RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia wants an apology from a Dutch politician who said Muslims should “tear out half the Koran” if they wanted to live in his country and has asked the Dutch government to intervene, a Saudi newspaper said on Sunday.
The Dutch government, which said it did not agree with the remarks made by populist anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders, confirmed that foreign ministry officials held informal talks last week with the Saudi embassy in The Hague.
“It (the embassy) appealed to the appropriate authorities on the need for Wilders’ insulting statements to be withdrawn and an apology given to Muslims,” the Saudi newspaper al-Watan reported.
“The embassy has demanded that the Dutch side put an end to such statements and actions.”
Wilders said in an interview published last week that Muslims should throw away half their holy book if they wanted to stay in the Netherlands and that he would chase Islam’s Prophet Mohammad out of the country if he were alive today.
“Our minister is not happy with Wilders’ remarks,” a Dutch foreign ministry spokesman said.
“It is not the point of view of the Dutch government. Wilders is a parliamentarian, it is his right to express himself,” the spokesman added.
At least for now.