Muslim nations condemn Dutch Koran film

Fri Mar 28, 2008 2:33pm EDT
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By Niclas Mika

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Muslim nations condemned on Friday a film by a Dutch lawmaker that accuses the Koran of inciting violence, as Dutch Muslim leaders urged restraint.

Islam critic Geert Wilders launched his short video on the Internet on Thursday evening. Titled "Fitna," an Arabic term sometimes translated as "strife," it intersperses images of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and Islamist bombings with quotations from the Koran, Islam's holy book.

The film urges Muslims to tear out "hate-filled" verses from the Koran and starts and ends with a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad with a bomb under his turban, accompanied by the sound of ticking.

The cartoon, first published in Danish newspapers, ignited violent protests around the world and a boycott of Danish products in 2006. Many Muslims regard any depiction of the Prophet as offensive.

"The film is solely intended to incite and provoke unrest and intolerance among people of different religious beliefs and to jeopardize world peace and stability," the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the film as "offensively anti-Islamic" and said there was "no justification for hate speech or incitement to violence."

Iran called the film heinous, blasphemous and anti-Islamic, and Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation and a former Dutch colony, said it was an "insult to Islam, hidden under the cover of freedom of expression."

The Saudi Arabian embassy in The Hague said the film was provocative and full of errors and incorrect allegations that could lead to hate towards Muslims, news agency ANP reported.   Continued...

<p>Demonstrators hold a placard of Geert Wilders during a protest against the Dutch politician and anti-Islam film-maker at Dam square in Amsterdam March 22, 2008. REUTERS/Ade Johnson</p>