The United Nations and European Union on Saturday condemned attacks on Western embassies in Arab and Muslim countries over an anti-Islam movie.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton urged leaders in Arab and Muslim countries to “call immediately for peace and restraint”.
“I condemn in the strongest terms the attacks against [Western] diplomatic missions in several countries,” she said in a statement.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso earlier condemned Friday’s attacks on the British and German embassies in Khartoum as unacceptable and against “the rules of the civilised world.”
“Nothing justifies these kinds of attacks,” Barroso said, noting that at a meeting with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Thursday, he had equally condemned the attacks on Islam which have sparked widespread protests in the Muslim world.
Ashton said “there can be no justification for such violence,” which has led to several deaths and destruction of property.
“I call on national authorities in all countries concerned to swiftly ensure the security of diplomatic missions and protect diplomatic staff,” the EU’s top diplomat said.
“It is vitally important that leaders across the affected regions should call immediately for peace and restraint, as has already been the case in many countries,” she said.
“I call on all governments and the religious and secular leaders to promote tolerance and dialogue.”
The low-budget controversial movie, “Innocence of Muslims”, which has sparked fury across the Muslim world, portrays Muslims as immoral and gratuitously violent.
UN condemns embassy attacks
The UN Security Council strongly condemned Friday’s attacks on US and other Western embassies and consulates.
“The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the series of violent attacks against embassies and consular premises of member states in multiple locations on September 13 and 14,” said the statement read by German Ambassador Peter Wittig, who holds the council’s rotating presidency.
The council statement was made one day after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the “hateful” anti-Islam Internet film that he said was deliberately intended to incite bigotry.
Police question filmmaker
The alleged maker of the provocative anti-Islam movie was briefly taken early Saturday to a California police station for questioning by his probation officer.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, voluntarily left his home in the early hours of Saturday morning for the meeting in a sheriff’s station in the Los Angeles suburb of Cerritos, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said.
Reporters and police camped outside Nakoula’s house in Cerritos outside Los Angeles. He gave an interview to Radio Sawa, a US-government station that broadcasts in Arabic.
“I am the one who leaked the 14 minutes and put it on the Internet and I am thinking about releasing the full film. Nobody manipulated my film,” he said.
According to Paul Audley, president of Film LA, which issues filming permits in Los Angeles, a group called Media for Christ was issued a one-day shooting licence in August 2011 for a film with the working title “Desert Warriors.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2012.