A group representing mosques across Lancashire has criticised both the controversial film Innocence of Muslims and the violent protests against the movie.
The 14-minute video clips, which were produced in the United States and uploaded to YouTube in July, portray the Islamic prophet Muhammad as a fraud, womaniser, homosexual, child abuser and madman.
The Lancashire Council of Mosques met this week to discuss the film, which has led to violent demonstrations by Muslims worldwide.
A spokesman said: “The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him (PBUH), is an individual close to the hearts of millions of Muslims across the world and thousands of Muslims across Lancashire.
“Muslims find films, cartoons and other means that are used to ridicule, mock and promote half truths regarding the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him (PBUH), extremely offensive and hurtful.
“The recent publishing of a film on YouTube, Innocence of Muslims, is another episode in this ongoing saga to offend and play with the passions and emotions of Muslims from across the world.
“As Muslims we firmly believe that no attempt to ridicule or mock the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) will decrease his lofty status by even an iota.
“The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) lived and walked this earth over fourteen hundred years ago, yet his teachings and way of life continue to provide solace to hearts the world over and will continue so.
“As an umbrella organisation representing mosques and the Muslims of Lancashire, we strongly and unequivocally condemn all attempts to slander, mock and ridicule the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). We also urge our leaders to do the same.”
He said that respect and harmony was of “paramount importance for community cohesion” among both religious and non-religious people.
He said: “Slanderous films such as this and the drive to offend using the various forms of popular media simply creates further divisions among people.
“A mature attitude and responsible usage of media is of paramount importance.
“We call on Muslims from across the world to show maturity in the way they voice their concerns regarding the film, avoid providing cheap publicity to opportunists and keep the image they promote in the media at the forefront of their minds when responding to films such as this.
“Let us measure our love of the Prophet (PBUH) through our adherence to the Sunnah - in terms of our outward appearance, morals, behaviour and attitude.
“We pray for peace, respect and kindness, and condemn the violence that has ensued in various parts of the world in response to this movie.”