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'Fitna': Dutch leader's anti-Islam film brings strife

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"He doesn't care [about negative consequences]; I think he loves this," says a Hague-based journalist who covers Wilders's party.

Much publicity – for him and Muslims

Dutch security alerts have gone from "limited" to "substantial" this month. In the Netherlands, the unseen video brings daily press coverage, as well as seminars, TV debates, lectures by the mayor of Amsterdam, and a recent decrying of it as an "unnecessary provocation" by the eminent philosopher Jürgen Habermas, in what he calls the modern condition of a "post-secular Europe."

Last week Harry de Winter, a prominent Dutch citizen who is Jewish, took out a large ad in the daily de Volkskrant arguing that if Wilders were to say about Jews what he is saying about Muslims – in other words, if he advocated that temples be closed and rabbis deported – the entire country would rise in retaliation over such an anti-Semitic act.

The Islamic community announced in February it would open its doors to the public after the video airs, to show "we have nothing to hide." A joint ecumenical statement by Protestant and Muslim groups said last week that they "forcefully reject [Fitna] if the Koran and the Prophet Mohammed are treated with contempt."

Heleen Terwijn, who runs weekend schools in inner-city Amsterdam, says, "The good side of this whole thing is that many Muslims who were unknown will become known as normal people with a normal point of view. Too many Dutch see Muslims as scary relatives of Osama bin Laden."

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