October 2, 2012 (TurtleBay) - Yet another confirmation for the deplorable confusion of mind of certain EU politicians: the Russian punk band “Pussy Riot”, whose three female musicians were sentenced to two years in prison after staging an obscene protest in a Moscow cathedral, are among the candidates for the European Parliament’s annual Sakharov Peace Prize.

Pussy Riot was nominated by German MEP Werner Schulz (Greens/EFA), who gathered the signatures of 45 other MEPs for this proposal. Candidates for the prize can be nominated either by a political group or by a minimum of 40 MEPs.

The lack of judgment shown by the proponents is truly breathtaking. One may of course opine, as many Europeans do, that two years in prison is too harsh a sanction for the tasteless stunt, and that the sentence should be reviewed. But since when is it worthy of a prize - nota bene, for a peace prize - to force one’s way into a religious building in order to perform an obscene protest in which, be it under the pretext of a political motive, the faith of the religious community is derided and insulted.

It has apparently escaped the attention of many in the west that with their performances in which they mock religion (oftentimes without any “political” context) and glorify sexual debauchery, “Pussy Riot” (nomen est omen) are not an innocent music band, but have rather much in common with the radical left of the late nineteen-sixties, who called themselves “artists”, and their terrorist acts “art performances”.

The Cathedral of the Divine Saviour, which was desecrated by their action, was the main cathedral of Moscow before it was demolished by the Bolsheviks in 1921. Stalin planned to erect the tallest building of the world on the site, but the megalomaniac plan was not realized and instead the unfinished foundation was converted into an outdoor swimming pool. After 1990 the building was re-erected with donations from Christians from all over Russia, and thus must be considered a symbol for the resilience of the Russian Church, which has survived 70 years of brutal persecution.

Are the left and green Members of the European Parliament really unaware of this historic background? Do they really know whom they are publicly supporting? Or is this precisely the message they want to pass: that they sympathize with the desecration of churches? Would they show equal sympathy for the desecration of a synagogue or a mosque? Would they find it worthy of a peace prize if someone staged a similar performance on the grounds of Auschwitz?

With the nomination of “Pussy Riot” for the Sakharov Prize, the European political left has once again exposed its complete, thorough, and irremediable ignorance of human rights, its hatred of religion, and its sympathy for violence. It has exposed the Sakharov Peace Prize, and the memory of Andrey Sakharov, to ridicule and contempt (who will ever accept such a prize, if “Pussy Riot” has been seriously considered for it? That is not the society any decent human rights activist will to be seen in…), and has completely undermined the EU’s efforts to promote civil rights and democracy in Russia.

Indeed, the overwhelming majority of Russians, supporters and opponents of the Putin administration alike, have no sympathy at all for the punk group and do not believe in the narrative: “evil dictator persecutes innocent girls”. If “Pussy Riot” is turned into a symbol for what the West understands by “human rights” and “democracy”, then it must be expected that a majority of Russians will want neither.

Reprinted with permission from Turtle Bay and Beyond.