25 September 2012
Response to the movie Innocence of Islam among Dutch Muslim communities has not had a strong public presence. Two peaceful demonstrations occurred on the city. On Friday September 15 the women’s organization Cleopatra organized a protest to the movie at Amsterdam’s Dam Square. On Sunday a group of about 50 people gathered at the Museumplein near the American consulate, under the instigation of the Islamic organization Behind Bars. Both demonstrations were peaceful, with the police and consulate informed in advance.
A spokesperson for Sharia4Holland spoke out against the film, predicting further protests. However the outspoken comments from this group have remained marginal. In contrast the most publicly visible Muslim voice responding to the movie has been a statement from Rotterdam’s Muslim mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb. Speaking to RTV Rijnmond Aboutaleb said Muslims should not take the controversial film too seriously, commenting that demonstrations are acceptable so long as they do not get out of hand. The mayor sees no reason to block the film on YouTube and noted, “You can always make your own film on YouTube as a response.”