Malaysia’s Mahathir asks Muslims to boycott Dutch products

March 30th, 2008 - 12:20 pm ICT by admin  

Kuala Lumpur, March 30 (IANS) Malaysia’s former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has called upon Muslims worldwide to boycott Dutch products in protest of “Fitna”, a film released on the Internet that criticises Islam’s holy book, the Quran. He said Saturday that such a boycott 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, the leader said.

“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 interests,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama, the official news agency.

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

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

Earlier, Mahathir, Malaysia’s long-time premier who quit office in 2003, 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.

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