Muslim nations condemn Dutch Koran film
AMSTERDAM, March 28 (Reuters) – Iran, Pakistan and Indonesia on Friday condemned 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 Sept. 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 finishes 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.
Iran called the film heinous, blasphemous and anti-Islamic and called on European governments to block any further showing. Pakistan’s Foreign Office summoned the Dutch ambassador to lodge a protest.
Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation and a former Dutch colony, also condemned the film.
“We are of the view that the film has a racist flavour and is an insult to Islam, hidden under the cover of freedom of expression,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said. “We call on Indonesian people not to be incited.”
Dutch Muslim leaders appealed for calm and called on Muslims worldwide not to target Dutch interests. The Netherlands is home to about 1 million Muslims out of a population of 16 million.
“Our call to Muslims abroad is follow our strategy and don’t frustrate it with any violent incidents,” Mohammed Rabbae, a Dutch Moroccan leader, told journalists in an Amsterdam mosque.
“Looking for conflict there is looking for conflict with us,” he said before an imam made a similar appeal in Arabic.
The Dutch Islamic Federation went to court on Friday to try to stop Wilders from comparing Islam to fascism, saying he incited hatred of Muslims.