Jakarta - The Indonesian Ulemas (Muslim Leader) Council MUI said here Wednesday that the Muslims must accept apology of Jyllands-Posten which first published the caricatures of Prophet Muhammad last year.
MUI, however, also asked the West, which always praises the freedom of press, no to violate religious norms and to respect everything which is considered sacred by religions.
"It is the obligation of the Muslims to accept the apology of the Danish media, the Danish ambassador to Indonesia, and the Danish Government, said Vice Chairman of MUI Din Syamsuddin following a meeting of religious leaders, the media and Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Hassan Wirajuda at the foreign affairs ministry s office.
Din, who is concurrently general chairman of Muhammadiyah, the country s second largest Muslim organization, said Islam teaches its followers noble deeds such as accepting apology and to be forgiving.
Jyllands-Posten and the Danish Government have expressed their regrets about the publication of the caricatures, following a series of demonstrations throughout the world, which some had ended violently.
Din asked the Muslims, especially those in Indonesia, not to be trapped in violence and anarchy in responding the blasphemy of Prophet Muhammad by Jyllands Posten, which has apologized for the publication of the caricatures.
I think they have already gotten the message of the demonstrations so far. If it is considered insufficient, the messages should be presented through effective channels, he said.
He said the reactions of the Muslim were normal, but it must not be violent which is forbidden in Islam and could damage the image of Islam, especially Indonesia, which has the world s largest Muslim population.
Din urged the Western media and countries to try to understand Islam in order to prevent a clash of civilization between Islam and the West.
Because if a similar incident will repeat in the future, and they do not understand Islam, I think it would promote radicalism in the Islamic world, including in Indonesia and it would be potential to cause a clash of civilization between Islam and the West. Of course we must avoid this, he said.
Danish newspaper Morgennavisen Jyllands Posten first published the caricatures in September 2005, and later picked up by a dozen publications across Europe.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said recently the Indonesian government condemned the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad and he could understand the public`s strong protest against the publication.
"But as religious people, we should accept the apology conveyed by both the Danish government through its ambassador in Jakarta and the editorial staff of the newspaper," President Yudhoyono said.
The embassy of Denmark in Jakarta has informed the Indonesian foreign affairs ministry of its plan to temporarily close the office, while the Danish honorary consulate in Surabaya was closed indefinitely starting on Tuesday, following a series of demonstrations in a number of cities throughout Indonesia.