Indonesia bans Wilders’ film
The Muslim nation bans broadcasts of controversial Islamic film by the Dutch lawmaker and bars him from entering the country.1 April 2008
JAKARTA - Indonesia has banned broadcasts of the controversial film on Islam by Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders and barred the filmmaker from entering the Muslim nation, local media reports said Tuesday.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono urged fellow Muslims in the country on Monday night not to use violence, vandalism or conduct a sweep against opponents in protests against the film, saying Islam and other religions never allow such a way.
"The world leaders have a moral obligation to prevent religious or cultural defamation as depicted in the Fitna film in bringing about peace in the world," the state-run Antara quoted Yudhoyono as saying.
He also called on the Dutch government and parliament to stop broadcasts of the film, which he says accuses the Koran of inciting violence, and urged international media and Web sites to ignore the film.
Yudhoyono appealed the international community "not to use freedom without limit" which would ruin and offend the feeling of believers of other religious creeds.
He expressed the hope that all parties should not disrupt the efforts already made by other religious believers to create a bridge between the different cultures.
Wilders, an anti-immigration politician, released the film over the internet last week after publicising its release for months. It sparked condemnation from Muslim nations.
The Dutch government had warned Wilders that the film could spark a violent backlash in the Islamic world similar to the one that occurred two years ago after the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
The 15-minute film intersperses verses from the Koran interpreted as calling on Muslims to attack and destroy enemies of the faith with bloody scenes of recent terrorist attacks and hateful speeches by extremists.
On Monday, dozens of Muslim militants from the hardline Islamic Defender Front staged a rally outside the Dutch embassy in Jakarta, with some of them pelting the embassy compound with eggs and plastic water bottles, protesting the film and demanding the government cut off diplomatic ties with the Netherlands.
The protesters carried banners saying, "Holland go to hell" and "Kill Geert Wilders," the film's maker, while protest leaders threatened to conduct a "sweep against the Dutch citizens" in Indonesia, a former Dutch colony.
Indonesia is the largest Muslim nation with nearly 88 percent of its 225 million people adhering to Islam, but protests against the Dutch film have been small scale so far.
[Copyright dpa 2008 / Photo by AFP]