Anti-Islam film shown at trial

2010-10-06 15:24

The Hague - The hate speech trial of Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders resumed on Wednesday with the screening of his controversial film, Fitna, which accuses Islam of seeking to "destroy Western civilisation".

The 17-minute commentary, one of the exhibits in Wilders' trial for inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims, was shown on a big screen in the Amsterdam district court as the politician looked on impassively.

One of his accusers, a woman, asked to be excused from the screening which she told the judges "I do not want to see".

Wilders, set to become a shadow partner of the next government, risks up to a year in jail or a €7 600 fine for statements calling Islam "fascist" and likening the Qu’ran to Hitler's Mein Kampf.

Fitna, whose screening in the Netherlands in 2008 prompted protests in much of the Muslim world, depicts the Prophet Mohammed with a ticking bomb in his turban.

It intersperses images of terror attack victims with quotations from the Qu’ran and imams allegedly advocating the killing of non-Muslims.

Accusers feel unsafe in Netherlands

The film ends with the words: "Islam wants to dominate, to subjugate and to destroy our Western civilisation" and "Stop the Islamisation. Defend our freedom."

Statements made by Wilders' accusers were read into the court record on Wednesday, the second day of trial broadcast live on the internet.

"As a person and as a family, we no longer feel safe in the Netherlands," said one.

"Mr Wilders would prefer for us to leave Dutch society. He is harassing Muslims to leave. Soon our children will not be able to state that they are Muslims or half-Moroccan."

Wilders faces five charges for comments made in Dutch newspapers and on internet forums between October 2006 and March 2008.

Seven days of hearings have been scheduled in October, with judgment expected on November 4.

His Party for Freedom (PVV) came third in June 9 national elections, and is concluding a deal to support a new minority government of Christian Democrats and liberals in return for a voice in policy-making.