Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch rightist Party for Freedom, plans on showing a film in which he will burn the Muslim holy book, the Quran. The world is expecting added tensions and a great reaction by the Islamic world, even larger than last year’s affair with the cartoon of the prophet Muhammad. Wilders said that the film is about the Quran, which presents it as the “source of inspiration for intolerance, murder and terrorism”. The Danish ministry recently held a secret meeting at which it talked about the controversial film, and are very concerned about the possible reactions of Muslims in the Netherlands and the rest of the world, said Dutch radio.
Now that’s what I call playing with fire.
I agree with Wilders. We can’t continue to skirt around the edges or even just to politely point out the Koran’s faults. We must be in their face.
Syrian Mufti Ahmad Badr al-Din Hassoun, visited the European Parliament in Strasbourg this week, and said that if Wilders tears and burns the Quran in his film, he will “prompt war and bloodshed, and the only person responsible for the events will be Wilder himself”. He stressed that it is the duty of the Dutch government to stop him in his intentions.
Ministers in secret meetings
The Danish authorities are concerned about this case, or more precisely, the possible reactions of the Islamic world to the film, that should be finished at the end of this month. Premier Jan Peter Balkenende, foreign affairs minister Guusje ter Horst and justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin held a number of secret meetings, in which they voiced their concern about the consequences that the film could cause. The national coordinator for counter-terrorism Tjibbe Joustra was also present at the meetings.
Wilders announced his intentions at the start of November last year. He stressed that the point of his film is to show the world that the Quran is a fascist book that prompts believers to violence and hatred.
Wilders’ radical stances were strengthened at the start of last year. In February last year, he said that if Muslims want to remain in the Netherlands, they should tear their Quran in half and throw it out. He even requested that the Quran be banned, which of course, was rejected. However, Wilders continues his anti-Quran campaign, and for that purpose, he decided to create a film.
After his announcement, the ministry of justice and internal affairs met with him, and warmed his of the possible consequences. In November 2007, the ministry of internal affairs sent a letter of warning to all of the responsible institutions in the Netherlands, calling for added caution because of the tensions the film could cause. “The announcement of the film could cause conflicts in society, and increased tensions amongst groups of people”.
The police in the Dutch largest cities, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, are ready for possible disturbances after the premiere of the film, and called for the cooperation of imams and other Islamic leaders.