Saturday, August 25, 2007
If Jesus Smoked Cigarettes, Did He Inhale?
Malaysia's government halted publication of a Tamil-language daily newspaper publication for a month as punishment for printing an image of Jesus Christ holding a cigarette. The newspaper caters to Malaysia's ethnic Indian minority. A spokesman said his office received the directive by fax from the Internal Security Ministry. "Of course we are shocked by this. My entire staff are all in tears. They will lose a month of income," Periasamy said. The newspaper plans to appeal the suspension.
Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi slammed the picture as hurtful and an insult to Christians. "If the Christians get to know about it, it will create problems," Abdullah said. ( Ethnic Indians comprise 10 percent of Malaysia's 26 million people, and are mostly Hindus with a sprinkling of Christians and Muslims; Chinese, who follow Christianity and Buddhism, 25 percent; Malay Muslims, 60 percent.)