Dutch protest against Islam critic's Koran film - Challenging Islamophobia

Dutch protest against Islam critic's Koran film
By Foo Yun Chee, Reuters, March 23, 2008

AMSTERDAM, March 22 (Reuters) - About one thousand people protested in central Amsterdam on Saturday against right-wing lawmaker Geert Wilders and the imminent release of his film expected to be critical of the Koran.

Anti-racism protesters clad in winter clothing against the freezing cold and drizzling rain held placards that said "Enough is enough" and "Stop the witch-hunt against Muslims".

Pop and hip-hop groups entertained the crowd in between speeches by social groups.

"We can no longer remain silent. There is a climate of hate and fear in the Netherlands," said spokesman Rene Danen from anti-racism organisation Nederland Bekent Kleur (the Netherlands recognises colour differences), which had organised the protest.

There should be restrictions on what Wilders can say, said Rieke, a 61-year-old Amsterdam arts teacher who declined to give her last name.

"I think it is embarrassing what Wilders says, for example about tearing up the Koran. It is a very bad example to people to let him say whatever he wants," she said.

Wilders' film has already triggered fury in the Muslim world. The Dutch government has distanced itself from his views, fearing a backlash against the country amongst Muslims similar to that against Denmark in 2006 after newspapers there published the Prophet Mohammad cartoons.

Also see:
Dutch MP website suspended over blasphemous film - Daily Times
Summit to debate Islamophobia in West - Agence France-Presse

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