Statements of ICCO & Kerk in Actie and other doc’s in referral to Fitna, the Wilders movie

Statements of ICCO & Kerk in Actie and other doc’s in referral to Fitna, the Wilders movie 

Dear All,

Herewith you will find our official statement with regard to Mr. Geert Wilders, a populist Dutch politician and Member of Parliament, of who released a 15-minute anti-Islam video on TV and the internet.

Although many people in The Netherlands were concerned by Wilders’ film plans, our much appreciated laws on freedom of speech did not allow for a pre-emptive action. ICCO & Kerk in Actie feel however that the balance between freedom of speech on the one hand and respect for people, cultures and religions on the other hand has been impaired by this film.

ICCO & Kerk in Actie are convinced that the anti-Islamic sentiments expressed by this film are not shared by the majority of the Dutch population .

The leadership of the churches in the Netherlands and many Moslem-organisations have also pronounced their rejection of the content of the film and have called for peaceful relations between religions. We want to make it absolutely clear that the film does  not in any way reflect any of ICCO & Kerk in Actie’s values and viewpoints. On the contrary, ICCO & Kerk in Actie uphold inclusiveness as its core value and as the main driving force behind its strategic plan and its operations. ICCO & Kerk in Actie actively promote inter-religious dialogue as an important vehicle for peace, reconciliation and human development and seek to connect people, rather than divide them.

Please feel free to respond to this email. We would like to hear from our partner organizations how the common people in your country perceive this film in particular and how this might affect your organization working with Dutch organizations like ours.  

In peace!

Raymond Bernardus

ICCO, Program officer Afghanistan, Pakistan  

STATEMENT

“You will probably have learned that Mr. Geert Wilders, a populist Dutch politician and Member of Parliament, has released a 15-minute anti-Islam video on TV and the internet.

Although many people in The Netherlands were concerned by Wilders’ film plans, our much appreciated laws on freedom of speech did not allow for a pre-emptive action. ICCO & Kerk in Actie feel however that the balance between freedom of speech on the one hand and respect for people, cultures and religions on the other hand has been impaired by this film.

ICCO & Kerk in Actie are convinced that the anti-Islamic sentiments expressed by this film are not shared by the majority of the Dutch population . The leadership of the churches in the Netherlands and many Moslem-organisations have also pronounced their rejection of the content of the film and have called for peaceful relations between religions. We want to make it absolutely clear that the film does  not in any way reflect any of ICCO & Kerk in Actie’s values and viewpoints. On the contrary, ICCO & Kerk in Actie uphold inclusiveness as its core value and as the main driving force behind its strategic plan and its operations. ICCO & Kerk in Actie actively promote inter-religious dialogue as an important vehicle for peace, reconciliation and human development and seek to connect people, rather than divide them. “

Utrecht,  Friday 28th of March 2008

Hans Brüning

Director International Programme

Netherlands Government’s reaction to Wilders’ film

 28 Mar 2008 | Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has reacted to the film Fitna that MP Geert Wilders has released on the internet today. 

Prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende: “On behalf of the Dutch government, I would like to respond to the online film by Mr Wilders. The film shows images of violent acts and holds Islam and the Koran responsible for them. The government condemns such acts and those who commit them. The film equates Islam with violence. We reject this interpretation. The vast majority of Muslims reject extremism and violence. In fact, the victims are often also Muslims.  We therefore regret that Mr Wilders has released this film. We believe it serves no purpose other than to cause offence. But feeling offended must never be used as an excuse for aggression and threats. The government is heartened by the initial restrained reactions of Dutch Muslim organisations. Muslims, Christians and people of other convictions can easily live together in peace. The problem is not religion, but misuse of religion to sow hatred and intolerance. That is why we are calling for respect for everyone’s deepest convictions. We are aware of the concerns and the sentiments about this film in the international Muslim community. We have recently spoken with many people at home and abroad to promote mutual understanding. We will continue to follow this course. 

The Dutch government stands for a society in which freedom and respect go hand in hand. Such a society demands dedication and commitment. We oppose extremism. Anyone who breaks the law is dealt with firmly. Let us solve problems by working together. Let us reach out to others and build confidence and trust. Let us conquer prejudice. We shall surely succeed.

 28 mrt 2008 | Minister-president Balkenende heeft een reactie gegeven naar aanleiding van de film Fitna van Tweede Kamerlid Wilders (PVV), die vandaag op internet is uitgekomen. 

De verklaring van minister-president Balkenende:

“Namens de Nederlandse regering reageer ik op de internetfilm van de heer Wilders.

De film toont beelden van gruweldaden en stelt de Islam en de Koran daarvoor verantwoordelijk. De regering veroordeelt zulke daden en de plegers ervan.

In de film wordt de Islam gelijk gesteld met het plegen van gruweldaden. Wij verwerpen deze voorstelling van zaken. Het overgrote deel van de moslims verwerpt extremisme en geweld. De slachtoffers zijn juist vaak moslims.

Wij betreuren het dan ook dat de heer Wilders deze film naar buiten heeft gebracht. Wij zien niet welk doel deze film dient, anders dan het kwetsen van gevoelens. Deze mogen overigens nooit een excuus zijn voor agressie en bedreigingen. De regering voelt zich gesteund door de evenwichtige eerste reacties van moslimorganisaties in Nederland.

Moslims, christenen en mensen met andere levensovertuigingen kunnen heel goed met elkaar leven. Het probleem is niet de godsdienst, maar misbruik van godsdienst om haat en onverdraagzaamheid te zaaien. Daarom vragen wij respect voor ieders diepste overtuigingen.

We kennen de zorgen en gevoelens die in de internationale moslimgemeenschap leven met betrekking tot deze film. In de afgelopen tijd hebben we contact gelegd met velen binnen en buiten ons land om het onderlinge begrip te versterken. Daar gaan we volop mee door.

De Nederlandse regering staat voor een samenleving waarin vrijheid en respect hand in hand gaan. Zo’n samenleving vraagt inzet en vastberadenheid. Extremisme bestrijden we. Wie de wet overtreedt pakken we hard aan. Laten we samenwerken aan het oplossen van problemen. Laten we bruggen slaan naar de ander en werken aan vertrouwen. Laten we vooroordelen overwinnen. Dat moet lukken.”

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