Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Protesters demanded the festival should close down within 24 hours. The demonstration was small, but the threat was large... The organisation behind it was the FPI, a radical Islamic group notorious for attacks on cafés and Christian churches. The group led the storming of the Danish embassy in the wake of the cartoon controversy.
The Dutch cultural institute is one of several venues taking part in the festival. Its Japanese and French counterparts promptly closed their doors in response to the protests, but as yet the Erasmus House is still open.
For the Dutch it’s particularly sensitive in the run up to next week’s visit by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to the Netherlands. Last week the Indonesian ambassador in the Netherlands lashed out at anti-Islam Geert Wilders and his supporters, but was eventually forced to make an apology after Mr Wilders kicked up a fuss. As the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant points out, the FPI anti-gay protest does nothing to ease the tension.