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Remember "What Happened" to Theo Van Gogh

10:07 AM, Feb 7, 2006 • By DANIEL MCKIVERGAN
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A piece (sub. req'd) in today's Wall Street Journal, "How Muslim Clerics Stirred Arab World Against Denmark," isn't good news for European governments seeking to avoid future problems by groveling as the European Union's justice minister recently did in suggesting a tighter code of media conduct. Young Islamic radicals are getting better organized under the leadership, in this case, of a cleric who consorted with a 1993 World Trade Center conspirator.

In Aarhus, Demmark's second-largest city, a radical cleric gave an interview denouncing Mr. Rose and reminding him of "what happened" to Theo Van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker murdered in 2004 by a Dutchman of Moroccan descent. Mr. Rose got a security briefing from police and had his telephone number and address delisted.

Under pressure from young radicals for results, Mr. Abu-Laban, the Copenhagen cleric at the forefront of the campaign, and several others formed the "European Committee for Honoring the Prophet," an umbrella group that now claims to represent 27 organizations across a wide spectrum of the Islamic community. (Moderate Muslims dispute this and say the group has been hijacked by radicals.)

Mr. Abu-Laban, who grew up in Egypt and was arrested there in the early 1980s after being expelled from the United Arab Emirates for his preaching, took charge of writing statements for the group and communicating with Muslim ambassadors. He denies holding extremist views, but acknowledges hosting visits to Denmark by Omar Abdel Rahman, before his arrest in New York, where the blind sheik now is serving a life sentence in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.