Muslim groups sue over Dutch film

Muslim groups in Holland are suing a Dutch politician over his anti-Islamic film.

In “Fitna,” which was released March 27, Geert Wilders suggests that Islam is a threat to the Western world. The film features images of terrorist acts alongside quotations from the Koran. Banned from release in Holland, it is still viewable online.

Now the Islamic Association of the Netherlands, claiming the film falsely charges Islam with promoting violence, wants the courts to impose a $79,000 fine for every day that Wilder’s video remains accessible to the public. State prosecutors are looking into the matter, according to news reports.

Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard plans to sue Wilders for copyright infringement over the unauthorized use in the film of one of his controversial images of Mohammed.

Wilders in defending the film told the German magazine Der Spiegel in its March 31 online edition that the West needs to protect “a culture that draws on our Christian, Jewish, humanistic traditions and that poses a challenge to the Islamic problem.”

In a statement implying a connection between the Hebrew Bible and the Koran, Wilders also said it would be “‘a long time before we see a new Koran, an equivalent to the New Testament.”

Anticipating just such parallels, a prominent Jewish leader in Holland already has compared Wilders’ criticism of Muslims to anti-Semitism.

“If Wilders had said the same thing about Jews and the Old Testament as he does about Muslims and the Koran, he would have been ostracized a long time ago and accused of anti-Semitism,” reads an ad that TV producer Harry de Winter, the president of the board of Another Jewish Voice placed last week on the front page of the Volkskrant newspaper.

In an interview, de Winter added that Muslim leaders “must also publicly speak out against terrorism.”

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