Imam urges broadcast of Van Gogh film

8th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

8 November 2004 , AMSTERDAM — A well known Rotterdam imam has criticised the decision by two Dutch regional television stations not to broadcast the controversial film Submission.

8 November 2004

AMSTERDAM — A well known Rotterdam imam has criticised the decision by two Dutch regional television stations not to broadcast the controversial film Submission.

Imam Abdullah Haselhoef said not screening the film would give the signal that murder or terrorism pays.

RTV Noord Holland and RTV Utrecht had planned to broadcast the 10-minute film on Tuesday — when murdered filmmaker Theo van Gogh will be cremated in Amsterdam. But after intense internal discussions, the stations' management decided not to show the film.

The Stedelijk Museum was also planning to broadcast the film during Museumnacht (Museum Night) on 6 November.  But its management said on Monday that it could have sparked too much commotion and thereby threaten the safety of visitors, news service NOS reported.

Public broadcaster VPRO has also opted against a repeat broadcast. Editor-in-Chief Daniëlle Lunenborg said the broadcaster had decided not to be swept up in emotions generated by the shocking killing. VPRO first broadcast the film in August.

Made by Van Gogh and MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the film cast an accusing eye on the alleged systemic violence committed against women in the Muslim community. It portrayed women in see-through veils with anti-women texts from the Koran written on their bodies as they recount stories of physical abuse.

The film is believed to have been the main motive in the murder of Van Gogh, who was shot and stabbed on an Amsterdam street on 2 November. A note in Dutch and Arabic with Islamic quotations was left with his body, warning that Hirsi Ali was next.

Haselhoef said Monday there are now "many Dutch people who no longer dare say aloud what they think or what they feel about Muslims and Islam". He urged the stations to broadcast the film in spite of their fear.

But Haselhoef also dismissed the content of the film, complaining that it showed contempt for the Islamic faith. He said the film was "dumb and short-sighted" and that it would have been better had it been made in co-operation with Islamic women's organisations.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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