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EU Springs into Action, Condemns ‘Fitna’

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Following the release of Geert Wilders’ film Fitna, the European Union is quick to reassure the Islamic world that the whole idea of “free speech” is probably overrated: EU condemns Dutch anti-Islam film.

(CNN) — The European Union on Friday condemned a new film by a Dutch lawmaker which is critical of Islam and features controversial images of the Prophet Mohammed.

The 15-minute film, titled “Fitna,” was posted on a London-based Web site Thursday. It immediately drew criticism from the Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, who said the film equates Islam with violence.

“We reject this interpretation,” Balkenende said in a statement. “The vast majority of Muslims reject extremism and violence. In fact, the victims are often also Muslims.”

Slovenia, which holds the rotating EU presidency, said it supported the Dutch government’s position and believes the film does nothing to promote dialogue among religions.

“The European Union and its member states apply the principle of the freedom of speech which is part of our values and traditions. However, it should be exercised in a spirit of respect for religious and other beliefs and convictions,” the Slovenian presidency said in a statement.

“Mutual tolerance and respect are universal values we should uphold. We believe that acts, such as the above-mentioned film, serve no other purpose than inflaming hatred.”

“Oh … and, uh … please don’t hurt us, OK?” the Slovenian presidency didn’t add.

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