Monday, March 31, 2008

Wilders Film Aims to Block Dialogue: WAMY

Wilders Film Aims to Block Dialogue: WAMY
M. Ghazanfar Ali Khan, Arab News
RIYADH, 31 March 2008 — The World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) has denounced Thursday's screening of an anti-Qur'an film by a rightwing MP in the Netherlands and called on international bodies to prevent people from insulting religions.
"These kinds of attacks by so-called sane European politicians and scholars will lead to very serious repercussions, pushing mankind to a situation of chaos and conflict," said Dr. Saleh S. Al-Wohaibi, secretary-general of WAMY.
"WAMY will hold talks with Nicolaas Beets, Dutch ambassador, and drawing his government's attention to this sensitive issue," he added.
Anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders posted the 15-minute film, entitled "Fitna," Arabic for strife, on the Internet, attracting strong condemnations from across the Islamic world. The film follows the republishing of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in Danish newspapers.
"It is a new fitna, a new obstacle to block any sensible dialogue between religions. It is high time that the West moves quickly to control the damage. They don't understand how much Muslims love and respect their Prophet (pbuh)," said Al-Wohaibi.
"If we do something against Christianity or target Christian interests in retaliation, the Netherlands, Europe and the whole world would object. But Islam does not teach that, it advocates peace and co-existence," said Al-Wohaibi.
"I am afraid that the Western world has failed to understand the severity of the problem," he said, adding that people, such as Wilders, are trying to create conflict. He added that Wilders is being provocative with no knowledge of religions and human values, and that his antics have created problems for the Dutch government.
Speaking about whether dialogue between Muslims, Christians and Jews would help reconcile differences, Al-Wohaibi said, "I have my own reservations. Muslims are serious but the other parties are not. They are not committed. They want to hold dialogue, just for the sake of it and for Muslims' consumption."
Last week, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah announced plans to hold a conference of all major religions — a project that had been previously discussed with Pope Benedict XVI.
Meanwhile, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) has again condemned the Dutch film, saying it aims to discriminate against Muslims and stir enmity against them. "The film is being screened despite opposition from the international community and the Dutch government," the OIC said in a statement. It also renewed its demand that the UN must enact a code of ethics to prohibit such provocative moves.

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