KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 8 – The fatal attack on Charlie Hebdo’s office in Paris yesterday may be linked to the magazine’s penchant for making provocation against Islam. Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Charlie Hebdo had on numerous occasions showed disrespect towards Islam and often derided Prophet Muhammad via caricature.
“Is there a need for them to ridicule Prophet Muhammad knowing that they are offending Muslims?. “We respect their religion and they must respect our religion,” he said when commenting on the attack on the satirical magazine’s office by three gunmen which left 12 people killed and three others seriously injured.
Dr Mahathir said such provocation should not have been made as the people need to respect each other despite professing different religions and of different races. He added many non-Muslims fear Islam and regard the religion as cruel due to exposure in the internet, for example the chaos in the Middle East.
“If they understand the teachings of the Quran, they will not have fear of Islam or Muslims.” On the ‘One One, Soul Quran’ project, Dr Mahathir, who is also the patron, hopes it will give a better understanding of Islam to the non-Muslims. One million copies of the Quran will be distributed to the public nationwide starting this month.