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Muslims are none too fussed

Published on March 31, 2008

31 March 2008

FLANDERS – Reactions have been coming in from across Flanders to the publication of the far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam film on the internet on Thursday evening

Farid El Machaoud of the League of Muslims in Belgium told the VRT that "I feel slightly offended by certain scenes and amongst other things, the fact that certain verses from the Koran were taken out of context".

"I don’t think that the film will be the source of much conversation within the Muslim community", Mr El Machaoud added.


Antwerp Imam Taouil Nordine (photo) puts the film into context. "This is the work of an Islamophobe". "We not going to pay it too much attention and call on everyone to remain calm."

"Politicians should give a clear signal"
However, some immigrant organisations take a harder line.

The Federation of Moroccan Organisations, the Union of Turkish Associations and the Immigrant Youth Work Platform said in a joint statement that the film has nothing to do with freedom of speech.

"But it has everything to do with xenophobia and racism".

The statement goes on to say that "Belgian politicians should provide a resolute answer. Nobody can hide behind the right to freedom of speech."

Keulen: "Complete lack of nuance"
The Flemish Minister for Integration Marino Keulen said that while a politician should have the right to make a film, he criticised ‘Fitna’ as "lacking in any kind of nuance".

Mr Keulen added that the film made caricatures out of the world’s 1.4 million Muslims. The minister concluded that "Fitna aims to provoke and to open up divisions".

[Copyright flandersenews.be 2008 / photo by VRT]