PVV anti-Islam campaign video sparks outrage, charges

Geert Wilders
Geert Wilders. Wouter Engler / Wikimedia Commons

Geert Wilders and the PVV sparked outrage and anger from politicians and various organizations with an anti-Islam campaign video broadcast on NPO on Thursday. A number of politicians and organizations announced that they will be pressing charges of incitement to hatred and violence against the PVV leader as well as the broadcaster. 

According to the video, Islam stands for terrorism and hatred against a whole list of peoples, including Jews, Christians, women, and homosexuals. This is all displayed in red letters on the screen, with horror music playing. The video ends with "Islam is deadly", also written in red letters, with blood dripping on the screen. The commercial was aired by NPO on Thursday, during broadcasting time for political parties. Wilders also posted it, in Dutch and English, on Twitter.

PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher will press charges against Wilders, according to the Volkskrant. "Stop with hate speech", he said. So will the D66, who responded with a counter-video full of images of a tolerant society. Prime Minister Mark Rutte expressed his distaste after the Council of Ministers on Friday. "I think I represent the vast majority of the Netherlands here when I say that I find this distasteful", he said, according to the newspaper.

The Hague party Islam Democranten will press charges of incitement to hatred and violence against Muslims, according to the newspapers. Action groups Collective against Islamophobia and Discrimination and Nederland Bekent Kleur filed complaints with the National Ombudsman, also holding NPO and the Media Authority responsible. "They should have reasonably suspected that this expression is offensive to a group of people because of their race, their religion or beliefs, or incites hatred or discrimination against people." the groups said, according to the Volkskrant.

NIDA and Partij van de Eenheid also pressed charges against the PVV leader, Omroep West reports.

"Disgusting film. Reprehensible!" Hanna Luden from the center for information and documentation on Israel CIDI said. "Hereby a call to all politicians to condemn this publicly and unambiguously."

Wilders' video goes way too far, Said Bouharrou of the council of Moroccan mosques in the Netherlands RMMN said to RTL Nieuws. The council will press charges against Wilders and NPO this week and calls on everyone to do the same. "We are not only shocked by the video, but also by the fact that it is normal for it to be broadcast", Bouharrou said to the broadcaster. "Wilders is always going a step further. We received many troubled and anxious reactions from our supporters." He adds: "In our opinion this is incitement to hatred. The NPO has a responsibility, also for a message that does not come from them."

In a reaction, NPO stated that it is not responsible for the content of the video. "The NPO has no influence on the content of the commercials in airtime for political parties. Responsibility for the content lies directly with the political party", the public broadcaster said, according to the Volkskrant. 

Wilders responded to the commotion on Twitter. "No one will stop me from proclaiming the truth about Islam. No charges, no death threats, no al-Qaeda, no cowardly fellow politicians, no mosque associations. No one. Never. Islam is an existential danger for the Netherlands and our freedom" he tweeted. 

Tags: