Prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende has urged maverick MP Geert Wilders to carefully consider the consquences of broadcasting his anti-Koran film.
While stopping short of asking Wilders not to release the film, Balkenende said he was seriously worried about the effect it could have on Dutch citizens, soldiers and companies.
“It is our duty to point this out to Mr Wilders. That is why we are publicly speaking out,” Balkenende said after the weekly cabinet meeting.
“We have a duty to make clear to everyone that the methods and thoughts of one MP do not correspond to those of the government.”
A number of countries have already expressed their concerns about the 15-minute feature, which Wilders says aims to show the Koran is a fascist book which encourages violence.
Employers organisation VNO-NCW and the farmers lobby group LTO Nederland have also called on Wilders not to go ahead, news agency ANP reported.
On Friday, Christian Democrat parliamentary leader Pieter van Geel repeated his call to Wilders to cancel the project. ‘I am making a moral appeal to him not to go ahead,’ Van Geel said on a tv talk show. ‘The cabinet is not in a position to do that.’
Aid organisations are also planning special measures to protect their citizens abroad, ANP said. Aid minister Bert Koenders has cancelled a visit to Somalia following direct threats.
Wilders accused the cabinet of ‘capitulating to fear of terror and fear of Islam.’
Wilders does not yet have a broadcaster for his film but does plan to release it on the internet.
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