Imam Mohammad El Sadi refused to sanction a protest against the amateur anti-Islam film that sparked riots around the world, despite the insistence of “many” Muslims in Malta.

There are other ways to convey message

“I was asked by many Muslims in Malta to organise a demonstration to protest against the provocative film,” he writes in an opinion piece published in The Times today to clarify previous comments he made about the film.

“But I chose not to do so fearing it may get out of hand and send the wrong message and because there are other ways to protest and convey our message,” he adds.

Mr El Sadi recently said the You Tube film was to blame for the deaths of several people, including US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who were killed amid the protests that have inflamed the Arab world.

In his article today (see No peace without respect), he responds to criticism levelled at him, particularly by the Humanist Movement, which took him to task for “playing down the barbarity” of the reaction to the film.

Mr El Sadi says he “strongly” condemns the attacks and acknowledges that no Western country is responsible for the film or is legally empowered to censor it but insists that it is high time to “discipline the extremely abused freedom of expression”.

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