PAS Maintains Anti-Rushdie Momentum With Protests Outside British, US Embassies.
About 300 Islamic opposition party activists staged peaceful protests outside the British and U.S. embassies in Malaysia on Friday, denouncing London's decision to grant a knighthood to author Salman Rushdie and Washington's policies in the Middle East.
Dozens of riot police backed by a water cannon-equipped truck guarded Kuala Lumpur's diplomatic enclave, as members of the fundamentalist Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, or PAS, the country's main opposition group, marched to the British High Commission following afternoon prayers at a nearby mosque.
Protesters spent 15 minutes outside the building, chanting slogans such as "Crush Salman Rushdie" and waving posters that read "Unite for Islam," "Death penalty for Salman" and "Salman Rushdie Get Lost From This World." One poster bore a caricature of Rushdie with horns on his head.
Rushdie's knighthood was announced earlier this month on Queen Elizabeth II's Birthday Honors list, decided on by independent committees that vet nominations from the public and the government.
Rushdie went into hiding after Iran's late spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a 1989 fatwa, or religious edict, ordering Muslims to kill the author because his novel "The Satanic Verses" allegedly insulted Islam.
***** Will anything positive come out of these continuing protests by PAS or will the name of our country be further tarnished in the outside world? Or perhaps Malaysia may even be lauded by the international community for practising and maintaining the highest standards of democracy in allowing demonstrations by the opposition! One can only guess.
A very good read: Much Ado About Rushdie.
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