Islam is not a danger, Dutch PM says
7 April 2006, AMSTERDAM — Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende called for a rapprochement between Muslims and people of other faiths on Friday.
7 April 2006
AMSTERDAM — Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende called for a rapprochement between Muslims and people of other faiths on Friday.
"It causes me pain to see that people regard Islam as a danger. Islam is not a danger. The people who misuse Islam to spread terror are the danger," Balkenende said during a speech at an Islamic university in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Friday.
Balkenende, the leader of the Dutch Christian Democrat Party (CDA), also had discussions with leaders of Muslim groups and visited a Madrassa (Islamic school) on the first day of his two-day visit to Indonesia.
At the university, he cited the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh to illustrate that there were also tensions between groups in the Netherlands. Many of the students expressed interest in obtaining a scholarship to go to the Netherlands. One student asked Balkenende why prostitution and gay marriage are legal in the Netherlands.
Balkenende pointed out he had voted against legalisation when he was a member of parliament but that a majority supported the change.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news