Concerns about film on Islam by Wilders
28 November 2007, THE HAGUE – The cabinet is concerned about the reaction to a provocative television film on the Koran that Geert Wilders is working on. The ministers of justice and home affairs have reportedly pointed out the risks of the film project to the Freedom Party PVV leader during a talk.
28 November 2007
THE HAGUE – The cabinet is concerned about the reaction to a provocative television film on the Koran that Geert Wilders is working on. The ministers of justice and home affairs have reportedly pointed out the risks of the film project to the Freedom Party PVV leader during a talk.
"Measures have been taken in the event that a heated discussion follows on the film here and abroad," a spokesperson for Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin said on Wednesday in response to reports in the Telegraaf.
Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin stressed on Wednesday that Wilders is free to express his views, but that people also have a responsibility to society as a whole. "Think about the repercussions," is what he told the MP.
These repercussions could take all sorts of forms, the minister says. He wants to wait to see the contents of the film, but if it contains the radical views anticipated, it can "provoke heated reactions towards himself and others."
Hirsch Ballin says participants in the debate must show respect for all religions and for what is sacred to another. If this boundary is overstepped, the cabinet will oppose the film and make it clear that "we owe respect to each other," the minister said. "And any violence is condemned."
An employee of Wilders had informed the ministers of the film project. The cabinet members then talked to him about their concerns regarding a possible backlash. Rumour has it that Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen has also talked with Wilders about the matter.
The PVV faction leader has confirmed that he is working on a film. The film presents the Koran as a fascist book, in line with earlier statements from Wilders.
Parliament does not want to comment further on the contents of the film, which is scheduled for broadcast in January.
It has been suggested that a number of public broadcasters are interested but insist on certain conditions. Wilders did not want to comment on that. He did say the PVV might broadcast the film during the airtime allotted to it – all political parties are entitled to a certain amount of airtime. Internet broadcast is another possibility.
Wilders did not want to confirm that he has discussed his film plans with any cabinet ministers.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news