Anger continues over anti-Islam film
Issued on: Modified:
Condemnation of Geert Wilders' anti-Islam film 'Fitna' continued on Sunday with Iran's Foreign Ministry summoning the Dutch ambassador as hundreds of students in Indonesia demonstrated, calling for Wilder to be punished.
A senior diplomat from
Wilders’ video, which urges Muslims to tear out
“hate-filled” verses from the Koran, has outraged Muslim nations in a similar way to a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad with a bomb under his turban published in a Danish newspaper in 2005.
“Following the propagation of the insulting and anti-Islamic film by the radical Dutch parliamentarian, the Dutch ambassador and the Slovenian charge d’affaires were summoned to the Foreign Ministry,” Iranian state radio said.
It said the Dutch envoy, Radinck van Vollenhoven, had expressed regret over the making of the film but this was denied by the Dutch Foreign Ministry.
“No regrets were expressed. The ambassador has outlined the opinion of the Dutch government as expressed by the prime minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, distancing itself from the film,” a ministry spokesman said.
“The meeting was held on the initiative of the Dutch government who had asked for the meeting on Friday.”
Wilders, leader of the anti-immigration Freedom Party, launched his short video on the Internet on Thursday.
The film “Fitna”—an Arabic term sometimes translated as “strife”—intersperses images of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the
Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has said the government believed the film “serves no purpose other than to cause offence. But feeling offended should never be used as an excuse for aggression and threats”.
The ministry spokesman said: “It was Wilders’ right to express his opinion. The public prosecutor is now looking into whether his film was within Dutch law.”
EU foreign ministers condemned the film on Saturday but said its author had a right to make it under the bloc’s free speech principles.
“The film equates Islam with violence and this view is sharply rejected,” the 27 ministers said in a statement after a meeting in
Also on Saturday, British-based LiveLeak.com, the first Web site to post the Wilders film, said it had removed the film after threats to its staff “of a very serious nature.”
Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morningSubscribe