Govt bans Dutch controversial Fitna film maker from entering Indonesia

By Eliswan Azly

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – With the rising international criticism of the making of the controversial Fitna film in the Netherlands, the Indonesian Government had banned Geert Wilders, the film maker, from entering this world largest archipelagic country.

Through the Justice and Human Rights Minister, the government had banned Dutch right-wing populist MP Geert Wilders from visiting Indonesia, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said in a press conference here on Monday.

In addition, the government also called on the media to deplore the production of the controversial Fitna Film by a Dutch parliamentarian, as that film had the potential to trigger a conflict among members of the society.

According to him, the world leaders have a moral obligation to prevent religious or cultural defamation as depicted in the Fitna movie picture in bringing about peace in the world.

The international community was urged not to use freedom without limit which would ruin and offend the feeling of believers of other religious creeds, he said hoping that all parties should not disrupt the efforts already made by other religious believers to create a bridge between the different cultures.

It was said how the efforts made by Indonesia and Norway to create an inter-religious dialogue following the publication of cartoon which was an insult to Prophet Muhammad and Moslems across the world.

In the meantime, a wave of protests and denunciation from Indonesia and some other countries against the film made by Wilders were sounding high following the emergence of Dutch Prime Minister Peter Balkenende on television to explain his government’s stance which also deplored the film.

A few dozen demonstrators protested against Geert Wilders’ film outside the Dutch embassy in Jakarta. They waved banners reading “Holland go to Hell” and “Kill Geert Wilders”, threw rotten eggs and bottled water at the building and chanted anti-Dutch slogans. One protestor called on Muslims around the world to kill Mr Wilders, calling him a “Christian terrorist”.

In the Fitna movie picture, Wilders linked terrorist action to Islamic extremists and verses in the Koran published through the Internet website http://www.liveleak.com on Thursday evening (March 28).

Wilders described the holy Koran as a facist book calling on religious believers to perpetuate violence.

In response to the controversial film, political affairs chairman of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) Al Muzzammil Yusuf said the Dutch Government should actually ask for an apology from moslem countries in the world for the making of the Fitna film which was considered a degradation of the holy Koran.

Fitna film was seen as having offended the feelings of moslems due the degradation of the holy Koran. Unless the Dutch government had asked for an apology, a boycott against all Dutch products will be launched in all moslem countries, Muzzammil who is also a member of the foreign affairs commission of the House of Representatives (DPR), said Monday.

According to him, the West which had accused Islam of being terrorists and fundamentalists were proven to be a den of secular fundamentalists who are very proud of terrorizing followers of other religious creeds.

This phenomenon showed that the formulation of human rights freedom, Western style, was no longer conducive to international maintenance of religious tolerance. “This kind of religious harrassment has a potential to trigger social unrest which may eventually develop into a conflict,” he said.

However preventive measures should be taken by the UN to create a convention banning harrassment of a certain religious creed. “This constitutes a foundation for building religious tolerance. Hence, the Indonesian representative in the UN needs to be proactive with regard to this case, because the 1945 constitution also calls for maintenance of world peace,” he said.

The reaction did not only come from Indonesia, but many Islamic countries also protested the film. Former Prime Minister Mahathir Muhammad even called for a boycott of all Dutch products in his country.

Likely, a boycott of Dutch products could be a productive way to put pressure on the Dutch government to ban the screening of the film in that country, Alkathtath of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia said.

If the Moslem countries show a linient attitude, it seems the reaction was belittled. Therefore, it is time for Moslem countries to unite in facing the West which often dislikes Islam, he said. (*)

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About Fitna Film / Tentang Fitna Film

Fitna is a film by Dutch politician Geert Wilders, leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV) in the Dutch parliament. The movie offers his views on Islam and the Qur'an. The film's title comes from the Arabic word fitna which is used to describe "disagreement and division among people", or a "test of faith in times of trial". Fitna was released to the Internet on 27 March 2008. Fitna adalah film yang dibuat oleh Politisi Belanda, Geert Wilder, berasal dari fraksi (PVV) Parlement Belanda. Film ini menggambarkan pandangan pribadi Wilders akan Islam dan Quran. Judul film ini diambil dari bahasa arab "Fitna" untuk menggambarkan "ketidaksetujuan/ perbedaan pandangan". Fitna dirilis di Internet pada 27 Maret 2008.

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