Sorry not enough, PAS tells The Star

PAS information chief also tells English daily not to behave like ‘anti-Islam’ DAP which he claims tends to exploit issues.

(FMT) – Islamist party PAS says The Star’s apology for Saturday’s front page featuring a headline on terrorism above a picture of Muslims praying isn’t enough.

The party also said the authorities must take the matter seriously.

In a statement, PAS information chief Nasrudin Hassan Tantawi said The Star’s front page was “extreme and rude”.

He compared it to Chinese daily Nanyang Siang Pau, which caused a stir in April with a cartoon satirising PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.

“Before this, Nanyang Siang Pau mocked the PAS president with a caricature of a monkey wearing a turban. This sparked anger among Malaysians who should be living in peace and harmony.”

Nasrudin said The Star had failed to learn from the Nanyang Siang Pau episode and had repeated the same mistake.

“It seems (they) are more brave and daring. An apology after repeated incidences is another mockery.”

Nasrudin said the government must be firm in this matter and not allow Islam to be mocked and Muslims to be provoked over and over again.

“How long more will the patience of Muslims be tested like this? The patience of Muslims continues to be challenged. They provoke to disrupt peace and harmony. Then they make Muslims out to be black sheep.

“The question is, why are they becoming more brave? Either they are becoming more arrogant because of their economic and political support, or Muslims are weak because we are divided,” he said, adding however that this “bravery” in mocking Muslims would backfire someday.

He called on all parties to stop testing the patience of Muslims and urged the media to be mindful of racial and religious sensitivities.

“We don’t want The Star to adopt the same attitude as the anti-Islam DAP, which exploits issues, because we are confident many non-Muslims don’t agree with such an attitude.”

This isn’t the first time The Star has gotten into hot water during Ramadan. In 2011, social media users slammed the daily for publishing three pork-centred advertisements in one publication during the month of Ramadan.

The Star’s apology yesterday came after politicians from both the ruling and opposition parties criticised its front page headline and picture.

The home ministry has said it will summon The Star’s editor-in-chief over the matter.