Joan Clements, London Telegraph, January 24, 2008
A politician has warned that a “fear of Islam” is governing Holland after he delayed the release of a short film attacking the Koran.
Geert Wilders, 44, the leader of the Dutch Freedom Party, who compares the Muslim holy book to Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, sparked government panic after saying the anti-Islam film would be released tomorrow.
As Dutch police prepared for a weekend of riots and Mr Wilders was told by the authorities that he would have to leave country, he launched a new attack on “intolerant” Islam while announcing that his 10-minute film attacking the Muslim faith would be postponed for two weeks.
“If I had announced that I was going to make a film about the fascist character of the Bible would there have been a crisis meeting of Holland’s security forces?” he wrote to the Volkskrant newspaper.
“Would I have received as many death threats as I have done since announcing I was making a film about the Koran? Of course not.”
Iran’s parliament, the Majlis, this week warned of “extensive repercussions from Muslims throughout the globe” if the film was broadcast.
In an attempt to defuse tensions, the Dutch government will tomorrow announce that it will not implement a ban on the Islamic burqa dress.