Muslims accuse Danish TV of incitement to religious hatred

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COPENHAGEN, Dec 5 (AFP) – A group of Muslims has reported a Danish broadcaster to the police for repeatedly airing a controversial film about Muslim oppression of women, Danish media reported on Sunday.

Some 20 Muslims are pressing charges against Danish public broadcaster Danmarks Radio (DR) for airing recently murdered Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh`s film “Submission” in its entirety, as well as for repeatedly showing clips from the film in newscasts.

“My clients feel deeply offended,” Laue Traberg Smidt, the lawyer representing the group, told DR on Sunday, adding that both Muslim clerics and members of the general public were among his clients.

“They have all come to me independently of each other because they feel that Danmarks Radio has gone too far, and that it is ignoring that the film is seen as an extraordinarily serious and manipulative insult against their religion,” he added.

Van Gogh was brutally murdered on November 2 by a suspected Islamic radical apparently angered by his portrayal of Islam in the film, which shows women talking about abuse dressed in see-through robes with texts from the Koran painted on their bodies.

DR news director Lisbeth Knudsen rejected that the broadcaster`s decision to air the film and clips from the film constituted incitement to religious hatred.

“We are not airing clips from the film to feed on sensationalism or to offend those who have been offended by it (the film). We show these clips to put the debate over limited or unlimited freedom of speech into perspective,” she said.

12/05/2004 16:08 GMT – AFP

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
AFP, Turkey
Dec. 5, 2004
www.turkishpress.com

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