Indonesians burn Dutch flag
Dozens of Muslim students set the Dutch flag on fire on Wednesday to protest against the controversial Fitna.2 April 2008
JAKARTA - Dozens of Indonesian Muslim students set the Dutch flag on fire Wednesday to protest a controversial film made by Dutch politician which accuses Islamic of inspiring violence.
In addition, dozens of students from the Islamic University Students Group (HMI), also damaged the gate of The Netherlands consulate office in Medan, the provincial capital of North Sumatra province.
During an hour-long rally, some of the protestors pelted the Dutch consulate's compound with rotten eggs, forcibly removed the Dutch flag from a pole in the consulate's front yard and set it on fire, the state-run Antara News Agency reported.
Police fired gunshots into air in an attempt to stop the vandalism and rounded up about 20 of the protestors and brought them to Medan's police headquarters for questioning.
It was the first violent protest in the third-straight day of anti-Dutch demonstrations in Indonesia, home to the world's biggest Muslim population, following the release of film.
On Monday, president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono urged his people not to resort to violence or harassment of foreigners in protests against the film, saying that Islam and the other religions forbid violence, which is also against the law.
Anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders released the 15-minute film Fitna, which means strife in Arabic, over the Internet last week.
The film shows graphic images of terrorist attacks, including the destruction of the World Trade Centre on September 11 and the London and Madrid train bombings, interspersed with verses from the Koran, Islam's holy book.
The film's release sparked condemnation not only from Muslim nations, but also from UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, who called the film "offensively anti-Islamic".
Indonesia, which has banned broadcasts of the film, has also asked Internet providers to block access to the YouTube Web site carrying the film made by the right-wing Dutch lawmaker.
Jakarta also barred Wilders from entering the archipelago nation, a former Dutch colony.
Nearly 88 percent of Indonesia's 225 million people classify themselves as Muslim.
[Copyright dpa 2008 / photo by AFP]