South African Muslims proested agains a softdrink ad that was disprespectful of Jesus and communicated to Christan leaders their solidarity twith them on the issue.
The Red Bull television cartoon implies Jesus walked on water because he had been invigorated by the miraculous energy drink and knew where there were hidden rocks to tread on.
South Africa's Muslim Judicial Council on Wednesday warned of consequences of "secular extremism" against any religious faith.
It said any "insult and satire" of Jesus targeted âthe very foundation of Islamic theology," emphsaizing that Jesus is a revered prophet in Islam and is acknowledged at the true Messiah (Christ) by all Muslims.
In a message to Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, head of the Southern Africa Roman Catholic Bishops Conference, the Muslim council said the ad was hurtful to Christianity, Islam and religion as a whole.
"We wish that our voices can be united to make clear to any secular extremist that any attack or defacement of religious symbols and sacred spaces is not acceptable," the Muslim council said.
South Africa's Roman Catholic bishops urged Christians not to drink Red Bull in traditional fasting for Lent ahead of Easter celebrations next month, stopping short of calling for a full commercial boycott.
Cardinal Napier earlier called on Catholic worshippers to donate to charities any money they saved on Red Bull during Lent.
Energy-drink maker Red Bull said Wednesday it has dropped the advertisement in South Africa after the outcry from South Africa's Muslims and Christians.
In a statement, the drinks maker said its humorous advertising always looks at "well-known themes."
"It is never our intention to hurt anyone's feelings."
It said the ad, aired only on Tuesday, was scrapped on Wednesday, and Red Bull said it regretted it had caused such strong feelings in religious communities.
"Red Bull withdraws Jesus ad after Christian, Muslim outcry in South Africa" Washington Post March 14, 2012
Angus Shaw, "Red Bull drops Jesus ad in South Africa" Merald Sun March 15, 2012
Reproduced with permission from Islam Today