Anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders is refusing to allow the Dutch anti-terrorism coordinator to see his controversial anti-Koran film in advance, reports Tuesday’s Telegraaf.
Tjibbe Joustra, who is responsible for Wilders’ security, wants to see the film so that he can decide what steps he needs to take to protect the leader of the anti-immigration party, the paper says. But Wilders does not agree with the conditions under which he wants to see the film, according to the Telegraaf.
The paper goes on to say that despite dire warnings that the screening of the film, due later this month, could put Dutch citizens abroad in danger, the public seem to be happy to book holidays to Muslim countries.
Louis Frankenhuis head of the travel agency OAD Reizen tells the paper that while the Wilders film is the subject of internal discussions, holiday-makers are not taking it into consideration at all. Destinations such as Egypt, Turkey and Indonesia are very popular, she says.
Simone van den Berg of TUI Nederland agrees, telling the Telegraaf that Wilders’ film is not playing any role in holiday-makers’ choice of destination.
Meanwhile Tuesday’s Volkskrant reports that Wilders is consciously refusing to debate his anti-Islamic views with Muslims and has regularly rejected invitations from a variety of organisations to participate in discussions both on TV and elsewhere.
One of the groups that have invited Wilders to debate is what the paper calls the ‘connecting generation’ of eight young Dutch-Moroccan professionals who want to break the ‘negative spiral’ of the current debate on Islam in the Netherlands.
Others include the multicultural students’ organisation SUN whose secretary Harun Yildirim tells the Volkskrant that Wilders just ‘says things in the media and then just turns off his phone so that he gets away with it time after time’.
And Jihad Alariachi, one of the presenters of the tv discussion programme Meiden van Halal (Halal Girls) tells the paper: ‘I understand that he [Wilders] is scared that voters will walk away if we confront him with arguments, but for someone who has no problem with labelling others as cowards, it’s cowardly.’
In reply to the Volkskrant’s question as to why he would not debate issues with Muslims, Wilders sent a text message to the paper saying that he would not do so until after his film is screened.
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