Governments and citizens of Muslim countries throughout the world have voiced condemnation of the anti-Quran film made by Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders. In Indonesia, President Susilo Bambang said Wilders would be barred from entering the archipelago of islands that make up the country. In Pakistan, several thousand took to the streets of Karachi to protest against both the release of the film and the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad reprinted in Denmark. Iran’s parliament speaker called on Muslim nations to boycott Dutch products in response to the film, asking Muslims to avoid buying products made in those countries which allow themselves to insult Islam. In Jordan, a group of lawmakers demanded that the government sever its ties with the Netherlands. In Malaysia, as in many countries, Muslims protested outside the Dutch Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, shouting Long live Islam and Crush the Netherlands. The ambassadors of 26 Islamic countries want the Netherlands to investigate whether the film can be banned. The meeting at the ministry in the Hague was attended by ambassadors of countries including Indonesia, Iran, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
By Lane Lambert QUINCY – There he was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at a lavish reception marking the nation’s 50th anniversary of independence. Britain’s Prince Andrew was seated to his right, Australia’s ambassador to his left, and Brunei’s foreign minister across the table. ”And they were asking me about Muslims in America,” said Imam Talal Eid, recalling the event a month later. The 56-year-old Lebanon native and Quincy resident is fielding such questions more often than ever these days, in farther-flung places. Four months after he became the first Muslim cleric appointed to the high-profile U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, he is traveling the globe acting as something of a U.S. ambassador to the Islamic world.
Kuala Lumpur — Malaysia will suspend the publishing licence of a daily newspaper after it printed the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that have enraged Muslims worldwide, news agency Bernama reported yesterday. Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi ordered the licence of the publisher of the Sarawak Tribune to be suspended indefinitely with immediate effect. The publisher was not immediately available for comment. The paper ran the caricatures last weekend to illustrate a story on its inside pages about the global fury in what it called an “oversight” by a non-Muslim night editor. The incident embarrassed the mainly Muslim country’s government, which is headed by an Islamic scholar who chairs the world’s largest grouping of Islamic nations, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. “Cabinet members…unanimously agreed with Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that the reproduction of the offensive cartoons was a serious offence which demanded stern action from the government,” the New Straits Times newspaper said. The suspension is pending the outcome of an investigation by the Internal Security Ministry, the newspaper said. Tens of thousands of Muslims have demonstrated in the Middle East, Asia and Africa over the cartoons, first published in Denmark, then other countries in Europe and elsewhere. One caricature showed the Prophet Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban. Many Muslims consider any portrayal of their Prophet as blasphemous, let alone one showing him as a terrorist. The Sarawak Tribune is published in the eastern state of Sarawak on the jungle-clad island of Borneo. It is one of the few Malaysian states where Muslims are in a minority.