(AFP) – Mar 31, 2008
AMMAN (AFP) — Jordan on Monday condemned an anti-Islamic film by a Dutch lawmaker and demanded firm action from The Netherlands, a day after MPs called for ties between the two countries to be severed.
"We respect freedom of expression, but what happened was an abuse of this freedom and it is rejected and condemned," State Minister for Information Nasser Judeh told the state-run Petra news agency.
He said Foreign Minister Salah Bashir has asked the ambassadors to Brussels and Vienna to meet the president of the European Parliament and other officials in a bid to "prevent future attempts to insult Islam and the Prophet Mohammed."
Far-right Dutch deputy Geert Wilders posted the 17-minute film entitled "Fitna" (Discord in Arabic) on the Internet on Thursday, featuring violent imagery of attacks in New York and Madrid intertwined with Koranic texts.
Earlier, parliament issued a statement calling on the Dutch authorities "to take a firm position towards such actions that hurt the feelings of hundreds of millions of Muslims."
"Jordan is shocked and condemns all attempts to sow sedition and provoke Muslims under the pretext of freedom of expression," the statement said.
Judeh accused Wilders of "seeking nothing but to provoke people," Petra reported.
The film prompted 53 Jordanian MPs on Sunday to submit a petition to Prime Minister Nader Dahabi demanding that the government expel the Dutch ambassador to Amman and sever diplomatic links with The Netherlands.
Several Muslim countries have also condemned the film, which followed the February reprinting in Danish newspapers of a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed deemed insulting to Islam.
Earlier this month, 48 Jordanian MPs urged the government to sever ties with Denmark in protest.
Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen sought on Monday to temper anger in the Muslim world at the film.
"We know the worries and the feelings that surround this film in the international Muslim community, but hurt feelings should not be an excuse for aggression and threats," a statement from Verhagen said.
He issued the statement after meeting 26 ambassadors from the 57-nation Organisation of the Islamic Conference, which warned last week that the film's aim was to provoke unrest.
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