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Monday, April 07, 2008

Dutch court refuses to bar anti-Islamic statements from far-right lawmaker
Michael Sung at 9:28 AM ET

[JURIST] A district court in the Netherlands on Monday rejected [press release, in Dutch] the Dutch Islamic Federation's efforts to prevent anti-Quran statements by right-wing lawmaker Geert Wilders [personal website, in Dutch; BBC profile]. The court said that that Wilders' controversial statements against Islam and the Quran are protected by the right of free expression and do not constitute speech that incites hate or violence.

In March, the Dutch Islamic Federation filed a lawsuit seeking to ban a release [JURIST report] of a film by Wilders depicting Islam in a highly negative light. The federation dropped its bid to ban the film after it was released on the Internet a day before the case was to be heard in court, but still sought an order preventing Wilders from statements perceived to be against Islam. The film, dismissed by the UN Secretary-General as "offensively anti-Islamic" [JURIST report], shows images of the Quran contrasted with images of violence and protest. AP has more.

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