Court: Dutch Lawmaker is Entitled to Make Anti-Quran Statements

April 7, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The International Herald Tribune

Wire Service: AP

A Dutch lawmaker who sparked protests across the Muslim world with a film criticizing the Quran is entitled to express his anti-Islamic views, a court ruled Monday, rejecting a request to muzzle him.

The court ruled that the views expressed by right-wing legislator Geert Wilders do not exceed the legal boundaries against inciting hatred or violence.

The Netherlands Islamic Federation withdrew its petition to ban Wilders' film "Fitna" after it appeared on the Internet March 27, the day before the case was heard in a heavily guarded courtroom.

The movie, which links terror attacks by Muslim extremists with texts from Islam's holy book, triggered angry street protests in Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as calls in other countries to boycott Dutch goods.

The federation asked The Hague District Court to order Wilders to stop making statements "in writing, on film or spoken" that are deemed insulting to Muslims, and to apologize for past statements. Wilders has called the Quran a fascist book and compared it to Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf."