Dutch authorities are in full scale panic mode after Prime Minister, Jan Peter Balkenende, pleaded that “there is no reason for panic”. Controversial politician, Geert Wilders, has made an anti-Islamic film called ‘Fitna’ (the Arab word for ‘discord’) and according to the Washington Post is threatening to show it on a special website, www.fitnathemovie.com, after all of Holland’s national broadcasters have refused to air the 15 minute film. The socialist Interior Minister, Guste Terhoorst, has even accused Wilders of ‘destabilising the entire country’.
Said Wilders, “The film will show that the Koran isn’t a dead work, but the face of Islam – a tremendous hazard”. He calls the Koran “the latest test to Western democracies since Nazism and communism”. The Iranian justice minister has requested his Dutch counterpart to ban the film, calling it “satanical and undermining”.
The Dutch government has thus far refused to act, citing the principle of free speech. The film is rumoured to be shown on Easter Sunday – the most important day of the year for Christians.
It is difficult to comment until the film is shown. However, i have mixed feelings about Wilders’ latest venture. It is one thing to be able to speak freely, but another altogether to make a film for the sole purpose of gratuitously insulting a billion people. Rumours abound that the film will show him burning a copy of the Koran. The response from the Muslim world will be violent and people will die as a result.
Geert – what is the point of your film?
Some background on Geert Wilders and Holland’s turbulent relations with its Muslim community can be found here. He is essentially a hypocrite as on the one hand he champions Holland’s proud history of tolerance and freedom, yet on the other, seeks to introduce discrimination back into the Constitution (by banning further immigration of Muslims), wishes to ban the Koran as a fascist book comparable to Mein Kampf, and wants a complete ban on the wearing of the headscarf.
Over at Catallaxy, Jason Soon reminded us that Karl Popper believed that we should not be tolerant of intolerance. What would he have made of Fitna? What should we make of Fitna?