KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 26 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today called on Muslims to counter anti-Islam movements globally through intellectualism.
He said helping critics understand Islam better is as important as condemning acts of provocation, following the burning of the Quran by right wing secularists in Sweden.
“Yes we must protest, but it is also important we must give our understanding and do our utmost to ensure the message of the Quran is alive,” he said after a book launch at the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation here this morning.
Sweden is facing severe global backlash, including from Malaysia, after Swedish-Danish far-right politician Rasmus Paludan burnt a copy of the Quran in Stockholm earlier this week.
Anwar had previously condemned the desecration of the Islamic holy book as a vile act.
Today, Anwar expressed his support for Muslims to hold protests against the Swedish government even as he stressed the need for Muslims to bridge the divide with non-believers.
He said PAS members have the right to express themselves, ahead of the Islamist party’s plan to stage a protest outside the Swedish High Commission here tomorrow.
“They have the right to,” he told reporters.
“If PAS wants to do it, it can do it.
“They have the initiative and we support that. I do not think that there is any issue,” he said, but urged demonstrators to be peaceful.
He added that the government has already taken a strong stand on the issue and made it very clear it will not tolerate the burning of any religion’s holy book.
Last Monday, the Malaysian government demanded Sweden to take stern action against the perpetrators and also address the alarming rise of Islamophobia in the country.