Dutch Quran film website shut down

Right-wing politician Geert Wilders has called the Islamic holy book "fascist".

    Geert Wilders leads a small political party which won nine seats on an anti-immigration platform [AFP]
    Until Sunday, the site had shown the cover of a Quran on a black background with the text: "Coming soon: Fitna".

    The US-based hosting service said it was investigating whether the website conforms to its guidelines, saying it cannot allow "any material in violation of any applicable law".

    This includes material deemed harassing, hate propaganda, threatening, harmful or "otherwise objectionable".

    Incitement to violence

    Wilders, who lives under police protection because of death threats against him, has repeatedly stated that the content of his film will not violate Dutch law.

    Some Dutch have recorded videos saying
    "I am sorry" as a protest to Wilder's film [AFP]

    A Dutch newspaper, which has seen some of the opening images from the film, said it shows the cover of the Quran and then images of "a decapitation in Iraq, a stoning in Iran and an execution in Saudi Arabia, where sharia is applied".

    Over the past year, Wilders has called on the holy book to be banned, saying it is an incitement to violence and urged Danish Muslims to abandon it.

    In an interview with the De Pers newspaper last year he described Islam as a "violent religion".

    "If Muhammad lived here today I could imagine chasing him out of the country tarred and feathered as an extremist," he said.

    Dutch officials have expressed fears that the film could spark violent protests in Muslim countries, similar to those two years ago after the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper.

    'Substantial' risks

    Anti-terrorism authorities in the Netherlands have said the risks of an attack are "substantial" and requested that all politicians inform them of their upcoming travel plans due to security concerns.

    On Saturday, up to 3,000 people gathered for a protest against the Dutch politician's views. They carried signs that said "Stop the witch hunt against Muslims" and "The Wilders West: Not Wanted".

    "I'm very much against Geert Wilders and racism in general, but I think it's really important to show not only Holland but the rest of the world that there's a lot of people who do not agree with his ideas," Elisa Trepp, one of the protesters, said.

    On Tuesday, Mediamatic, an Amsterdam-based cultural organisation, invited people to video themselves dressed as Wilders saying "I am sorry". They were encouraged to put the films online under the name Fitna by Geert Wilders as a protest against the film.

    A Dutch court will hear a complaint lodged by Muslim groups seeking to bar Wilders from releasing the film and punish him for earlier remarks under hate crime laws.

    Wilders heads the Freedom party which has nine seats in the 150-member Dutch parliament, elected on an anti-immigration platform.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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