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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 November, 2004, 15:54 GMT
Belgian senator gets death threat
Thousands of people gather in central Amsterdam to pay homage to film maker Theo van Gogh
Belgium is torn over the death of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh
A Belgian senator of Moroccan origin is under police guard after receiving death threats, Socialist Party officials have said.

Mimount Bousakla, who is well-known for her opposition to radical Islam, received a phone call in which someone threatened to "ritually slaughter" her.

The party official said the senator was still turning up to work in parliament and denied reports she was in hiding.

Ms Bousakla criticised Belgian Muslim leaders' response to a recent killing.

"She is fine and well, working in the Senate, and has not gone into hiding," said another Socialist Party senator, Myriam Vanlerberghe.

A police spokeswoman in Ms Bousakla's home town of Antwerp said the police had "taken the necessary measures" to protect her.

Row over tolerance

Ms Bousakla sparked controversy when she condemned the Belgian Muslim Executive for failing to speak out against the murder two weeks ago of controversial Dutch film-maker Theo Van Gogh.

Mr Van Gogh's killing is thought to be connected to a film he made criticising Islam's treatment of women. Dutch police have arrested a 26-year old man with dual Dutch and Moroccan citizenship over the murder.

Mr Van Gogh's murder has highlighted a widening racial divide in the Netherlands, where far-right politicians are gaining ground.

Racial tensions have also been growing in neighbouring Belgium, where the far-right Vlaams Blok party won a quarter of the votes in this summer's European elections.

In Holland, an Islamic school was firebombed after Mr Van Gogh's death, and in a TV poll this week the Dutch voted anti-immigration politican Pim Fortuyn the greatest Dutchman of all time.

Mr Fortuyn was assassinated in 2002, by an animal rights activist.




SEE ALSO:
Life of slain Dutch filmmaker
02 Nov 04 |  Entertainment
Imams on Dutch culture course
28 Nov 02 |  Europe


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