Defying the wishes of the government of the Netherlands, a Dutch MP has posted his 17-minute documentary on the Quran, juxtaposing images of Islam’s holy book with terror attacks and bombings by Muslim extremists.
Geert Wilders, leader of the Freedom Party, released “Fitna,” an Arabic word meaning strife, on the political party’s website today, but it disappeared a short time later due to “technical difficulties,” reported the London Times.
The film is currently viewable on the British video-sharing website, LiveLeak.com, in Dutch and English.
Wilder, an outspoken critic of the “Islamization” of the West, released the film after weeks of debate couched in terms of free speech and religious bigotry as well as fears of violence like that following the Danish publication of cartoons depicting Muhammed.
Wilders said he understood Muslims could be upset by the film but said that was not his purpose in producing it.
“It remains widely within the framework of the law … My film was not made to provoke violence,” he said.
Plans to put the film on the Internet were briefly stalled earlier this week when the domain registrar, Network Solutions, refused to host Wilder’s Internet domain.
That controversy, as well as threats by Muslim groups to seek an injunction, did not deter LiveLeak.com, which issued the following statement:
“LiveLeak.com has a strict stance on remaining unbiased and allowing freedom of speech so far as the law and our rules allow. There was no legal reason to refuse Geert Wilders the right to post his film and it is not our place to censor people based on an emotive response.”
The film has been condemned by Wilder’s government. The Dutch foreign minister, Maxime Verhagen, called it irresponsible after rioting Muslims killed over 50 people following publication of the Danish cartoons.
“The film equates Islam with violence. We reject that interpretation,” Jan Peter Balkenende, the Dutch prime minister, said.
“We believe it serves no purpose other than to offend,” he added.
Early critics had expressed fears Wilder would show a copy of the Quran being destroyed in his film but the ending offered a slight surprise.
As someone leafs through the Quran, a sound of tearing is heard.
“The sound you heard was from a page [being torn out] of the phone book. It is not up to me, but up to the Muslims themselves to tear the spiteful verses from the Quran,” the screen text read. “Stop Islamization. Defend our freedom,” it concluded.