A Dutch court has ordered prosecutors to put a right-wing politician on trial for making anti-Islamic statements.
-- From "Islam film Dutch MP to be charged" BBC News 1/21/09
Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders made a controversial film last year equating Islam with violence and has likened the Koran to Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf.
The opening scenes of Fitna - a Koranic term sometimes translated as "strife" - show a copy of the holy book followed by footage of the bomb attacks on the US on 11 September 2001, London in July 2005 and Madrid in March 2004.
"In a democratic system, hate speech is considered so serious that it is in the general interest to... draw a clear line," the court in Amsterdam said.
Mr Wilders said the judgement was an "attack on the freedom of expression".
"Participation in the public debate has become a dangerous activity. If you give your opinion, you risk being prosecuted," he said.
The three judges said that they had weighed Mr Wilders's "one-sided generalisations" against his right to free speech, and ruled that he had gone beyond the normal leeway granted to politicians.
"The court also considers appropriate criminal prosecution for insulting Muslim worshippers because of comparisons between Islam and Nazism made by Wilders," [the court said in a statement.]
Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said at the time that the film wrongly equated Islam with violence and served "no purpose other than to offend".
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