“Go to hell Britain! Go to hell Rushdie!” in modern, moderate Malaysia. It looks as if it is going to be quite a party all over the Islamic world on Friday.
By Danny Kemp for AFP (thanks to all who sent this in):
ISLAMABAD (AFP) – Anger mounted in the Muslim world Wednesday over Britain’s knighthood for novelist Salman Rushdie, with protests spreading to Malaysia for the first time and fresh demonstrations in Pakistan.
The rallies came a day after both Iran — whose late supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini sentenced the “Satanic Verses” author to death in 1989 — and Pakistan summoned Britain’s ambassadors to protest.
In Kuala Lumpur about 20 members of Malaysia’s main Islamic opposition, the Pan-Malaysia Islamic party, shouted “Go to hell Britain! Go to hell Rushdie!” outside the British High Commission.
They handed a one-page memorandum to the British envoy during the rare half-hour demonstration, which was watched by police with riot shields and helmets. The police contingent was about as large as the protest.
“In the name of peace and mutual respect, we demand that the award be withdrawn, and the British government distance itself from a provocateur like Salman Rushdie,” party president Abdul Hadi Awang said in a statement.
In Pakistan hundreds of people protested in the central city of Multan, where an effigy of Rushdie and a British flag were burned for the third day running. Effigies of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II were burned earlier this week.
Traders, religious students and members of a religious party held separate demonstrations.
“Britain has tried to ignite the controversy of the cursed author Rushdie after more than a decade,” said Akhtar Butt, the leader of a local traders’ body. “It’s a deliberate attempt to provoke Muslims.”