Netherlands criticised in ‘Islam phobia monitor’

The Netherlands comes in for considerable criticism in the first ever ‘Islam phobia’ monitor drawn up by the influential Organisation of the Islamic Conference which is due to discuss the issue today, reports Thursday’s Volkskrant.

The OIC has informed Dutch foreign affairs minister Maxim Verhagen that the anti-Koran film by Dutch MP Geert Wilders – expected to be released shortly – will have ‘serious repercussions which could get out of hand and will be difficult to control’, says the paper.
The OIC report calls Wilders’ film ‘an extremely provocative documentary’ and says its screening is an ‘alarming development’.
The organisation also says that it has asked the European Union, the Council of Europe, the UN and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation to intervene and prevent the release of the film, reports the Volkskrant.
The OIC report recognises the stance of the Dutch government – that the right to freedom of expression is not the same as the right to the freedom to insult others. But it concludes that the West lacks the political will to tackle ‘Islam phobics’, says the Volkskrant.
The OIC report covers the period from May 2007 to March 2008 and incorporates the findings of the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance of February 12 this year which was also critical about Dutch attitudes towards Islam.
Some 57 countries form part of the OIC which is to meet in Senegal today.

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