Sarkozy Voices ‘Support’ for Dutch PM in Anti-Islam Film Row

AFP, March 6, 2008

French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday voiced his solidarity with Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, who fears a Muslim backlash over a film criticising Islam made by a far-right Dutch MP.

Sarkozy assured Balkenende of his “support” over lunch at the Elysee Palace, saying he was “highly aware of the question of Islam’s place in European societies, and French society in particular,” a presidential spokesman said.

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Wilders, head of the Dutch far-right Freedom Party, said that if he finds a Dutch broadcaster to show the film uncut it could be on the air within a couple of days, and that he will otherwise present it at a press conference later this month and on the Internet.

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The film, which lasts around 15 minutes, is called “Fitna”, which in Arabic means war, or division, in the heart of Islam.

[Editor’s Note: Additional information on the Dutch government’s concern over the Wilders film can be found here.]

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