Iran condemns ‘heinous’ Dutch Qur’an film

Iran said a film by a Dutch lawmaker that accuses the Qur’an of inciting violence was ”heinous” and called on European governments to block any further showing, Iran’s official news agency reported on Friday.

The film by Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders was posted on Thursday on his Freedom Party’s website, which crashed soon afterwards. But it could still be viewed on a file-sharing website in English and Dutch.

Titled Fitna, a Qur’anic term sometimes translated as ”strife”, the film intersperses images of the September 11 2001 attacks and other bombings with quotations from the Qur’an.

”This heinous measure by a Dutch lawmaker and a British establishment … is indicative of the continuation of the evilness and deep vengeance such Western nationals have against Islam and Muslims,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

Mohammad Ali Hosseini, whose comments were carried by the official IRNA news agency, said the film had been broadcast on the internet with the aid of an organisation based in Britain. said in a statement on its website that it let Wilders post the film because the site supported free speech even if many of those involved in the site found some messages ”personally offensive”. It did not say where the site was based but gave contact telephone numbers in Britain.

In a bid to defuse Muslim anger, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said he rejected Wilders’s views.

Hosseini called for the ”quick intervention of the Dutch and British governments, as well as the European Union, with the goal of bringing an end to the screening of this blasphemous, anti-Islamic and anti-cultural film”.

Dutch broadcasters had refused to show the film and a United States-based web service, which Wilders had planned to use, deactivated the site on the weekend after receiving complaints.

The film starts and finishes with a cartoon of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad with a bomb under his turban, originally published in Danish newspapers. That image previously sparked violent protests around the world, including in Iran.

The film included images of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who often berates the West in his speeches and praises Iran’s Islamic revolutionary ideals. He also insists Iran is not a threat to any nation and respects others. — Reuters

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