Egypt calls Dutch MP 'racist' over Koran ban call

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CAIRO: A far-right Dutch MP who called for the Koran to be banned in the Netherlands is a racist and ignorant about Islam, an Egyptian official said on Thursday.

MP Geert Wilders on Wednesday branded the Islamic holy book a fascist text that exhorts followers to kill and rape, saying it has no place in our constitutional state.

Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman Hussam Zaki said Wilders call only demonstrates the racism of certain Western politicians.

It also reflects total ignorance of the contents of Islam and its precepts, applied by an overwhelming majority of Muslims around the world, he added in a statement received by AFP.

The Dutch government swiftly condemned Wilders remarks as damaging for community relations in the Netherlands, and said the proposal was unworthy of consideration.

It has to be perfectly clear that banning the Koran in the Netherlands is not up for discussion for this government and will not be up for dicussion in future. We have freedom of religion here, Integration Minister Ella Vogelaar said in a statement.

Vogelaar described Wilders call as an insult to the majority of Muslims in the Netherlands and abroad who reject calls to hate and violence.

Wilders, who heads the far right Freedom Party which has nine of the 150 seats in parliament, argued for the ban in a letter published in the De Volkskrant newspaper.

Zaki also took issue with Tom Tancredo, a Republican candidate for the US presidency, who last month discussed the possibility of bombing Muslim holy sites if US cities were attacked by Muslim terrorists with nuclear weapons.

The foreign ministry spokesman said these threats could not come from a sane person, suggesting that they were made in an attempt to get attention and garner votes.

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