U.S. Worried Anti-Muslim Film Could Trigger Violence Abroad

In November 2004, a Muslim extremist killed Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam for a film that included text from the Quran imposed over the image of a naked female.

The late 2005 publication in Denmark of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad sparked major riots around the world, especially outside Danish embassies, and led to 139 deaths.

In the United States there were only peaceful protests at consulates, embassies and at colleges. The report states, "U.S. media refrained from widely re-printing the controversial cartoon images of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005, which probably helped ease Muslim tensions in the Homeland....Regardless of media reaction, the film likely will be shown and discussed on Internet forums."

Overseas, some Muslim governments and religious leaders have warned the Dutch government against releasing the film and the Syrian Grand Mufti has asked for an open dialogue with Wilders but is unwilling to meet with him if the Quran is indeed destroyed in the film. An Iranian lawmaker threatened a "review" of Tehran's relationship with the Netherlands if the film is shown.

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