Lebanon's Fadlallah calls for dialogue with Fitna filmmaker

Other News Materials 10 April 2008 23:30 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - Lebanon's high-ranking Shiite Muslim cleric Sheikh Mohammed Hussien Fadlallah called Thursday for dialogue with Dutch politician Geert Wilders regarding his anti-Islam film "Fitna."

"We are ready to enter into dialogue with the Dutch politicians, especially with Geert Wilders, to explain to them the understandings of Islam and the Koran regarding violence," Fadlallah said.

Fadlallah accused Wilders' of lashing at Islam and the Koran "without understanding or reading it." The Shiite cleric stressed that the Dutch people would not be held responsible for the film.

As a self-proclaimed defender of free speech and critic of Islam, Wilders has sought to ban the Koran in the Netherlands because he believes it to be in conflict with Dutch law.

Wilders' film has provoked anger among the Muslim community across the world, sparking angry street protests in several countries and triggering calls for a boycott of Dutch goods.

In response, to Wilders' Fitna film a Saudi blogger produced this week a short video showing Christian extremists calling for preaching violence and a Bible passage calling for war.

According to Lebanese media Raed al-Saeed produced the six-minute video to show Islam should not be judged by watching Wilders' movie, which links terror attacks by Muslim extremists with Koran texts.

Al-Saeed, 33, said that in his video he showed alleged Christian extremists and British soldiers beating up Iraqis.

He also included in his video footage from "Jesus Camp," an American documentary about a summer camp for evangelical Christians that was nominated for a 2007 Academy Award.

Within 12 hours of posting, al-Saeed said his video was removed from YouTube in Saudi Arabia with a message from the site saying the content was inappropriate.

But late Thursday, al-Saeed's video was still be accessible on YouTube and other websites.