29 March 2008

Mahathir calls on Muslims worldwide to boycott Dutch products

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad called upon Muslims worldwide to boycott Dutch products in protest of a film released Monday on the Internet which criticised Islam’s holy book, the Quran.

He said such a boycottt could result in The Netherlands having to “close shop”, as Muslims made up the wealthiest portion of the world’s population and were also the biggest importers.

However, in order to be effective, all 1.3 billion Muslims in the world must unite in the boycott and put the interest of Islam and Muslims over that of individual needs.

“We must not be afraid of losing trade with them. If we do, then we won’t be thinking as Muslims, but more for our own self intersts,” he told reporters after opening the Malaysian Islamic Welfare Organisation’s (Perkim) 46th annual general meeting at a hotel here, today.

Dr Mahathir was referring to Fitna, a 15-minute film posted on a website on Thursday that highly criticised Islam, setting verses of the Quran against a background of violent images from terrorist attacks.

Dutch legislator Geert Wilders created the film, which also shows statements from radical clerics and cited verses from the Quran interspersed with images of the Sept 11 attack on the United States, the 2004 commuter train bombings in Spain and the murder later that year of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh on an Amsterdam street.

Earlier, Dr Mahathir had said the film was a result of misconceptions about Islam and there was also a “critical motive behind it”.

“They will continue to do this until we show to them Islam is a good religion, that we are not violent people, that we don’t tell lies to people...but this must be shown in practice by the Muslim community,” he said.

On the home front, Dr Mahathir who is also Perkim president, said it was very important for Perkim to give the right impression of Islam to Muslims and non-Muslims alike so that there would be no misunderstanding on the religion, which could lead to fear, suspicion or hostility against Islam

Source NST Online

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