United Nation chief calls anti-Islam film ‘disgraceful, shameless act’
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called the anti-Islam film that sparked off violent protests across the Muslim world a “disgraceful and shameful act.”
Emphasising that freedom of expression and assembly is a “fundamental” right and privilege of all people, Ban said that this right should not be abused. The film, posted on the Internet under several titles including “Innocence of Muslims,” insulted the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and portrayed him in a negative manner.
“Freedom of expression should be and must be guaranteed and protected, when they are used for common justice, common purpose,” Ban told a news conference on Wednesday.“When some people use this freedom of expression to provoke or humiliate others’ values and beliefs, then this cannot be protected in such a way.
“My position is that freedom of expression, while it is a fundamental right and privilege, should not be abused by such people, by such a disgraceful and shameful act,” he said.Ban Ki-moon said similar kind of outrage and anger was expressed by people when cartoons of the Prophet were circulated.
“Now, it is very disgraceful and shameful that still people are provoking the values and beliefs of other people. This must stop. It is very important that all people around the world should have due respect and deeper understanding of the values, beliefs, tradition and history of other people and other groups of communities.”
With over 123 heads of states/governments and foreign ministers arriving here for the General Debate during the 67th session of the UN General Assembly next week, Ban said he would join the world leaders in speaking out “against those who, in response to such provocations, fan those flames further still.”He said the annual meeting of the world leaders takes place in the backdrop of widespread violence linked to intolerance. “It is time for calm, restraint and responsible political and community leadership.”
Ban also said the deteriorating situation in Syria will be part of the main agenda of the high-level meetings.The session will also discuss the threat of nuclear terrorism and press for the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty.