Okay, Geert Wilders’ movie Fitna is finally online. It was posted sometime yesterday and the English version has already been viewed over two million times. As I write this the Dutch version is at 2.5 million views. Talk about word-to-mouth!
First, the good news. Wilders did not do anything really stupid and really irresponsible like tear up or otherwise damage or deface the Koran. In other words, there is no reason whatsoever why someone should want to kill him or anybody else over this*. Besides, it turns out there already has been more than enough ado about nothing.
The sixteen minute movie is essentially a copy-and-paste job with verses of the Koran followed by images and speeches of violence and hate in the name of Islam. A good thing about the film is that, at the end, Wilders addresses the Muslim community, or his vision of this community, to tackle the problem of Islam-inspired violence. He does not advocate non-Muslim violence against Islam. The problem with Fitna is that its vision of Islam is terribly one-sided and limited. The movie, basically, could have been made by your average blogger. There is some truth in it, but it gets mixed up with a great number of simplified associations and generalizations.
Anyway, these are my first thoughts. I am writing this in the middle of the night and I think I should have another look at the movie when my mind is well-rested. In the meantime I am looking forward to comments from our readers. You can view Fitna at LiveLeak.com (or here in case of high traffic) and embedded below. Francophone readers can click here. For the time being, I’ll post any updates in the comments section.
*Disclaimer: I do not believe anybody should ever be killed or hurt over an expressed opinion. I wrote this with some of the death threats that Wilders has received in mind.
UPDATE: LiveLeak apparently had to nix the flick but you can still watch it HERE or HERE. Threats suck and are so pre-internets. Plus, they give the movie more credit than it deserves. I am providing the mirror links because now it really has become an issue of freedom of speech. And sadly so.
UPDATE2: Dutch anthropologist Martijn dissects Fitna. He concludes his in-depth and fact-based analysis with:
Astonishing therefore that people are really seeing this film as soft. Are we used already to all the violence that is depicted, donâ€™t we think that using lies, distortions and so on is a problem? It is an irresponsible form of abusing the freedom of speech, not only towards Muslims but also with regard to the people who voted for Wilders. I have spoken to some of them in the past and they have put their faith in him as the one who perhaps could solve the problems they experience. What Wilders has done know is behaving like a charlatan who sells rubbish, nonsense and a pack of lies and something that probably will not solve any problem.