Riyadh, March 29, IRNA - The Organization of the Islamic Conference added its voice to the growing criticism of a film released by a Dutch lawmaker, which features disturbing images of terrorist acts superimposed over verses from holy Quran.
OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu condemned "in the strongest terms the release of the film 'Fitna' by Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders."
The organization added that the film defamed and denigrated "the Holy Quran, causing insult to the sentiments of more than 1.3 billion Muslims in the world.
"The film was a deliberate act of discrimination against Muslims" that aimed to "provoke unrest and intolerance," the organization said.
The OIC has 57 member states over four continents and is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations.
In its statement, it urged the international community to condemn the showing of the film and asked the Dutch government to prosecute the filmmaker under Dutch law.
Several Muslim countries have also condemned the film, a 15-minute polemic by the far-right MP Geert Wilder, which was posted online on Thursday.
Pakistan, Indonesia, Iran and Bangladesh were among those to protest.
The film sets verses from the Koran against a background of violent images from terror attacks.
"I condemn, in the strongest terms, the airing of Geert Wilders' offensively anti-Islamic film," Ban said in a statement.
"The right of free expression is not at stake here," he added.
"Freedom must always be accompanied by social responsibility." The EU's Slovenian presidency said the film served no purpose other than "inflaming hatred".
In Pakistan there were protests in several places on Friday against the film, while the government summoned the Dutch ambassador in Islamabad to lodge a protest.
Pakistani foreign ministry said the film was defamatory and "deeply offended" Muslim sentiments.
Pakistan said it told the Dutch ambassador that it was incumbent on the Netherlands to prosecute Wilders for defamation and deliberately hurting Muslim sentiments, according to IRNA reporter in Islamabad.
IRNA reporter in Kuala Lumpur said that Indonesia, also condemned the film, saying it was "misleading and full of racism".
IRNA report from New Delhi said that The foreign ministry in Bangladesh issued a statement calling the film "unwarranted" and "mindless".
Iran said it was blasphemous, anti-Islamic and heinous - a sign it said of deep hatred felt by Westerners towards Muslims.
In the Netherlands, the Dutch prime minister said the film wrongly equated Islam with violence.
"We reject this interpretation," Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said shortly before its publication.
"The vast majority of Muslims reject extremism and violence and in fact the victims are often also Muslims," Balkenende said according to IRNA reporter in Vienna.
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