Islamophobia in India can affect ASEAN countries, Malaysian Foreign Minister says

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NEW DELHI, June 21: Islamophobia in India can have a negative impact in the Southeast Asian region and elsewhere, Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah said.

He pointed out that there is a large Muslim population in ASEAN countries and Islamophobic incidents elsewhere can affect them as news spreads quickly nowadays.

“Things that happen in India can have an impact. If we are not careful, there can be a reaction. That is exactly what we do not want,” he said.

Saifuddin said there is a need to promote understanding between people of different faiths and proposed that Malaysia and India work on a common platform in this direction.

He said Malaysia and India should work together on this issue in the interest of their age-old relations, and cautioned against the recurrence of incidents like the abusive comments about the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) made by two officials of the Indian ruling party recently.

“Malaysia should be proactive in addressing these issues. It would be better if we address this issue together with India,” Saifuddin told Bernama in an interview during his June 15-17 India visit in conjunction with the ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers Meeting.

Malaysia was among a number of Islamic countries that lodged formal protests with India over the offensive remarks.-TVS

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