Reaction to Fitna

Reactions to the film here in the Netherlands have (thankfully) been mild. My colleagues, some of whom are the children of migrants, went as far as rolling their eyes. More officially; Muslim groups here have expressed relief, Iran labelled it blasphemous (hard to see how), and Pakistan has called on the Dutch government to act against Wilders. Most Muslims – including much of the Arab media have understood the Dutch government does not share Wilders’ negative view of Islam.

For more reactions there is a compilation in English on the NRC Handlesblad website.

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6 thoughts on “Reaction to Fitna

  1. Doesn’t your reaction say it all. People were expecting the Islamic world to erupt in anger. But the reaction has been muted. Maybe Islamic countries have become more democratic between the cartoon controversy and now. Bah.

    For a lot of people (including me), the film is not a question of whether or not it is anti-Islamic, but one of freedom of expression. I read Freedom of expression or freedom to insult? from one of the links that you have provided. Its heartening to see that the Dutch believe in zero censorship unlike my home country India. We were the first country in the world to ban Salman Rushdie’s (he is an Indian, by the way) Satanic Verses. And recently, we (the Indian government and the communist state government of West Bengal) indirectly drove away author Taslima Nasreen (a Bangladeshi who had taken refuge in India after being hounded out of Bangladesh after writing passages ‘offensive’ to Prophet Muhammed) out of the country.

    Every time someone dares to ‘offend’ Islam, protests flare up worldwide. A fatwa is immediately issued by some idiot cleric – chop of his head, blow him up and what not. Okay, people have an inviolable right to protest. But do they have a right to kill? Maybe the protestors are few and belong to a lunatic fringe. But the effect they have on the image of Islam is absolutely devastating. And they always include the usual suspects like the governments of Pakistan and Iran. This is what needs to be looked at. But sadly, governments worldwide don’t want to tackle this problem. They would simply love it if it would just go away.

    Even a little knowledge of world history and current affairs would show that Islam is not the only religion that is used by idiots to inflict a reign of terror. Most world religions, and many groups with a parochial mentality have used (and continue to do so) threats and censorship as a weapon to throttle dissent and enforce submission. If moderate voices do not speak up in cases such as these, but look the other way, freedom will soon become a distant memory.

    You need not agree with what people say. Nor is it necessary for you to equip them with a platform to air their views. But you must protect their right to say what they want. For, if you do not, you will find that it will be your turn tomorrow. And no one will be there to defend your right.

  2. In general I agree with you. Particularly on the point that Islam is not the only religion used to inflict terror . I also think it would be very easy to make an identical movie about Christianity right down to the homophobia scenes.

    However much of the concern about the reaction in the Netherlands started before the movie had been shown, and Wilders is in the past has made statements bordering on inciting hatred – and I believe there is at least one court case pending. On Dutch discussion forums he is frequently labelled as fascist. I am sure he had a lot of legal input in creating the movie so that it would be well within the law – and the comments he made after the film’s release are significantly milder than previous statements he’s made in relation to Islam. The guy is as extremist as some of those whose speeches he included in the video.

    I am all for freedom of speech, and the Dutch constitution guarantees it, it also guarantees the freedom to practice religion. I heard a Dutch commentator this morning commenting that the freedom of speech is not unlimited, and does not include the right to incite hatred.

    I am also all for informed debate – but I don’t think this film contributes to it, and I see much propaganda on both sides.

  3. “Extortion” is a criminal offence whereby an individual obtains desired behavior from another by wrongfully threatening or inflicting harm to his person. Will the British investigate and punish those who used extortion to get LiveLeak to drop the film Fitna from its servers?

  4. Why would the British investigate when the video in question is Dutch, created by a Dutch MP, and the website is US based?

  5. Will the British investigate this profound criminal ideology named Islam ? Will the whole world do that also ? Please… We don’t need a WW3 to prove the obvious. Islam is criminal and it was like that from day one (some 1400 years ago).

  6. I’m guessing you don’t have a law degree. Islam is not criminal per se, and in fact in the Netherlands – where the video was made – the constitution guarantees freedom of religion. It would not be possible to make it illegal without changing the constitution. In the Netherlands freedom of speech is also guaranteed up to the point where public safety is impeded in some way.

    Islam is also not illegal in the UK – which is completely irrelevant to the publication of the movie Fitna, since the UK has no jurisdiction in the Netherlands. Of course the British have investigated crimes committed in the name of Islam, in the same way as they have investigated crimes committed in the name of any other religion including Christianity.

    Your grasp of religious history also seems limited; I suggest you read “No God but God” by Reza Aslan or any of the books by Karen Williams on the history of Islam or the life of Mohammed the Prophet.

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