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New Straits Times 22 April 2001

TIME apologises to Muslims for insensitive gaffe
"It is an unintentional affront to the Islamic faith," admits TIME Asia editor
by Azura Abas (

TIME magazine today apologised to Muslim readers and Malaysians for publishing in its April 16 issue an article containing a section found to be offensive to Islam.

Time Asia editor Adi Ignatius stated the apology in a statement issued to the media today.

"Time magazine would like to apologise to Muslim readers and the general public for an image that appeared in our April 16 edition," he said.

"In an article about Jerusalem during the time of Jesus, we published an image of the Prophet Muhammad, an unintentional affront to the Islamic faith."

The complaint was based on the caricature and its caption which read A Meccan merchant named Muhammad receives a message from the archangel Gabriel that he is God's new Prophet.

This caused discontent among the Muslim community. The decision was reached as authorities found that a section to the article, entitled Jerusalem As Jesus Saw It, to be offensive to Islam and Muslims in the country.

Following the ban coming into force on Friday, book and magazine distributors ordered an immediate recall of the magazine from shelves nationwide.

Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi commented that the Government would not tolerate any publication which dishonoured Islam with caricatures of the Prophet and the like.

Abdullah, who is also the Home Minister, said such books or magazines would not be allowed to be distributed here as they dishonoured Islam.

In this respect, the Home Ministry had banned the sale and distribution of the April 16 issue which came into force on Friday as book and magazine distributors ordered an immediate recall of the magazine from shelves.

However, other issues of Time, including the latest April 23, are readily available in most outlets.


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