Dutch disquiet at anti-Islam film

THE HAGUE - The Dutch government yesterday expressed concern at plans by far right lawmaker Geert Wilders to make an anti-Islam film.

THE HAGUE - The Dutch government yesterday expressed concern at plans by far right lawmaker Geert Wilders to make an anti-Islam film.

Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen met with the head of the far right Freedom Party to highlight the risks of such a film, the minister's spokesman said.

"After Wilders announced he was making an anti-Islam film, minister Verhagen met with him to point out the risks in making such a movie for himself and his entourage and for the Netherlands and Dutch interests abroad," Verhagen's spokesman Bart Rijs said.

Wilders, whose party holds nine of the 150 seats in parliament, told Dutch media he is making a film that will show the Qu'ran as a "fascist book".

In August, Wilders described the Islamic holy book as a "fascist" text which exhorts followers to kill and rape in an open letter to Dutch newspapers.

Wilders is known for his harsh anti-Islam stance and has been under round-the-clock protection since the November 2004 murder of outspoken Dutch columnist and filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a radical Muslim.

He has received a number of death threats.

Previously he has called for a ban on the Qu'ran and an end to immigration by Muslims.

Wilders' former political ally and fellow outspoken Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali also sparked controversy with a film about Islam.

Hirsi Ali and director Theo van Gogh received death threats after the release in 2004 of Submission, a film she scripted that examined the subordination of women in Islamic society.

Both were put under police protection. Van Gogh was murdered in Amsterdam by an Islamic extremist. Hirsi Ali now lives in the US under protection.

According to Dutch media, Wilders plans to air the film on television in January but Dutch public broadcasters said they have received no request to show the movie.

Another possibility would be to air the film in special airtime given to all political parties. - Sapa-AFP

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