Ex-Muslim in Holland to get protection after attack

Amsterdam — Iranian-born politician who heads a Dutch group for “ex-Muslims” will get extra protection after he was attacked near his home, a spokesman for the National Co-ordinator for Counterterrorism said today.

The attack on Ehsan Jami caused an outcry in the Netherlands, where a filmmaker critical of Islam was murdered in an Amsterdam street three years ago, and where high-profile lawmakers have faced death threats from Islamist militants.

Mr Jami, 22, was set upon by three assailants of non-Dutch origin at the weekend, the third time he had been attacked, his adviser Afshin Ellian told Dutch media.

“Protective measures will be put in place,” a spokesman for the National Co-ordinator for Counterterrorism (NctB) said.

The Committee for Ex-Muslims, which Mr Jami heads, aims to support former Muslims and lift taboos on domestic violence and violation of rights within Muslim communities.

Similar organisations exist in Britain, Germany and Scandinavia.

Mr Jami, a local politician for the Labour party (PvdA) said he felt “too emotional” to discuss the attack, Dutch media said.

According to Dutch news agency ANP, he recently described the prophet Mohammad in an interview as a “terrible man”.

Leaving Islam is considered a crime punishable by death in some Muslim-majority countries.

The Netherlands is home to 1 million Muslims among a total population of 16 million.

The murder in November 2004 of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh by a Dutch-Moroccan Muslim militant led to an anti-Muslim backlash and unleashed unprecedented social tensions, although issues of immigration and integration no longer top the political agenda.

Former Dutch lawmaker Ayaan Hirsi Ali also quit the Netherlands for the US after finding the stringent security measures she was forced to live under after receiving death threats unbearable. Somali-born Hirsi Ali collaborated with Van Gogh on a film accusing Islam of repressing women.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday August 7, 2007.
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