Gijs van de Westelaken of Column Produkties said on Tuesday it is unlikely the screening will go ahead. “We don’t want to show the movie in the Netherlands, so why would we show it there?” he asked.
Van de Westelaken warned the plan to show the film at the EP was “sensationalism” designed to enhance a particular political agenda. Column — which was established by Theo van Gogh — owns the rights to Submission. It has not yet received a formal request for the right to screen the film.
Mario Borghezio, an MEP for the Italian right-wing Lega Nord party, planned to show the 10-minute film at the EP as a tribute to Van Gogh. He said on Tuesday he did not expect to have any problem obtaining permission to show it.
The film, made with Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, criticises Islam and the Koran for allegedly sanctioning domestic violence against Muslim women.
Van Gogh was assassinated in Amsterdam on 2 November 2004. A Dutch-Moroccan man, Mohammed B., 27, has been arrested for the murder and has indicated to a court he takes full responsibility for his actions.
Submission was withdrawn from the Rotterdam Film Festival this year due to security concerns. The producers wanted to avoid any risk to the people involved in the film.
Borghezio has an unauthorised copy of the film and sees its screening at the EP as a “fitting response to the silence surrounding Submission and Theo van Gogh’s sacrifice”.
The MEP has said the European Parliament is the right place to show a film that supports the rights of Muslim women. Dismissing concerns about security, Borghezio said the EP was well protected.
Submission has already been screened for Lega Bord members of the Italian Parliament.