Fitna debate turns confrontational

2nd April 2008, Comments 8 comments

Lower House debate on Tuesday night on the film turned into a huge confrontation between Freedom Party MP Geert Wilders and the government.

2 April 2008

The Lower House debate on Tuesday night on the anti-Qur'an film Fitna turned into a huge confrontation between Freedom Party MP Geert Wilders and the government.

The debate was called to question why prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende felt it necessary to make a televised statement on the same evening the film went on line.

During the debate confidential documents were released in which a meeting in early November between Wilders, the justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin and interior minister Guusje Ter Horst was recorded.

The document clearly states that the government ministers were concerned about the end of the film in which Wilders planned to tear out verses or suras from the Qu'ran and throw them into a fireplace.

The documents were released at the request of MPs after the Freedom Party leader disputed that he had told the government ministers anything about the content of the film. Wilders gave his permission.

The documents threw a new light on why the government had called the situation a "crisis" and warned about possible "attacks". Wilders became furious, "I am being taken for a ride, taken for a ride by the minister. This is deception. Lies."

Minister Hirsch Ballin suggested that the film had been adapted after their meeting, as the penultimate scene shows a hand grabbing a page in the Qur'an and as the screen goes blank the viewer sees the message that the tearing sounds they are hearing are pages from a phone book.

Wilders came under fire during his five minutes speaking time in the emergency debate, which after interruptions lasted two hours. Almost all MPs accused him of lumping all Muslims together and not providing any solutions. There was broad support for the way in which the government had handled the whole affair. A motion of no-confidence submitted by Wilders was only supported by his own party.

During the debate, Wilders demanded that the prime minister apologise for the alarmist reaction to the film before he or anyone else had seen any part of it. Prime minister Balkenende said it was Wilders that should apologise to all Muslims of good will, who reacted moderately to Fitna.
[Copyright Radio Netherlands 2008]

8 Comments To This Article

  • Ijnut posted:

    on 3rd April 2008, 15:17:41 - Reply

    Wilders did not care a hoot about freedom of speech nor interested in the worldwide interest of the Netherlands. He is a selfish man simply looking for worldwide fame and popularity and (what a 'smart' guy) he found one with anti-Islam/anti-Muslim.
  • Alitheia posted:

    on 3rd April 2008, 11:51:39 - Reply

    Is controversial because is pure demagogy and slanted opinion; because any anti-islamic opinion that does not come from skepticism and active atheism is just plain racism; because is someone like this Wilders comes to tell me that this religion is bad the worst and we have to fight it while we promote the other religions I can only tell him to piss off.
  • H G posted:

    on 3rd April 2008, 11:19:42 - Reply

    I quite honestly don't understand in what this film is so controversial...its about things weve seen on the news, with a touch of blind hatred which is unexplained in th film...

    When he announced the release of an anti-Islam film, I expected it to be more related to the problems in day to day life affecting people like you and me, which i think is the real reason why the average person here is, i must say, rightfully 'fed up' -.... grandmothers getting mugged, young boys beating up everything thats in their way, drug dealers, in general the epitome of disrespect towards society and the country that welcomed them... Link that to crime, healthcare, drug problem....the figures do add up, and im sure Dutch society could do without them.

    Dutch politicians for fear of getting killed, are too shy and chauvinist that they turn a blind eye to the causes and reality of this country's problems to the point they won't even admit that Wilders at least to some extent has a valid point...
  • nigeL harrIson posted:

    on 3rd April 2008, 07:17:02 - Reply

    I totally agree with John Doe and other commentators regarding this subject. I admire Meneer Wilderss courage to stand up and speak out against the terrible problems that extreme fundamental Islam presents.

    The establishment and other political parties should be ashamed of themselves(particularly the left wing), in their constant appeasing and in giving in to the real problems that this so called religion presents.

    A Religion whose followers deliberatly overbreed, indoctrinate their children, and deliberatly spread their culture - religion with the aim of eventually gaining control.

    Also the muslim worlds total inability to see other religions philosophy and their ridicilous reactions to cartoons etc.

    Theres been far too much appeasement to the Islam religion and Meneer Wilders should be congratulated on being the couragous person that he is to stand up to this aggressive Muslim-Islam nonsense.

    Long live freedom of expression and that it prevails against fascist creeds that threaten peace both in Holland and the rest of the world.

  • Biren posted:

    on 3rd April 2008, 02:54:14 - Reply

    Freedom of Speaks that is Holland..
    Knowing facts thats is wisedom..
    Salute Wilder, letting people know fact..

    Folks evaluate yourself
  • alexander posted:

    on 2nd April 2008, 23:52:42 - Reply

    There is no doubt that Mr. Wilders is one of the bravest and most enlightened men in Europe at this time. He has given up his personal freedoms at great danger to himself in an attempt to save the freedoms of his countrymen. He should be treated with the utmost respect, he is a true Dutch and European Hero.
  • Jason posted:

    on 2nd April 2008, 20:34:53 - Reply

    Well said John Doe. Geert Wilders is a hero, and should be treated as such. Shame on European poloticians playing right into muslims plans of global sharia.
  • john doe posted:

    on 2nd April 2008, 15:40:23 - Reply

    Bravo Wilders! Shame on all the Dutch dhimmis and appeasers. Islam is not a religion or a race but a totalitarian political ideology. There is absolutely no separation between church and state in Islam. The Dutch politicians and leaders....not to mention the Left wing and so-called multiculturalist, liberal media and sites like this one....are perversely and wilfully choosing to ignore this fact, and thus betraying everything our civilisation stands for...equal rights for men,women and gays, freedom of speech and conscience.