Fitna, a 10 minute anti-Islam film posted on the Internet by Netherlands politician Geert Wilders was removed from Liveleak.com, a video server company, due to serious threats directed to the staff.
The content of the film alternates violent images with verses from the Koran - the Sacred Book for Islam- and videos from the attack to the twin towers in New York on September 11. Among the photos shown are images of a Shiite ritual of self-flagellation.
After receiving threats, Liveleak.com posted a note on its Home Page which states:
Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some ill informed reports from certain corners of the British media that could directly lead to the harm of some of our staff, Liveleak.com has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers.
This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else. We would like to thank the thousands of people, from all backgrounds and religions, who gave us their support.
They realised LiveLeak.com is a vehicle for many opinions and not just for the support of one. Perhaps there is still hope that this situation may produce a discussion that could benefit and educate all of us as to how we can accept one another's culture.
We stood for what we believe in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high.
On YouTube.com a major video site in the United States, the film was flagged by its members and can be accessed only by members who say they are over 18 years old.
Local distributors in Netherlands declined to release the short film what drove Geert Wilders- a member of the anti-immigration party - to post it on the Internet late Thursday.
After Fitna was uploaded to the web, several leaders from around world, including the General Secretary of the United Nations and figures from Muslim countries such as Iran and Indonesia protested the film.
I condemn, in the strongest terms, the airing of Geert Wilders' offensively anti-Islamic film, Ban Ki Moon, General Secretary of the UN said in a statement. The right of free expression is not at stake here, he added. Freedom must always be accompanied by social responsibility.
Iran said the film is heinous, blasphemous and anti-Islamic, and Indonesia said it was an insult to Islam, hidden under the cover of freedom of expression, Reuters reported.
News agency ANP reported that the Saudi Arabian embassy in The Hauge said the film was provocative and full of errors and incorrect allegations that could lead to hate towards Muslims.
Dutch Muslim Leaders have called on Muslims worldwide for calm and not to target Dutch interests, Reuters reported.