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Taliban threatens attacks because of Wilders film

Published on February 28, 2008

28 February 2008

KABUL – The Taliban has threatened to step up attacks against Dutch soldiers in Afghanistan if Geert Wilders releases his "insulting" anti-Islam film.

The PVV MP’s film is an "insult to Islam", says Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesperson for the Taliban, in a telephone interview from an undisclosed location.

"We in Afghanistan shall step up the attacks against the Dutch troops if the film is aired." He added that the Taliban will call on the UN to stop these kinds of actions in order to prevent a rupture between Islam and the rest of the world.

Ministers Ernst Hirsch Ballin (Justice) and Maxime Verhagen (Foreign Affairs) talked to Wilders about the film on Wednesday afternoon in a continuation of a discussion that started last year when the government first expressed its concerns about the consequences of the film in the Netherlands and abroad.

Geert Wilders said after the meeting that he had felt ‘intimidated’ during the talk.

Minister Verhagen however says he feels it is his duty to point out to Wilders what his film could unleash.

The minister said on Radio 1 on Thursday that he found it "entirely incomprehensible" that Wilders felt the meeting was intimidating. Verhagen thinks that the truth is perhaps too confrontational for Wilders. He said he explained to Wilders the emotions that have already flared up abroad in response to news of his film. Verhagen is very concerned.

Verhagen referred to demonstrations, possible attacks on embassies and damage to Dutch institutions and businesses abroad. "A list has already been drawn up of Dutch products. A dairy company like Campina can suffer significant damage." Many countries may decide to boycott the products. He also pointed out the threat from the Taliban to step up attacks on Dutch soldiers in Afghanistan.

Verhagen does not think these are matters that Wilders can just "shrug his shoulders at and say it’s nothing to do with him." Because Verhagen says not only the freedom of expression is at stake but also human lives.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2008]