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PU­TRA­JAYA: The Home Min­istry has given The Star seven days to re­spond to a show-cause let­ter over its front page on Satur­day.

Its sec­re­tary-gen­eral, Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim, said the min­istry had summoned the daily’s chief ed­i­tor to ex­plain why it had used a pic­ture of Mus­lims pray­ing on the front page with a story head­lined “Malaysian ter­ror­ist leader”.

“The min­istry is up­set with the head­line, which in­cluded a pic­ture of Mus­lims per­form­ing ter­awih prayer.

“It does not have any con­nec­tion with the news and is not suit­able to be pub­lished on the same page as it may cause con­fu­sion, mis­un­der­stand­ing and prej­u­dice against Mus­lims, who may be linked to ter­ror­ism. The front page also in­di­rectly ridicules Is­lam.

“The Star has seven days to re­spond to the show-cause let­ter on why ac­tion should not be taken un­der the Print­ing Presses and Pub­li­ca­tions Act 1984, in­clud­ing sus­pen­sion of its pub­lish­ing per­mits.”

Ear­lier, four rep­re­sen­ta­tives from The Star ap­peared at the min­istry to pro­vide an ex­pla­na­tion for its front page.

Ex­ec­u­tive ed­i­tors Rozaid Ab­dul Rah­man, Brian Martin and Do­rairaj Nada­son, and spe­cial­ist ed­i­tor M. Shan­mugam ar­rived at the min­istry at 10.50am, spend­ing an hour at the min­istry.

At­tempts to get their com­ments, how­ever, were un­suc­cess­ful as they used a dif­fer­ent route to leave the premises.

Alwi had, on Sun­day, said the min­istry would sum­mon the chief ed­i­tor to ex­plain the front page show­ing a pic­ture of Mus­lims per­form­ing ter­awih prayer sandwiched be­tween the head­line “Malaysian ter­ror­ist leader” and a spa ad­ver­tise­ment.

He had said the badly-placed head­line painted a poor im­age of Mus­lims, as though those per­form­ing the prayers were ter­ror­ists.

The Star is­sued an apol­ogy fol­low­ing crit­i­cism of its front page.

In Jo­hor Baru, Kem­pas as­sem­bly­man Datuk Tengku Pu­tra Haron Amin­ur­rashid Ju­mat said the gov­ern­ment should sus­pend the news­pa­per as this was the third time it had hurt the feel­ings of Mus­lims.

“No more show-cause let­ters should be is­sued.

“It must be dealt with sternly.”

He said that in 2011, The Star pub­lished an ad­ver­tise­ment about pork ribs in its Ra­madan food pro­mo­tion sup­ple­ment, along with two ar­ti­cles fea­tur­ing pork dishes.

In 2012, it pub­lished a full-page pic­ture of Amer­i­can singer Erykah Badu with a tat­too fea­tur­ing the Ara­bic word for “Al­lah”.

“On both oc­ca­sions, it was let off with a slap on the wrist.”

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