Ban Ki-moon condemns controversial anti-Islam film

March 29th, 2008 - 12:08 pm ICT by admin  

Brussels, March 29 (Xinhua) The controversial film critical of Islam made by a Dutch right-wing lawmaker has caused outrage among Muslims worldwide and drawn extensive condemnation. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the film Friday, saying there could be no justification for instilling hatred or inciting violence.

Slovenia, current holder of the European Union’s rotating presidency, denounced the film which was posted on the Internet Thursday, saying it serves no other purpose than inflaming hatred.

In the 16-minute film, made by Geert Wilders, footage of terrorist attacks in New York, Madrid and London is shown together with verses from the Quran and statements by radical imams. The film also shows the disputed Danish cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad with a bomb in his turban.

At the end of the film, a hand is shown grabbing a page of the Islamic holy book and the sound of paper being torn is heard. A written statement then appears in which Wilders says it is not up to him to tear verses which “incite hatred” out of the Quran, but that Muslims themselves should do that.

Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim country, called the movie “clearly an insult to Islam”. A spokesman for the Indonesian foreign ministry said the film was misleading and racist.

Umar Shihab, chairman of Indonesia’s top clerical body - the Indonesian Council of Ulemas - warned of possible disturbances in response to the movie entitled “Fitna”. He advised Indonesians against watching it on the Internet.

The Indonesian authorities referred to the Netherlands’ colonial past in Indonesia as an additional reason why it should be careful not to open old wounds.

Iran slated the film as “horrible” and “blasphemous”, and a spokesman for the Iranian foreign minister has called on the Dutch government and the European Union to block any further showing of the film.

The Pakistani government summoned the Dutch ambassador to account for the film and urged the Netherlands to take legal action against Wilders.

The Jordanian media has started legal action against Wilders and is calling for a boycott of Dutch products.

Meanwhile, there has been a growing number of protests by people whose work features in the film, Radio Netherlands reported.

Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard said he wants his prominently featured cartoon of Mohammad with a bomb under his turban to be removed from the film because Wilders never asked for his permission to use it.

Dutch broadcaster Robbie Muntz said he was considering taking legal action because the film includes an excerpt of him interviewing murdered film director Theo van Gogh.

The Dutch director was assassinated in 2004 after making a film criticizing Islam’s suppression of women.

Rapper Salah Edin also plans to take Wilders to court because the film features a photograph of him dressed as Theo van Gogh’s killer, religious extremist Mohammed Bouyeri. Bouyeri is now serving a life sentence in the Netherlands.

Wilders, whose party has nine seats in the 150-member Dutch parliament, said the film was not intended as a “provocation”, but as a “final warning” and an invitation to Muslims to join the debate about Islam.

Wilders says in the film that the number of Muslims in the Netherlands has risen to nearly one million in recent decades, and claims “the time has now come for Islamist ideology to be defeated”.

On Friday evening, the controversial film was removed from the British Internet site where it has been shown since Thursday.

In a statement put in its place instead, the website said the film was taken offline because “very serious” threats were made to its staff members.

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