Saturday, Sep 05 , 2015 ( Thul-Qedah, 1436)

Updated:10:00 PM GMT

"Fitna" Insult to Religions: World Churches

"The film is an affront to all faiths, not only Islam," Barsoum told IOL. (Photo through Google)
PARIS — The World Council of Churches has reviled an anti-Qur'an film by Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders as an insult to all religions and an attempt to incite hatred.

"We believe this film does not represent the view of the Dutch people or Christians regarding Islam," Rima Barsoum, the WCC coordinator for Christian-Muslim relations, told IslamOnline.net on Thursday, April 3.

"Like Muslims we are convinced it doesn't show the truth about Islam."

Last week, MP Wilders released a documentary entitled "Fitna", an Arabic word for sedition or strife.

The 15-minute intersperses images of terror attacks with verses from the Noble Qur'an. 

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"The film is an affront to all faiths, not only Islam," said Barsoum.

"It insults the faithful who believe that religions are all about peace, fraternity, love and co-existence."

She noted that Dutch churches were among the first to warn against the anti-Qur'an documentary.

A joint delegation from the Council of Churches and Muslim organizations in the Netherlands toured Muslim countries before the film release.

"It is reprehensible when that which is sacred in our religions is ridiculed and our faith offended," they said in a joint statement.

"We therefore strongly reject all contempt and slander aimed at the Qur'an and the prophet Muhammad, just as we would not wish this with regard to the Bible and the Christian faith."

Responsible Freedom

The church official gainsaid attempts to use the West's freedom of expression to justify anti-Islam campaigns.

"The WCC believes that the freedom of expression comes with respect and responsibility.

"It doesn't mean insulting the sanctities of followers of other faiths."

Barsoum said Muslims have become part of the European social fabric.

"Islam is part of Europe's multi-faith reality," she told IOL.

"Therefore, the European society must accept this and show respect to its Muslims."

Barsoum said Muslim-Christians dialogue could undermine the ferocity of campaigns satirizing faiths.

"We have to stand up against extremists, whether Muslims or Christians, and focus on boosting coexistence between Muslims, Christians and followers of other faiths."

The Geneva-based WCC, which groups over 560 million Christians in 349 churches around the world, last month urged its members to engage Muslim scholars seeking inter-faith cooperation to promote justice and peace.

"We must encourage dialogue and meetings between religious leaders and urge the media to play a robust role in promoting coexistence and mutual respect," said Barsoum.


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