End the siege on religions, urges NGO

(The Star) – The unrelenting siege on all religions and their prophets must cease, said a Muslim non-governmental organisation.

Society must also be courageous to condemn abominations against theism, said the Muslim Professionals Forum yesterday.

In issuing its statement over the controversial film Innocence of Muslims and the subsequent violent protests across the Muslim world, the organisation said that “the perpetrators have guised behind the cloak of freedom of speech while claiming to be works of literature or the arts”.

The beliefs of Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism have similarly not been spared.

“Specific individuals and interest groups are unashamedly abusing our noble values of freedom of speech and expression to tarnish the image of authentic religions, demonising it and demeaning their prophets with trails of untruths and unfounded claims,” said the organisation’s board of directors.

The Muslim Professionals Forum also labelled the irrational and emotional reactions by some Muslims and the violence unleashed with its consequent deaths, injuries and damages to property as “most un-Islamic” and “distant from the Islamic teachings of peace, justice and fair-play”.

“Governments, civil society, religious leaders and icons in the literary and film industry must be courageous to condemn and prohibit the publication and showing of films and literary works of a similar nature.”

Umno had also condemned the production and airing of the movie as well as the caricatures of Prophet Muhammad in bad light in a French magazine.

“Fellow Muslims need to understand that Islam doesn’t need us to defend it; it only needs us to represent it faithfully and authentically.”