'Fitna' filmmaker to attend Jerusalem parley

'Facing Jihad' conference to "plan practical steps in the struggle against the spread of Islam in Europe."

Fitna 224.88 (photo credit: LiveLeak)
Fitna 224.88
(photo credit: LiveLeak)
Selected European lawmakers, along with Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, whose controversial 15-minute film Fitna has sparked world-wide Muslim outrage, will gather in Jerusalem in December to "plan practical steps in the struggle against the spread of Islam in Europe," MK Aryeh Eldad (NU/NRP) said Wednesday. Wilders is scheduled to speak and screen his film at the two-day conference titled "Facing Jihad: a Lawmakers' Summit," which is drawing criticism from Muslim MKs in Israel, who argue the summit will encourage racism. The film, which first appeared on the Internet in March, linked attacks by Islamic militants around the world to verses from the Quran. Eldad, who is chairing the December 14th-15th summit, said that the legislators attending the summit will discuss draft proposals that would better "regulate" immigration in their respective countries, including proposals that would require "declarations of loyalty" to the host country. The second day is to focus on the "education" of Israelis and Europeans, he said. "The time has come to shatter some of the accepted truths on Islam," he said, during a press conference at the Ramada Hotel in Jerusalem on Wednesday. "One of them, for example, is that Islam has been taken over by extremists, but its real essence is different." Eldad is seeking to hold the Islamic summit inside the Knesset and is waiting for a response from Chairwoman Dalia Itzik, who has the authority to accept or reject such requests. He threatened Wednesday to go to the Supreme Court if his request was rejected. But at least some Arab parliamentarians are strongly opposed to the idea. MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL-Ta'al) argued that the planned conference was "inflammatory" and motivated by anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment. "I can't imagine that the chairwoman would allow the screening of a racist, anti-Islamic, fascist film inside the Knesset. The Knesset is not a place for these kinds of things," he said during a phone interview. "It can't allow conferences of this kind that encourage racism." Eldad said Wednesday that the Arab-Israeli conflict is due to a clash of civilizations between Islam and the West - in which Israel is on the front line - rather than a territorial dispute. The participating lawmakers are all opposed to establishing a Palestinian state, he added, because they understand that it "is the recipe for the destruction of the state of Israel." Other participants will include Baroness Caroline Cox of Queensbury, an independent member of England's House of Lords as well as legislators from Belgium, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. The December summit will be sponsored by the Ariel Center for Policy Research, which opposes ceding territory to Arabs in exchange for peace. AP contributed to this report.