". JK Rowling's novels have become popular in
> Russia, as they have in many countries around the world.
> The books, best-sellers in the United Kingdom and the United States,
> have already faced claims that they could trigger an interest in the
> occult. In 2000, a primary head teacher in Kent banned the books from
> her Church of England school because of the representation of wizards
> and magic. And in 2001, a teachers' union leader, Peter Smith, warned
> parents that the books could prompt "dabbling" in the occult.
> "There is a darker side to the occult which may disturb vulnerable
> children and expose them to manipulation by adults," said Mr Smith,
> general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers. But
> the author, JK Rowling, has always argued that stories have a clear
> moral message.
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