Protest against anti-Islam film lodged with Netherlands
ISLAMABAD, March 28: The Netherlands has assured Pakistan that it will launch a criminal investigation into the release on the internet of an anti-Islam film by Dutch parliament member Geert Wilder.
Dutch Ambassador Willem Andreae, who had been summoned to the Foreign Office on Thursday, told Additional Secretary (Europe) Akbar Zeb that the release was an individual act and Mr Wilder would have to bear the consequences of his actions.
He said the Dutch government rejected the message of the film and believed that it had no other purpose but to cause offence.
Disregarding the Netherlands government’s request for not releasing the film, Mr Wilder posted his 17-minute documentary on his far right party’s website.
Lodging Pakistan’s protest, Mr Zeb said the release of the film deeply offended the sentiments of Muslims all over the world and could result in expression of strong abhorrence and outrage.
He said it was the Dutch government’s responsibility to take all necessary measures to minimise the impact of the incident and to prosecute Mr Wilder for defamation and deliberately hurting Muslims’ sentiments. He said insult to other religions could never be justified on the basis of freedom of expression and it ran counter to the efforts of individuals and countries that were building bridges between religions and civilisations.
Mr Zeb emphasised that defamation and incitement to hatred were prohibited under the Dutch penal code.