Netherlands: Debate continues over controversial film
"Wilders must show his film," Mr Westergaard told the Dutch Volkskrant newspaper on Monday. "In Denmark, we have criticism of everything: the Queen, politicians, religion... provoking debate is the job of the newspaper and so also of the cartoonist. Muslims have to accept that." "A Danish politician knows that you should not limit freedom of expression," he said.
Mr Westergaard was one of 12 cartoonists behind the Prophet Muhammad drawings, but he was responsible for what was considered the most controversial of the pictures. The caricature - originally published in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in 2005 - featured the head of Islam's holiest prophet with a turban depicting a bomb with a lit fuse. The cartoons were later reprinted by more than 50 newspapers, triggering protests in parts of the Muslim world in 2006.
Last month, Danish police arrested three people suspected of planning to attack Mr Westergaard, who now lives under constant protection. In response, Danish newspapers reprinted Mr Westergaard's caricatures to show their commitment to freedom of speech.
'Inspiration for murder'
Mr Wilders originally said he would release his 15-minute film in March, but is under pressure from the Dutch media and officials not to show it. He has revealed that his work is entitled Fitna, an Arabic word meaning strife or discord, usually in a religious context. The lawmaker has said it shows how the Koran is "an inspiration for intolerance, murder and terror".
Last week, the Netherlands raised its terrorism alert level to "substantial", partly due to the expected release of the film.
At the weekend, thousands of people in Afghanistan rallied against the reprinting of the cartoons and also condemned the planned release of Mr Wilders' film. Mr Wilders' project has been criticised in Iran and Pakistan.
In the past, Mr Wilders - who leads the Freedom Party - has called for the Koran to be banned and likened it to Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf.
Mr Wilders has had police protection since Dutch director Theo Van Gogh was killed by a radical Islamist in 2004. Mr Van Gogh's film Submission included verses from the Koran shown against a naked female body.
10 March 2008
- Afghan clerics uneasy as civil rights movement gains momentum
- Aceh Prepares to Enforce Broader Sharia Criminal Code, With Stiffer Penalties
- “Good Iranian Women Don’t Watch Sports”
- Karima Bennoune Featured in TEDxExeter 2015 – Taking the Long View
- 'There's no life without music': the Malian musicians fighting Islamists with songs – video
- Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) condemns the harassment of Sri Lankan activist Sharmila Seyyid
- Call for Iraqi Women Victimized by ISIS
- 'Stop the extreme group of monks called Bodu Bala Sena who ignites the religious hatred, enmity and violent oppressions in Srilanka
- NIGERIA: Bring back the abducted school girls of Chibok
- Urgent Action: Zahra and Ali in Imminent Danger of Stoning!
- Position Statement on Apostasy and Blasphemy
- Report of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, Human Rights Council 28th Session
- Dossier 30-31: The Struggle for Secularism in Europe and North America
- Towards a Future without Fundamentalisms
- Feminists on the Frontline: AWID Case Studies of Resisting Fundamentalisms