(MENAFN - Arab News) The Makkah-based Muslim World League has strongly condemned the anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims" and called on Muslims across the world to refrain from resorting to violence to address the issue.
MWL Secretary-General Abdullah bin Abdulmohsen Al-Turki said such a film should not have been made in the name of freedom of expression, as it had destroyed world peace and harmony.
He urged international organizations to take legal action in order to prevent the display of the offensive film. "Freedom of opinion should not be allowed to take such a disastrous turn. It should be exercised in a cultured manner without causing harm to others.
"We strongly denounce the movie. It is an unacceptable act," he said after attending the International Seminar on Religion and Peace-building Process in Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) in Bangkok on Monday. Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Yongyuth Wichaidit opened the seminar.
"The international community, organizations and human rights bodies should issue resolutions incriminating abuse of religions and their symbols and preventing misuse of cultural and media freedom," Al-Turki said.
Protests over the film have spread to more than 20 countries and claimed many lives. In his attempt to cool down the current tension, Al-Turki said Islam rejects violence and killing of innocent people.
The MWL chief hoped the current tension would not prolong, as violence would not bring a solution to any problem. "Dialogue and cooperation are effective tools in solving problems," he said.
Earlier addressing the seminar, Al-Turki commended Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah's endeavors to promote cultural and interfaith dialogue, saying it would contribute to strengthening global peace and stability. His initiative had won the support of prominent international organizations and personalities, Al-Turki said.
"Dialogue on humanitarian and environmental issues by various groups of societies will contribute to greater understanding among them and remove the obstacles facing their interaction. The initiative opens new horizons for the exchange of ideas and views for the betterment of humanity and solve their various pressing problems."
Speaking about the killing of Muslims in Myanmar, Al-Turki said Muslim minorities in all countries should be protected. "The MWL wants to establish bridges of contacts with countries that have Muslim minorities to deepen patriotic feelings of Muslims, protect their religious rights, and remove stereotypes against Islam and Muslims," he added.
He said the MWL denounces terrorist practices of certain Muslim groups and individuals. "Islam rejects such practices and calls for dialogue between Muslims and other communities."
In a related development, Madinah Islamic University said it would organize an international seminar on interfaith dialogue at the International Islamic University in Malaysia starting Oct. 4. Muhammad Al-Oqla, president of the Madinah University, said the seminar aims at highlighting the importance of King Abdullah's interfaith dialogue initiative.