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'Malaysia cleared of any connection to Mumbai blasts'

Malaysia has said that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and UK's Scotland Yard have both cleared the country of any connection to the Mumbai terror attacks.

world Updated: Dec 05, 2008 12:35 IST

Malaysia has said that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and UK's Scotland Yard have both cleared the country of any connection to the Mumbai terror attacks.

Foreign Minister Rais Yatim said this confirmed Malaysia had no links with the gunmen who terrorised Mumbai last month.

"The so-called evidence in the media linking the attacks with Islam and Malaysia cannot be proven. Therefore, allegations about Malaysia's link to the attacks should not be brought up any more," he told parliament on Thursday.

Reports had earlier said that some terrorists involved in the audacious terror attacks in Mumbai had used Malaysian addresses to rent apartments in the city.

Rais said since the Sept 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Islam's image had been tainted.

"An anti-Islam perception or Islamophobia has spread throughout the world until (all) Muslims are seen as terrorists," the minister was quoted by local media as saying.

Malaysia is a Muslim majority country, with ethnic Chinese mostly Christians and Buddhists, and ethnic Indians mostly Hindus forming a component of the population.

The minister felt that labelling Muslims as terrorists was unfair to the religion and its adherents.

Rais said measures by Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Islamic organisations such as Organisation of the Islamic Conference had helped correct negative perceptions of Islam.
In Malaysia, strict enforcement of the law had to be continued to fight terrorism, he said.
He added that the South-East Asia Research Centre for Counter Terrorism here was the only research centre in the region active in anti-terrorism programmes.