Geert Wilders: much ado about an unscreened movie

Two weeks ago Denmark was in turmoil because Danish newspapers decided to reprint the infamous cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad after one of their authors had received death threats. And there is another Islam-related crisis brewing. This time in The Netherlands. I’ll give our readers a brief update on the situation.

Yesterday, Dutch Minister for Developing Cooperation Bert Koenders cancelled a working trip to Somalia because his delegation had received “direct threats”. The reason? Dutch MP Geert Wilders is about to release a fifteen minute self-made movie, called Fitna or ‘tribulation’, in which he will attempt to demonstrate that the Koran is “a terrible and fascist book that inspires people to horrible actions and violence.” The release date should be some time this March.

No-one has seen the movie yet, but Wilders already seems to have collected a few death threats himself and yesterday, in a rather unusual move, the Dutch Cabinet officially distanced itself from the movie and thereby from Wilders’ actions. The official stance is that the movie threatens the security of Dutch citizens and the military abroad. Wilders subsequently accused the Cabinet of capitulating to Islam. Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Verhagen and CDA PM Pieter van Geel even called on Wilders not to broadcast his movie because “it could affect security and the Dutch economy”. His alleged response: “They can go and screw themselves.” Employers’ organizations have also called on Wilders not to broadcast Fitna. Wientjes, president of the organization VNO-NCW, apparently stated that the business community benefits from a tolerant climate and that Wilders is not contributing to that. There are stories circulating that Dutch airhostesses are now afraid to fly to certain countries, that the Taliban in Afghanistan have announced to take actions against Dutch people and that a number of international business fairs are refusing Dutch entries.

At the same time several parties and MPs are, albeit cautiously, stressing the importance of freedom of expression. More precisely, Femke Halsema from GroenLinks (Left Greens) and Socialist Party leader Jan Marijnissen. They do point out, however, that Wilders has the moral responsibility to consider if the goal in this case really does justify the means. And both the Justice Minister and the Minister of Domestic Affairs have talked to Wilders warning him about the risks the movie poses to himself and the country.

Personally, I am really getting fed up with people issuing death threats, or worse, just because somebody expressed an opinion they find offensive even when I understand that some people, like Wilders, really seem to be ‘begging for it’. Consciously stirring up resentment under the guise of freedom of expression, by asking to ban the Koran in The Netherlands for example, is idiotic and makes a mockery of that very same freedom. There is a grain of truth in that the Koran is used by some Muslims factions and individuals as an inspiration/excuse for violence, but these problems are extremely complex and are not going to be solved by a simple, cinematographic book burning session. On the contrary. Still, Wilders is no Hitler and as far as I know he has not been inciting violence against Muslims. And, more importantly, the movie has not even been shown yet.

PS: The Dutch phrase “nobody zit echt te wachten op this movie” in this mock trailer means “nobody really cares about this movie”. I also found a fairly recent interview, in two parts, on YouTube in which Wilders talks to FoxNews about his upcoming movie and his views on the Koran and Islam.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Anyway, we’ll see what happens next.

Hopefully, NOT developing…

Update: Last Sunday some eight hundred people took to the streets in the Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif to protest “the Danish and Dutch insults against Islam”. The demonstrators, mainly students, shouted “death to Denmark” and “death to The Netherlands”, burned flags from both countries and demanded apologies and the punishment (in court) of those who insulted Islam.

There is also a ‘nice’ statement from Iran (for domestic use, though):

“Recently some Dutch and Danish media, influenced by usurping Zionists, have distorted and insulted Islamic sanctities,” said a statement read out in parliament on behalf of lawmakers which was broadcast on state radio.

I suppose “usurping Zionists” is the Iranian version of our “dirty terrorists”? Anyway, for an interesting, and more refreshing, debate among Muslims about this issue and the matter of freedom of speech, you can visit ShiaChat.com. A few quotes:

They are misusing the freedom of expression. They don’t understand the sensitiveness of issues relating to Islam. They have the right to criticise Islam and its Prophet with academic integrity but insulting and caricaturing is utterly disgusting. Danish cartoons and the film by Theo van Gogh was more of an insult than criticism. I don’t know how insulting the new film is but I should also mention one thing – The Muslim reaction on cartoons and film was out of proportion and very childish.

Well, instead of whining, why don’t you make a documentary refuting what was raised on the film – that is the best revenge. Why go about rioting and proving every possible negative stereotype when a educated critique of the film in terms of a point by point refuting of themes in the movie, or a creation of a counter film pointing out inaccuracies.

You will alwyas find these kind of people rioting, burning and creating nuisance and mayhem. It is because they have no way to vent out their accumulated frustrations. I don’t blame them altogether. Those who are above them have the responsibility . They don’t understand that the Frankenstein’s Monster they have created will swallow their own fellow Muslims.

Update 2 (March 5th): Geert Wilders has apparently registered a website for the broadcast of his movie. It – the site but not yet the movie – can be found right here. And we keep on updating. I have removed some text referring to Wilders’ site being hosted in Canada. It turns out the content is officially in the US. And just now I found out that Dutch PM Balkenende, on a visit to Paris today, has asked Sarkozy for support – diplomatic or otherwise – in case all hell breaks loose… just to be on the safe side. The movie’s release appears to be scheduled for March 28th. What is going on here?

16 thoughts on “Geert Wilders: much ado about an unscreened movie

  1. That’s a really funny trailer. I guess a peaceful protest against this type of defamation would be much more successful than constant death threats and threats of violence. Especially because he (Wilders) can claim that it proves his point.

  2. I like what he says. It’s crazy that he is in danger- in his own country- for expressing his opinions. Freedom of speech means nothing if threats by fanatics in another country are allowed to censor him.

  3. I feel besieged by idiots; on one hand, blatant careerists trying to offend as many of THOSE PEOPLE! as possible for their own purposes, on the other hand, fanatics and thugs burning books and trying to break the Internet.

  4. The problem I have with Wilders (apart from him being an idiot) is that he is an elected politician and thus a representative of the people.

    It’s bad enough if he keeps it in the Netherlands. He critisized the Minister of integration for wearing a dress designed by a Dutch muslima, he agitates against cantina’s offering halal meat too, etc. But as a politician he has to weigh the various intrests differently than when he is a private person.

    btw: the video’s are ‘no longer available’

  5. Pingback: C L O S E R » Coming soon…Fitna I

  6. was he tested for drinking because he look very bad.welcome to hell stupid cow.lol

  7. Let’s be clear…the fundamental issue is not WHAT Wilders is saying. The broader issue is the inability or unwillingness of a segment of the population to accept that in a free society, people have a right to say whatever they wish, without fear of death or violent reprisal. And while some might argue that he is shouting ‘Fire’ in a crowded theater, this is protected speech and opinion, even though those words might stir others to violence. People are still accountable for their own actions, even in barbaric societies.

    It was once a crime to say the earth is round. But civilized society has long since realized that free thought is the only catalyst of truth. For those who threaten death to people speaking their minds, there is no place for you in civilized society. You need to go somewhere where your barbaric mindset is more mainstream. But then, you would probably live in constant fear of your your OWN life.

    If you don’t agree with his opinion, offer your own. It carries just as much weight. If he’s factually wrong, offer your own facts. If he’s a fool, ignore him. You have rights, too. But, you DO NOT have the right to threaten death to anyone, whether infidel or fool. Not here, not yet.

  8. Pingback: Fitna is out | afoe | A Fistful of Euros | European Opinion

  9. God bless Wilders, those who are either naive or scared because of death threats at least should keep silent when someone is trying to defend their freedom otherwise soon they all will be forced to go to mosques and their women would be wearing barquas as otherwise this would offend our Muslim guests.

  10. Barquas is an interesting concept. They might be very handy in the Netherlands, where most of the land is below sealevel.

    At the moment the animal protection party has two seats in the ‘house’, the unemancipated strict reformed bible-belt christians have two too and the maoist socialists have 25 seats whilst Wilders’ anti-islam (and anti-democracy, his movement is not a real party because it cannot have members) PVV has 9 seats. There is room enough for another party that wants to push it’s own ideology but neither of them are a threat to the system.

  11. what an idiot old man. i don’t understand what makes him decide to do such a stupid thing.

  12. Comments on “Dutch movie FITNA” released by a Dutch MP.
    * If you see the movie FITNA by an open mind/eyes, you clearly see, the mind/thinking working behind this is only hate of an individual against Islam.
    * The film maker picked the verses of Quran out of context and tried to develop hate to Islam among innocent people of other faiths by joining the video effects/clips.
    Producer tried to play with innocent hearts by joining video clips like, Twin Tower attack clips, with verses.
    I AM ASKING YOU PEOPLE, SHOULD ANY MUSLIM MAKE A MOVIE LIKE THIS “FITNA” AND JOINS THE TEACHING OF “BIBLE” WITH THE PICTURES/VIDEOS OF US ATTACK ON IRAQ/AFGHANISTAN……AND TRY TO PROVE THE SAME AS IN “FITNA”? SURE…..NO. THERE IS NO ANY MUSLIM IN THIS WORLD WHO CAN THINK TO COMMENT THE PROPHET JESUS AND HIS TEACHINGS. IF ANY DOES THIS, HE IS NOT A MUSLIM AT ALL, MAY BE HIS NAME IS LIKE OF MUSLIMS.
    * In this movie, thinking of Politician doesn’t mean that it is the sayings of Islam. And individuals’ act don’t mean the sayings of Islam.
    Quran Says: “ONE WHO SAVES THE LIVE OF ANY INNOCENT HUMAN IS AS HE SAVES THE WHOLE HUMANITY”
    We believe in “FREEDOM OF SPEECH” but with responsibility. By this kind of so called FREEDOM, actually you are hearting the millions of people. In humanity, freedom should be constructive, not for promote the hate in society/world.
    More Important: MUSLIMS ARE VERY SENSITIVE TO THE HOLY QURAN and ALL PROPHETS INCLUDING MUHAMMAD, JESUS, DAVID, MOSIS and all others.
    I personally feel, the act of Dutch MP is based on hate to Muslims. Not only for Muslims but he is also against his society and country. His Movie will work as a fire in the society of Netherlands as well as in between thousands of Muslims and Christians in the world.
    May God/Allah help us to live with peace.

  13. First of all, wilder didn’t take any verses out of context that is why he showed your own interpretations in the movie. Explanations of verses were supplied by your own people who were showing the ideal way to raise kids hating others starting with kids as young as 3 year old, and even one of the Mulla went far to carry the sword and promised to behead all Jews. I can’t believe all those terrorists who are freely breaching hatred on Muslim media and Newspapers are not representing true Islam otherwise they will not have this wide space on all Islamic media.
    Why they didn’t ban them? why they didn’t say it is not real Islam don’t listen to them?
    Only you say that after the job is done, right? what a perfect strategy.
    So many official TV stations and Newspapers have those Clerks day and night insulting other religions calling them infidels with some honey on top like “the Prophet reconciled with people of the book”
    They don’t worry much cos somebody else would come and say they don’t represent Islam or it is out of context or just radical views like in any other religion and the game goes on.
    Believe me, the whole world is just fed up, only some dreamers who are scared or believe they can buy their safety and peace by shutting up.

  14. Pingback: The Massacre and its Context | History and Futility

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