Wilders’ film hits his party’s popularity

The launch of Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam film Fitna has hit his political party’s popularity, according to the weekly Interview NSS poll.

Wilders’ anti-immigration PVV party would have 10 seats if there was an election today, two seats down on last week’s total and only one more than the current situtation.
On Friday evening the LiveLeak video share website which was hosting Wilders’ film removed Fitna from its servers following what it said were threats of a ‘very serious nature’.
‘This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well-being of our staff above all else,’ said Liveleak.
Earlier, the United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon described Wilders’ film Fitna as ‘offensively anti-Islamic’.
In a statement after the film was put online, Ban said ‘there is no justification for hate speech or incitement to violence. The right of free expression is not at stake here.
‘I acknowledge the efforts of the Dutch government to stop the broadcast of this film and appeal for calm to those understandably offended by it. Freedom must always be accompanied by social responsibility.’
Meanwhile the Dutch journalists union NVJ has written to Wilders asking that the film be re-edited to remove shots of a cartoon featuring Mohammed with a bomb in his turban.
The Danish artist Kurt Westergaard was not asked for permission for its use and says it was never his intention for the cartoon to be used for political propaganda.
For the UN reaction, click here
For more on the film’s contents, click here
For more reactions, click here
For background on Wilders, visit NRC Handelsblad’s special English-language site

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