Maxime Verhagen told ambassadors from 26 Muslim that he was happy with the relatively calm reaction he had witnessed since the short film was posted on sites Thursday by Dutch MP Geert Wilders, adding that the film in no way reflected the religious views of the Dutch government.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday that "Russia... fully condemns the showing of the film and considers it a provocation," warning of negative consequences similar to those that occurred, following the notorious Danish 'cartoon' episode in 2006.
The 16-minute film, entitled 'Fitna' - an Arabic word meaning 'strife' or 'division among people' - was posted on the U.K.-based video website Liveleak on Thursday evening. It was made by Dutch MP Geert Wilders, who had earlier announced that his film would show that the Koran is "a fascist book" that justifies murder.
The short film begins with an image of the notorious 2006 Danish cartoon portraying the Prophet Mohammed with an explosive device on his head. The cartoon caused riots throughout the world after demonstrators attacked Danish embassies and other buildings with perceived links to the West. More than 100 people died in the violence. There were also protests against the reprinting of the cartoon in 2008.
Both NATO and the EU had earlier expressed concern over the film, with NATO saying it feared that Dutch troops in Afghanistan would now become a target for 'revenge' attacks. The Dutch government has also raised its national terrorist warning level in response to the film's release.
The film contains footage of radical Imams calling for the slaughter of Jews and other disbelievers as well as a Muslim holding a "God bless Hitler" placard. However, although the intention of the film was to 'discredit' Islam by showing the links between verses in the Koran and violence, many commentators have suggested that the film resembles nothing more than the clips frequently aired on radical Islamic websites.
Although moderate Islamic groups have said the film is "nothing new" and have made appeals for Muslims to "react calmly and within the law," the prospect of a backlash in the Islamic world remains a distinct possibility.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Image Galleries: New "Watercolors" Train Exhibition in the Moscow Metro
Infographics: The Origin of Geomagnetic Storms
Cartoons: Dreams of Space
The failure of the Islamist political parties who came to power in the dramatic events of the Arab Spring would allow the military to reenter the political arena. Political Islam was successful in the opposition, but it could fail in power, as the negative experience of Egypt and Iraq have shown.