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Dutch MP posts Islam film on web

Right-wing Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders
Geert Wilders has called Islam's holy book a "fascist" text

Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilders has posted a controversial film critical of Islam's holy book, the Koran, on the internet.

The opening scenes show a copy of the Koran, followed by footage of the attacks on the US on 11 September 2001.

The 17-minute film was posted on video-sharing website LiveLeak.

Its planned release had sparked angry protests in Muslim countries. Dutch PM Jan Peter Balkenende said the film wrongly equated Islam with violence.

"We believe it serves no purpose other than to offend," he said in a statement.

"But feeling offended must never be used as an excuse for aggression and threats."

The film is called "Fitna", a Koranic term sometimes translated as "strife".

Dutch broadcasters have declined to show the production by 44-year-old Freedom Party (PVV) leader Mr Wilders, who lives under police protection because of earlier death threats.

'Spiteful'

Graphic images from the bomb attacks on London in July 2005 and Madrid in March 2004 are shown.

A protest aimed at Geert Wilders in Amsterdam on 22 March 2008

Pictures of a woman being stoned, scenes from a beheading and images of the Dutch director Theo van Gogh, who was murdered by a radical Islamist in 2004, are also included.

And pictures appearing to show Muslim demonstrators holding up placards saying "God bless Hitler" and "Freedom go to hell" also feature.

The film shows a young girl in a headscarf making derogatory comments about Jewish people.

It also displays a graph showing how the number of Muslims in the Netherlands and Europe has grown.

The film ends with someone turning pages of a Koran, followed by a tearing sound.

A text that appears on the screen says: "The sound you heard was from a page (being torn from a) phone book.

"It is not up to me, but up to the Muslims themselves to tear the spiteful verses from the Koran."

The film concludes: "Stop Islamisation. Defend our freedom."

Two years ago the publication in Denmark of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad sparked protests across the Muslim world.

But Brahim Bourzik, a spokesman for a Dutch Moroccan group, told Reuters news agency he did not believe Mr Wilders' film would spark fury from Muslims in Holland.

"It is not a film, it is propaganda," he said. "All the elements have been seen before, there is nothing new in it."

The UK-based website which allowed the film to be posted online defended its decision on Thursday.

"LiveLeak.com has a strict stance on remaining unbiased and allowing freedom of speech so far as the law and our rules allow," it said in a statement posted online.


Your comments

Of course the film should be posted on the internet. Freedom of speech needs to be protected. "I do not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it".
Siobhan Cooney, Dublin, Ireland

I've seen the film and while it's distasteful, it'll give the moderate Muslims a chance to speak out. The negative image concerning Islam could in my opinion largely be counteracted by the moderate speaking out against radicalism, which is not happening enough.
Erwin Kuipers, Hoogeveen, The Netherlands

I believe it should not have been posted. Every human on God's earth has the right to choose his or her religion and beliefs and as fellow humans it is our duty to respect that. Why should anyone make fun of anyone else's beliefs?
Syed Kazmi, London, UK

As a law abiding Muslim being born and raised in the West I think this film is appalling. I am all for freedom of speech, every human being has the right to be heard but as the saying goes with power comes responsibility. This film has no other purpose but to perpetuate a growing sense of division in an already deeply divided world.
Lena, Luton, UK

Of course, they should be posted. We, in Western Europe, have won our rights to freedom of speech and we need to retain and defend these rights.
Charles Roffey, Amsterdam, The Netherlands



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SEE ALSO
Profile: Geert Wilders
15 Oct 09 |  Europe
Dutch Islam film website 'shut'
23 Mar 08 |  Europe
Nato fears over Dutch Islam film
03 Mar 08 |  South Asia
Dutch Muslims condemn MP's film
24 Jan 08 |  Europe
Van Gogh killer jailed for life
26 Jul 05 |  Europe
Life of slain Dutch film-maker
02 Nov 04 |  Entertainment



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