Dutch government fears lawmaker’s film on “fascist” Koran

AMSTERDAM, 29/11/07 – A big commotion has arisen in government circles about Geert Wilders’ film plans. The Party for Freedom (PVV) leader is working on a provocative TV film about the Koran, intended to appear on Dutch TV in January, De Telegraaf reported yesterday.

“The film is an attack on the Koran. Texts from the holy book for Muslims will be pictured for the camera,” wrote the newspaper yesterday. “The politician is refusing to say whether he, for example, tears up or burns the Koran”, according to De Telegraaf, which quoted Wilders as saying: “I do not want to disclose anything about it. People should just wait and see.”

Wilders’ film plans have reportedly caused great unrest in cabinet circles. “Behind the scenes, Wilders is being worked on by three departments involved: foreign affairs, justice and home affairs,” De Telegraaf wrote. The national anti-terrorism coordinator Tjibbe Joustra is also said to be involved in the talks.

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Wilders said earlier that the Koran would be as thin as a Donald Duck magazine if all hatred-inciting passages were to be excised. He also called the book the Islamic version of Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf.’

In a short film, Wilders said yesterday on Radio 1, he wants to show that the Koran is a “frightful and fascist” book. If he thereby insults people, that is “a pity, but not my problem.” (…) I hope that it will open people’s eyes to the fact that the Koran should be banned, just like Mein Kampf,” said Wilders. In the Netherlands, Mein Kampf is the only book whose distribution is banned.

At PO, the umbrella body for public broadcasters, nothing is known about the Koran film. “No film of Geert Wilders’ is planned in the broadcasting schedule for January. Should a broadcaster want to make room for an extra broadcast, this has to be discussed with the broadcaster coordinators,” according to a spokesman.

If no station wants to broadcast the film, Wilders sees an option of getting it on TV via the broadcasting time for political parties. Each party in the Lower House is allowed to convey its message to viewers seventeen times a year in a film clip of around 3 minutes. Wilders’ PVV, set up last year, has 9 of the 150 Lower House seats.

Netherlands Muslim Council chairman Abdelmajid Khairoun warned Wilders. “We fear the worst if this actually happens. Then the youngsters on the street will at a certain moment have the last word. And we would then be unable to restrain them any more. Just look at France.” He also believes that “many Dutch products will be boycotted.”

• Original title: Cabinet Fears Wilders Film on “Fascist” Koran


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, NIS News Bulletin, Nov. 29, 2007, http://www.nisnews.nl

Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday November 29, 2007.
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