Anti-Koran film keeps the Dutch holding their breath
The far-right politician Geert Wilders, whose planned anti-Koran film has the Netherlands holding its breath, has revealed that his long-awaited opus will be delayed by two months. There had been speculation he might show it in his party’s broadcasting slot on Dutch television on Friday evening. Viewers instead got shots of Wilders walking along a beach repeating his complaints about Muslims (shown a few minutes into this Dutch TV interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali). For more on his views, he’s here and here spelling them out in English.
The 10-minute movie is now due out in March, Wilders said in an interview in Saturday’s De Telegraaf. This comes after a rising chorus of concern about possible protests against the film and a call from Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende for restraint and reports that Dutch embassies were preparing to evacuate Dutch citizens abroad if things got out of hand.
The Rotterdam daily NRC Handelsblad smelt a rat. “Geert Wilders says he’s making a film. Nobody has seen it yet. But his plan has kept the media and politicians in its grip for two months now,” it commented. “In terms of political PR, Geert Wilders is putting on a great show… Wilders can dominate the news because journalists and politicians are sytematically allowing themselves to be taken hostage by him. Without a loudspeaker, there is no platform. Without political reactions, there is no series to watch.”
Is it that simple? Are the media being taken hostage by politicians like Wilders?