UN head Ban Ki-moon condemns Fitna broadcast, urges calm
( dpa ) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Friday condemned an anti-Islamic video broadcast in Holland as "hate speech and incitement to violence" and urged calm after its release on the internet.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson after Thursday's airing of the film, Fitna, Ban acknowledged the efforts of the Dutch government to stop broadcast of the work produced by a Dutch opposition lawmaker, and appealed "for calm to those understandably offended by it."
"Freedom must always be accompanied by social responsibility," he said. "There is no justification for hate speech or incitement to violence. The right of free expression is not at stake here."
The film, made by Dutch opposition lawmaker Geert Wilders, draws links between terrorist acts by Muslim extremists and the words of the Koran. It was posted on the www.liveleak.com.
We must also recognize that the real fault line is not between Muslim and Western societies, as some would have us believe, but between small minorities of extremists, on different sides, with a vested interest in stirring hostility and conflict," Ban said.
The film has been condemned by Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, the European Union, Britain, Iran, Indonesia, Pakistan and other countries.
Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini warned of "consequences of such a provocative move."
Pakistan summoned the Dutch ambassador to condemn "the defamatory film which deeply offended the sentiments of Muslims all over the world" and said it anticipated "expressions of strong abhorrence and outrage."
Fitna, which means the split between believers and infidels, is accompanied by the dramatic music Asa's Death, part of the Peer Gynt Suite by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, and is a compilation of Koran verses and old video footage.
The Koran verses are primarily sections interpreted as calling on Muslims to attack and destroy enemies of the faith. The film calls on viewers to fight against what Wilders calls "the danger of the Islamization of the Netherlands."