Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders released a film criticizing Islam and its holy book the Koran on Thursday, posting it on a Web site.
The film took the form of a book, citing verses of the Koran interspersed with images of violence from terrorist attacks in the United States and Spain, and the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh in the Netherlands.
Wilders' personal Web site and his political party's Web site went off-line shortly after reports of the film's release emerged Thursday, apparently due to heavy traffic.
Although the exact contents of the 15-minute film (called 'Fitna,' a Koranic term sometimes translated as 'strife') are unknown, Wilders has said it will underscore his opinion that the Koran is a ''fascist'' book and Islam is incompatible with democracy.
Wilders' film began and ended with one of the cartoons portraying Mohammed. Then it gave the sound effect of a page being torn.
But subtitles assured the viewer that it was a page from a telephone book, because ''it's not up to me, but the Muslims to tear the hate-sowing pages out of the Koran.''
After the release, Wilders told reporters he made the film because ''Islam and the Koran are dangers to the preservation of freedom in the Netherlands in the long term, and I have to warn people of that.''
''It's not a provocation, but...it's five minutes before midnight and this is the last warning as far as I'm concerned.''
Government fears riots
A Dutch judge was due on Friday to hear the petition of a Muslim group seeking an independent review of the film to see whether it violates hate speech laws.
Officials fear it could spark violent protests in Muslim countries. Dutch broadcasters have declined to show it.
The Dutch government has distanced itself from Wilders' views and fears the film will cause protests by Muslims similar to those sparked by the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in Danish newspapers in 2006.
Wilders, 44, has lived under heavy guard and in secure accommodation since November 2004 when he and other prominent Dutch politicians received death threats after Theo van Gogh, the maker of a film critical of Islam, was murdered by a Dutch-Moroccan man.
Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report