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February 04, 2006 14:23 PM  

M'sia Expresses Regret Over Publication Of Prophet's Caricatures

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 4 (Bernama) -- Malaysia Saturday expressed its deepest regret over the publication of caricatures of Prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper, which has touched off fury across the Islamic world.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said in a statement: "This deplorable act is a blatant disregard for Islamic sensitivities over the use of such images, which are particularly insulting to and forbidden by Islam."

He noted that it was even more regrettable that newspapers and journals in some other countries such as Norway, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Spain had seen it fit to reproduce the Danish newspaper's offending caricatures despite worldwide protests against the publication of those images.

"This is a deliberate act of provocation. They should cease and desist from doing so," said Abdullah, who is chairman of the Organisation of Islamic Organisation (OIC).

The Prime Minister, however, called upon Malaysians to remain calm and rational.

"Let the perpetrators of the insult see the gravity of their own mistakes which only they themselves can and should correct," he said.

Twelve caricatures depicting the prophet, first published by the Jyllands-Posten daily in Denmark in September last year and then reprinted in newspapers in the other countries, have sparked anger and sadness among millions of Muslims throughout the world.

Muslims have protested on the streets of capitals across the world. Yesterday, more than 150 people stormed a high-rise building housing the Embassy of Denmark in Jakarta, and tore down and burned the country's flag.

Pakistan's parliament yesterday passed a resolution condemning the drawings as "blasphemous and derogatory" while Danish products are being boycotted in West Asia.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in New York yesterday that freedom of the press should not be an excuse for insulting religions, and expressed concern over the controversy.

Meanwhile, in KOTA BAHARU, the Malaysian Indian Muslims Congress (Kimma) today called on the Jyllands-Posten daily in Denmark to apologise to Islamic countries for having published the caricatures.

Its national president, Amir Amsaa Alla Pitchay, said in a statement faxed to the Bernama bureau there that the caricatures were published with evil intention and disregard for the sensitivities of Muslims.


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