February 28, 2009 Leave a comment
A long and worthwhile article about Geert Wilders’ film Fitna.
The equation of Islam with violence doesn’t come from Dutch politician Geert Wilders; it comes from the words and actions of Muslims he features in his controversial film.
March 31, 2008 – by Robert Spencer
Fitna in Arabic means discord or upheaval; it is also the name of a new sixteen-minute film by Dutch politician Geert Wilders that appeared last Thursday, and has done nothing since then but … create fitna. The expected riots and violence did not materialize: in Karachi, a quixotic band of just over three dozen jihadists chanted “Death to the filmmaker,” but so far that has been about it on the street level.
Protests have instead been official. Iran and Pakistan lodged formal complaints — Iran with the European Union and Pakistan with the Dutch Ambassador to Islamabad — and as of this writing the anger is only growing. Other Islamic states and organizations also expressed outrage over the film. The multinational Islamic body and largest single voting bloc at the UN, the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference, condemned Fitna in “the strongest terms,” claiming that Wilders’s movie was “a deliberate act of discrimination against Muslims” intended only to “provoke unrest and intolerance.”
However, equal and even greater indignation came from non-Muslim leaders, particularly at the United Nations. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon dubbed the film “offensively anti-Islamic” and declared: “There is no justification for hate speech or incitement to violence. The right of free expression is not at stake here.” Or maybe it is: the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, urged those angered by the film to work to limit free speech rights. “There is a protective legal framework,” she noted, “and the resolution of the controversy that this film will generate should take place within it.” She said that legislators “should offer strong protective measures to all forms of freedom of expression, while at the same time enacting appropriate restrictions, as necessary, to protect the rights of others.”
With somewhat woolly logic, Jorge Sampaio, UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, urged the world not to overemphasize extremism, for to do so would only create extremism: “We should indeed beware of overemphasizing it, because extremism anywhere is extremism everywhere, thanks to new media technologies. Few people think of themselves as extremists, but many can be pushed towards an extreme point of view, almost without noticing it, when they feel that the behavior or language of others is extreme. We therefore deeply regret this offensive film.”
So in other words, don’t point out the evil that the “extremists” are committing, or they’ll just do more of it.