Going to Cairo.
Christian and Muslim leaders from the Netherlands will have an audience with the grand imam of Egypt, Muhammed Sayyed Tantawi, in an attempt to limit the damage Geert Wilders' anti Koran film might bring about.
The Dutch delegation will come to Cairo next week and meet with the Grand Imam. He is considered the highest religious authority in the Muslim world.
The remarkable conciliatory trip was confirmed yesterday by Driss el-Boujoufi, chairman of the Contact Organ for Muslims and Government (CMO). The delegation consists also of representative of the Contact Group Islam, the Protestant Church in the Netherlands and the Council of Churches. Sheik Tantawi is the Grand Imam of the Al-Azhar mosque and rector of the Al-Azhar university in Cairo. THe organizations intend to visit other clergymen, such as Yusuf al-Qaradawi, after the appearance of the movie.
CMO-leader Boujoufi says that they will first emphasize to sheik Tantawi in Egypt that the Netherlands is still a tolerant country, where Muslims are freely allowed to build mosques. They will also make it clear that Wilders only represents a small segment of society.
The delegation hopes to prevent pressures on the relations between the religions, and prevent a boycott of Dutch products.
The Dutch Muslim organizations have also made contact with the Grand Mufti of Syria, who in January visited the EU parliament and declared that Wilders must be held responsible if his movie leads to violence and bloodshed. The Grand Mufti says he was misquoted, according to Boujoufi.
The Christian and Muslim organization spoke earlier this week against mocking and offending religions. They said they strongly reject the Koran or the prophet Muhammad being disdained and slandered.
Source: Telegraaf (Dutch)
See also: Netherlands: Wilders film roundup