New Zealand's Muslim community has condemned an anti-Islam video and the violent reaction to it around the world.
Thirty people have died in 20 countries and now a French magazine has published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, threatening to further fuel the anger of some Muslims.
Mohammed Musa from the Federation of the Islamic Associations of New Zealand today told TV ONE's Breakfast the violent reactions have been "playing into the hands of those with the intention to cause this kind of situation".
Musa said this is objectionable, and if the Prophet Mohammad was alive today he would not have reacted to the video and cartoons "in the way we are seeing in these demonstrations" overseas.
"He has faced so many insults that are worse than the ones that we are seeing today, yet his reaction has been one of compassion," Musa said.
"So to this extent we argue that the kind of violent reactions that we are seeing that are maiming, and destroying property, killing people, are misplaced."
Musa said people are uninformed about the kind of reaction they
should have when situations such as this occur.
"In every community you find excitable people. So the people who initiated, the people who produced the videos or the people who made the cartoons in the first instance were targeting these excitable minds so that they could get these kind of reactions."
The French magazine has ridiculed Mohammad by portraying him naked in cartoons, threatening to fuel the anger of Muslims around the world who are already incensed by the video depicting him as a lecherous fool.
The drawings in the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo risk exacerbating a crisis that has seen the storming of US and other Western embassies, the killing of the US ambassador to Libya and a deadly suicide bombing in Afghanistan.
Riot police were deployed to protect the paper's Paris offices after it hit news stands overnight.
The Federation of the Islamic Associations of New Zealand said in a statement that it finds the video, produced by Egyptian-American Coptic activists, "reprehensible, insulting and disrespectful to Islam and Muslims" and added "we are equally saddened at the destruction and loss of lives that have followed".
The federation called for "zero tolerance" of religious intolerance in this country.
"We call on authorities including the leadership of our country New Zealand, to implement a zero tolerance against anyone determined to cause rage and injury to the religious and cultural sensitivities of others," it said.
Musa told Breakfast the Islamic community has a stake in the peace enjoyed in this country.
"And we want Government to appreciate that we are partners, we are stakeholders in the peace that is existing in this country."
The federation has been in touch with agencies of government from time to time, so they are aware of each other's thinking about situations like this, Musa said.