April 1, Channel News Asia

JAKARTA: Indonesia's president has urged the mainly Muslim nation not to resort to violence in protests against an anti-Islamic film, and barred the Dutch filmmaker behind it from entering the country.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono also said the screening of "Fitna", which has sparked several protests here since its release on the Internet last Thursday, would be banned in the former Dutch colony.

"I am asking (Indonesians) not to engage in actions such as destruction, violence and sweepings (harassing foreigners), because Islam and the other religions forbid violence and it is also against the law," Yudhoyono told journalists late Monday.

The 17-minute film features imagery of the attacks on New York in 2001 and Madrid in 2004 combined with quotes from the Koran, Islam's holy book, and has been called "offensively anti-Islamic" by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Dozens of people protested outside the Dutch embassy in Jakarta amid heavy security on Monday, chanting anti-Dutch slogans and throwing eggs and water.

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photo: Police form a human wall to block off the Dutch embassy (NCA)