It will not go unnoticed, after much debate and controversy, that the long anticipated Dutch Parliamentarian Wilders’ anti-Islamic film ‘Fitna’ has finally been released.
His approach concerning Islam and the Koran, as conveyed through this film, has insulted many people–Muslims in particular. The film equates Islam with violence. The Dutch government rejects this interpretation, just like the vast majority of Muslims reject extremism and violence.
The approach taken in the film ‘Fitna’ contradicts all that the Dutch Government envisages for and aspires to in its society; A society in which people can live together peacefully, showing mutual respect, as well as respect for the fundamental values of the law of state and guaranteeing safety for its citizens whilst maintaining freedom of expression and religion.
The Netherlands is well known for its tradition of respect, tolerance and responsibility. Purposefully offending the feelings and beliefs of groups within this society and beyond is clearly not a part of that tradition.
Freedom to express opinions and showing mutual respect, however, are a part of this tradition. The Dutch government will abide by its tradition and calls upon everyone else to act in a similar spirit.
Freedom of expression is not unrestricted in the sense that in the Netherlands its limits are defined by the law. The Dutch Government is investigating the possibility of Wilders having committed criminal offenses and the Public Prosecution Service will finally make a decision as to whether or not to prosecute.
It is clear the Dutch Government does not stand alone in rejecting this film. An overwhelming majority of Dutch parliamentarians have rejected and criticized it, the main exception being the party of Wilders himself.
The Dutch media have also turned their backs on this film, as has become clear with no Dutch television station stating their willingness to broadcast it so far. As a result, Wilders has found his only other alternative for the distribution of ‘Fitna’ over the internet.
Finally, the Dutch Government wishes to emphasize expressly, again, it does not share the approach of Wilders. As the Dutch parliamentarian majority, as well as the majority of Dutch society, including its media have also distanced themselves from Wilders, his opinions concerning Islam cannot to be taken as representative of the Netherlands in any way.
The Dutch Government rejects the anti-Islamic approach of this film, and stands open for dialogue whilst calling for freedom of expression and mutual respect. The Netherlands wish to stay in open contact with all those who are in favor of a peaceful dialogue. Only through these means will we be able to cooperate successfully in building towards a society more firmly grounded in mutual understanding and respect, elements which are so precious in our present-day world.
NIKOLAOS VAN DAM
Ambassador of the Netherlands
sumber: Jakarta Post