Indonesian Muslims ask Taliban to release hostages

Muslim organizations in Indonesia urged the Taliban Saturday to release 21 South Korean hostages in Afghanistan, saying the kidnappings contradict the teachings of Islam and had damaged the religion's image. Two of the largest Islamic organizations in the world's most populous Muslim nation, Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah, said separately that Indonesian Muslims strongly condemned the act of kidnapping and the killing of two Korean hostages. "It has damaged the image of Islam and is contradictory to Islamic teachings," said Din Syamsuddin, chairman of Muhammadiyah, told The Associated Press by telephone from an interfaith conference in Kyoto, Japan.