Anti-Islamic pic under fire

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Political pressure is mounting on Dutch politician and filmmaker Geert Wilders to not release his anti-Islamic short film "Fitna."

Netherlands Prime Minister J.P. Balkenende, foreign affairs minister M. Verhagen and the country's largest political party, the Christian-democratic CDA, have urged Wilders not to release his film.

The Dutch government considers Wilders' actions "irresponsible," local media reported, claiming that Wilders has no idea about the safety, economic and political consequences of his film, in which he attacks the Koran.

Dutch embassies in several Muslim countries already have expressed their concerns. The fear is that the Netherlands could face the same problems that Denmark had several years ago with its newspaper cartoons mocking the prophet Mohammed.

Already, in seeming protest, a Dutch family film, the local Warner Bros. release "Waar Is Het Paard Van Sinterklaas" (Where Is Winky's Horse?), has been banned this week from a children's film festival in Cairo, Dutch radio station Wereldomroep reported.

Right-wing politician Wilders has stated that he will continue with his film, even after talks with Balkenende.

This week, he launched the Web site FitnaTheMovie.com through a U.S. service provider as a possible outlet for his film.

So far, no broadcaster or distributor in the Netherlands is willing to show an uncut version of the film that will probably run about 10 minutes.

Three years ago, a similar film, "Submission Part 1" directed by Theo van Gogh, led to the murder of the filmmaker on the streets of Amsterdam. As a result of his previous attacks on Islam, Wilders has already been living under police protection for years.
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