The European Commission warned all of its offices around the world ahead of a film criticizing the Quran by a Dutch politician. “We have informed our delegations that the film – due for release soon, although we don’t know exactly when – could draw protests,” said EU external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner’s spokeswoman, Christiane Hohmann. Hohmann continued that no alarm should be raised, but it is important to be prepared, and to monitor the issue as needed.
Arab states attending the European Union Arab League meeting in Malta lobbied the Dutch government against a controversial anti-Islam film soon to be released in the Netherlands. The foreign ministers of Syria, Egypt, and Morocco spoke against the film. Dutch far right leader Geert Wilders is behind the short 15-minute film, which according to speculation, denounced the Quran as a fascist book, and claims that the Muslim holy book incites people to commit murder. Political leaders are worried about another flare-up of cross-cultural conflict, similar to those that erupted in 2006 after the Danish publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad. The Dutch government is reported to be preparing against a possible international backlash and has already instructed its embassies on how to act after the film’s release.
ROTTERDAM – National Coordinator for Anti-terrorism (NCTb) Tjibbe Joustra fears the effects of the tone that some prominent Dutch are taking in the discussion of Islam, he says in the AD on Monday. The paper claims that Joustra is referring to statements from MP Geert Wilders and Ehsan Jami, founder of the Committee for Former Muslims. But a spokesperson for Joustra says his comments were made in general, without reference to any specific individuals. Joustra says in the paper: “When someone says those kinds of things, I have mixed feelings about that.” “Radical statements like that can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for people who are on the verge of becoming violent.”
An appeals court has upheld the ban of an anti-Islam protest planned for Sept. 11 in Belgium’s capital, six years after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. The organizers an alliance of Europeans opposed to the “Islamization” of Europe failed to prove the ban causes them “irreparable damage,” the Council of State, an administrative appeals court, ruled late Wednesday. Brussels Mayor Freddy Thielemans banned the demonstration Aug. 9 fearing it would disturb public order and calling the Stop Islamization of Europe alliance an inflammatory group. […]
The Saudi ambassador to the Netherlands, Waleed al-Khareejy, has demanded that a Dutch anti-immigration politician apologise and retract his recent attack on Islam and the Koran. The demand, made informally, was immediately rejected by Geert Wilders, the leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV).