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Wilders' film

DW staff (dfm)December 8, 2008

Dutch anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders confirmed Monday he would tour Britain, France and Israel in the coming months to present his controversial Islam-critical film "Fitna."

Right-wing parliament member Geert Wilders
Wilders says the Netherlands must weed out radical IslamImage: AP

Wilders told Dutch daily newspaper Spits he was travelling abroad to create international "alliances for peace and against Islamization."

Wilders, leader of the Dutch Freedom Party PVV, is one of the most outspoken critics of Islam in the Netherlands. He has received numerous death threats and has taken to keeping personal security guards.

He has received support from right-wing organizations such as the US thinktank American Freedom Alliance, which awarded him its so-called Freedom Award.

"Fitna" is a 16-minute mini-film broadcast on the Internet. It conveys the messages that the Quran preaches radical Islam and warns of the spread of radical Islam and the alleged "Islamization" of the Netherlands.

The film intersperses shots of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and other bombings with citings from the Quran. All Dutch public broadcasters refused to air the film.

Film raises attack concerns

A screenshot from 'Fitna'
'Fitna' was shunned by Dutch public broadcastersImage: picture-alliance/ dpa

Since its release in March, "Fitna" has attracted intense criticism from Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The Dutch government had expressed concern for the security of Dutch nationals in Arab and Muslim countries as a result.

The film was denounced by nations such as Iran, Jordan and Pakistan, while the Dutch national anti-terrorism coordinator said early December the film could provoke terrorist attacks in the Netherlands.

"As I come to terms with the substantial level of threat during the last three years, there are underlying issues now that make it (the threat) stronger," Tjibbe Joustra was quoted as saying in an interview with Dutch daily De Volkskrant.

Attempts to prosecute Wilders for alleged discrimination, racism or incitement were unsuccessful after the Dutch public prosecutor established "Fitna" did not violate national legislation.