- 2008/03/29 Dr. Mahathir says Muslims 'annoyed' by Dutch film

Malaysia's former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad Saturday condemned the decision by a far-right Dutch lawmaker to post an anti-Islam film online.

"We are very annoyed about this video. This is the result of misunderstanding of Islam, and of course there is some political motive behind it," he said.

"If Muslims unite, it will be easy to take action. If we boycott Dutch products, they will have to close down their businesses," he told reporters after officiating at an Islamic gathering.

"If the world's 1.3 billion Muslims unite and say they won't buy, then it (the boycott) will be effective," he said.

The film "Fitna" ("Discord" in Arabic), featuring violent imagery of extremist attacks which it linked to verses from the Koran, was posted on the British-based website liveleak.com on Thursday.

Malaysia's foreign ministry Saturday slammed Geet Wilders for producing the film.

"Portraying Islam as a religion advocating extremism is not only misleading and erroneous but also blatant disregard and utter disrespect for Islam and the sensitiveness of the Muslim world," it said in a statement.

Malaysia is a multi-racial country with a majority Muslim population.

Neighbouring Singapore also condemned the film Saturday, deputy prime minister Wong Kan Seng calling it offensive to Muslims.

"Freedom of expression does not give anyone the licence to insult another's religion or race," he said in a statement, adding he was confident Singaporeans would react to the film rationally.

Liveleak.com said Friday it had pulled down the video, which can still be seen on other websites, including youtube.com, following threats to staff and protests from Muslims groups and the head of the UN.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday joined Muslim nations in expressing outrage over the film, calling it offensive.

Iran, Bangladesh and Indonesia, a former Dutch colony, had objected to the posting of the film.

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