Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia spokeperson, Ismail Yusanto said to Nikolas van Dam, the Dutch ambassador for Indonesia that the Dutch government is not excused over the recent film FITNA. According to Yusanto, the Dutch has authority to prevent the release of the FITNA and to punish Wilders, who is a Dutch citizen, member of Dutch parliament, and producer of the film.
Van Dam had received the representative of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), who had organized protest against FITNA at the Dutch Embassy on Tuesday April 1, 2008. The ambassador explained that Wilders does not represent the official opinion of Dutch government and the majority of its citizens. Therefore, according to Van Dam, the protest should be directed at Wilders himself, instead of the Dutch government
Yusanto rejected Van Dam suggestion and said that the site of the protest was targeting an embassy, which represents the Dutch government. Clearly, the government must be hold accountable over the conducts of its citizens, including Wilders, who has deliberately villified al Quran and Islam.
On this occasion, van Dam expressed his appreciation for an opportunity to meet with HTI’s representatives and understood their viewpoints. He stressed that different opinions must be respected and tolerated. According to him, the Netherlands has longstanding tradition of toleration and freedom of religions.
As a response, Ismail said that the Western regimes often lectured the muslim community to be moderate, tolerant, and respectful. However, Ismail pointed out that the West has done the opposite by allowing its media and citizens to express malicious views against Islam in the name of freedom. Ismail then questioned, "Our Prophet was ridiculed, Al Qur’an was called book of fascism, headscarfs were banned in France. So where is the respect?"
By allowing extremist views of its people and not taking firm against them, the West’s call for tolerance and mutual respects is not sincere. Ismail continued," the West talks about intercivilizational dialogue and concomitantly support Americans’ extreme and terroristic actions against Iraq, which has killed up to a million people, all for the sake of ‘freedom’."
This frank conversation between the Dutch ambassador and HTI representatives was conducted in English, Arabic and Indonesian languanges. Van Dam who had served in a number of Middle Eastern countries spoke fluent Arabic. He recalled his experiences learning Islam at the University of Leiden, reading Ghazali’s Ihya Ulumuddin and Bukhari’s Hadith Corpus. The meeting finally ended with an invitation. Yusanto said to Van Dam, "With a sincere heart, I invite you to embrace Islam, aslim taslam." (Rusydan/LI)