Malaysia's information minister accused the Western media on Tuesday of carrying out a campaign against Islam, claiming the recent publication of the Prophet Muhammad cartoons aimed to antagonize and "deflect the attention of the Muslims from the killings of their brethren."
Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin, speaking at a seminar for journalists from Islamic countries, said the international press often misinterprets Islamic tenets and spreads stereotypes of Muslims "as terrorists or religious extremists or even suicide bombers."
"There is no denying that there is an agenda to belittle Islam and Muslims among certain quarters in the West, using the media," Zainuddin said. "Various tactics, including deception, are used in the onslaught against Muslims to work up their emotions, because these people know full well that Muslims would respond in agitation when their religion is attacked."
Zainuddin said Muslim journalists should cooperate to counter what he called the spread of "Islamophobia" by strengthening media outlets in their countries and channeling accurate information about Islam to the international population.