Attempts by Dutch legislator Geert Wilders to engage in public debate with Muslims about his controversial film Fitna have so far not been successful, reports said Friday.
Dutch media reported that Imam Fawaz Jneid from the As-Sunnah- mosque in The Hague demands that Wilders first remove his film from the internet and apologizes to all Muslims. Only if these conditions are met would Jneid consider a public debate with Wilders, the leader of the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV), dpa reported.
Mahmoud el Shershaby, from the El Tawheed mosque in Amsterdam said he is not interested debating with the Dutch politician, while Ahmed Salam from Tilburg has not responded to Geert Wilders' invitation to engage in a public debate with him.
Earlier this week a group of imams from the town of Gouda, east of The Hague, openly rejected Wilders' invitation to engage with him in a public debate.
On Friday May 16, the PVV leader starts his tour of public debates with Muslims in Gouda.
Wilders wants to meet common Muslims and imams to engage in public debates with them about what he sees as the problems of contemporary Islam.
The umbrella organization of Dutch Muslims NMR says Wilders prevents a fair public debate by not first meeting the conditions of the Muslim community.
In late March, Wilders released his 16-minute political film about contemporary Islam. The film warns against Muslim fundamentalism and what Wilders calls "the Islamization of the Netherlands."