Dutch Businesses to Sue Wilders
Major Dutch businesses threatened to sue Wilders if Muslim boycotted Dutch products over his anti-Qur'an film.
THE HAGUE — Fearing a Muslim boycott, major Dutch businesses are threatening to sue far-right lawmaker Geert Wilders over his documentary portraying the Noble Qur'an as inciting violence.
"If they (Muslims) decide to boycott Dutch businesses, it will harm Dutch exports," Bernard Wientjes, the chairman of the Dutch employers' organization VNO-NCW, told the newspaper Het Financieel Dagblad, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).
"Companies like Shell, Philips and Unilever are easily recognizable as Dutch companies."
Wilders, the leader of the far-right Freedom Party, released his anti-Qur'an film on a video-sharing website on Thursday, March 27.
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In Opposition to Anti-Qur'an Film
The film intersperses images of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and the Madrid train bombings in 2004 with verses from the Qur'an.
The documentary also featured a Danish cartoon of a man said to be Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) with a bomb protruding from his turban.
"I don't know if Wilders is rich, or well-insured, but in the case of a boycott, we would look to see if we could make him bear responsibility," said Wientjes.
Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard has already threatened legal action against the far-right politician for using the cartoon in his film without permission.
Dutch-Moroccan rapper Salah Edin has also vowed to sue Wilders for using his picture to portray the killer of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh over his anti-Islam film "Submission".
The anti-Qur'an film has already sparked mounting calls in the Muslim world for boycotting Dutch products.
"If Muslims unite, it will be easy to take action," said former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.
"If we boycott Dutch products, they will have to close down their businesses.
"If the world's 1.3 billion Muslims unite and say they won't buy, then it (the boycott) will be effective," he said.
Nearly 30 Jordanian newspapers, radio stations and websites have launched a bid for boycotting Dutch businesses.
Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has warned it could be "months" before the consequences of the film were known.
Muslims worldwide boycotted Danish products during the 2005 Prophet cartoon crisis, causing Danish companies nearly $1.5 million a day in losses.
Denmark's leading dairy company Arla Foods, one of the hardest hit, issued at the time a strong condemnation of the cartoon and appealed to Arabs and Muslims to end their boycott of its products.
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