Foreign Minister Anifah Aman
Vilks Row

Malaysia Wants Swedish Government to Intervene Against Swedish Press

Malaysia has urged the Swedish government to act against the three newspapers that reprinted a caricature of the Prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog, according to the news agency AFP.

"Malaysia strongly denounces the reprinting of the caricature of Prophet Muhammad by three Swedish newspapers on 10 March 2010," Malaysias Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said in a statement late Saturday.

On Sunday, Sweden's Prime Minister Reinfeldt reiterated his position, that media according to the Swedish constitution makes independent decisions, which the Government should not have opinions about. He also said that in Sweden, people with and without religious faith live alongside each other with mutual respect.

In his statement on Saturday Anifah Aman said his country was concerned that such "despicable acts disregard the sensitivity of the Muslim world in the name of freedom of expression."

"Such irresponsible acts are provocative and offensive in nature and hence it is totally unacceptable," he added.

"Malaysia wishes to request the Swedish government to take measures against such publications to prevent the recurrence of such irresponsible acts in the future."

Sweden's ambassador to Malaysia, Helena Sångeland, tells the news agency TT that she has not received any formal protest yet, but that the embassy has been closed over the weekend. Rumours of demonstrations being planned circulated already on Thursday, but so far Sångeland has not seen anything.

According to AFP, the conservative Islamic party PAS is planning a

demonstration after prayers next Friday. They then plan to submit a letter of protest to the Swedish embassy over the re-printing of the caricature.

For a background to the story, click on the links above.

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