Geert Wilders

More Death Threats On Film Maker

Geert Wilders
Geert Wilders
SOME 50 MEMBERS OF A HARDLINE Indonesian Muslim group held a rowdy protest outside the Dutch embassy on Monday, calling for the death of a Dutch lawmaker behind a film accusing the Koran of inciting violence. Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-immigration Freedom Party in the Netherlands, launched his short video on the Internet last week, drawing condemnation from Muslim nations.

Dozens of police, with two water cannon at the ready, did not intervene during the protest by white-clad members of the Islamic Defenders' Front, some of whom hurled eggs and plastic water bottles into the compound of the Dutch embassy in Jakarta.

"I call on Muslims around the world, if you run into the maker of the film, kill him," said one of the speakers at the rally, Awit Mashuri.

"Geert Wilders is a Christian terrorist," declared a placard held up by a protester. "Kill Geert Wilders," read another.

The Front is notorious for its past raids on nightspots the group accused of harbouring prostitutes and drug dealers. In 2003, the group's leader, Mohammad Rizieq Shihab, was jailed for seven months for inciting violence. Dutch director Theo van Gogh, who made a film accusing Islam of condoning violence against women, was murdered by a militant Islamist in 2004.

Wilders' film "Fitna"—an Arabic term sometimes translated as "strife"—intersperses images of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and Islamist bombings with quotations from the Qur'an, Islam's holy book. The film urges Muslims to tear out "hate-filled" verses from the Qur'an and starts and ends with the infamous Kurt Westergaard cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad with a bomb under his turban, accompanied by the sound of ticking.

The cartoon, first published in Danish newspapers, ignited violent protests around the world, followed by a boycott of Danish products, in 2006. Many Muslims regard any depiction of the Prophet as offensive, and are easy marks for Islamic political protagonists to incite to a street tantrum. So far, the protests against the Dutch film have been small scale in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation and a former Dutch colony.

[More Death Threats On Film Maker]

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