The Straits Times
Published on Sep 20, 2012

UN chief says anti-Islam film 'disgraceful, shameless'


UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - UN chief Ban Ki Moon said the offensive anti-Islam Internet video that ignited worldwide protests was "disgraceful and shameful."

Calling freedom of expression and assembly "inalienable" rights, Mr Ban said on Wednesday that they "must be guaranteed and protected when they are used for common justice, common purpose."

"When some people use this freedom of expression to provoke or humiliate some others' values and beliefs, then this cannot be protected in such a way," Mr Ban added, speaking to reporters at the UN headquarters in New York.

"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."

The Internet video - which portrays the Prophet Mohammed as a bloodthirsty womaniser - sparked violent protests across the Muslim world, including an attack on a US consulate in Benghazi, Libya that left four Americans dead, including US ambassador Chris Stevens.

The low-budget, amateurish video appears to have been the work of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, an Egyptian Coptic Christian and convicted fraudster living in California who went into hiding Saturday.

Cast members have said they had no idea the video was about Mohammed, as all references to him were dubbed over the original video later.