Fitna The Movie Is Out

Well, Fitna is out. You can watch it here.

Some thoughts on the movie –

It’s a much more professional production than i had been expecting.

Geert Wilders is either a very brave or a very suicidal man.

It is quite likely to provoke a wider and more violent reaction than the cartoons.

It doesn’t pull any punches and is very graphic.

Further comment from Andrew Bolt.

Update I – Wilders may be in hot water from places he didn’t expect.

1. Kurt Westergaard, the cartoonist of one of the Jyllands-Posten cartoons of Muhammed is upset because his cartoon is used in the film without his permission. He believes this is a copyright infringement, and has asked the newspaper Jyllands-Posten to take legal steps.

2.Wilders mistakenly used a photo of Dutch-Moroccan rapper Salah Edin instead of Mohammed Bouyeri, Theo van Gogh’s murderer. He is also suing.

The video has now been uploaded 2.2 million times.

Update II – Liveleak have now pulled the movie from their website citing “threats of a serious nature made to staff”. Wilders appears to have made his point loud and clear. However, it is still available here. (thanks Skeptic)

The EU and the UN have both somewhat predictably called it a ‘hate film’ and are trying to get it banned (hell, who cares about free speech anymore). Despite this, Dutch legal authorities have claimed the film breaks no Dutch laws.

Update III – Australia’s Foreign Minister, Stephen Smith, shows his total lack of understanding of the concept of free speech. “In Australia, we believe in the right to freedom of expression, but we don’t believe in abusing that right to incite racial hatred.”

Translation – we don’t believe in free speech.

171 thoughts on “Fitna The Movie Is Out

  1. Hats off to host LiveLeak who said,

    “To many of us involved in LiveLeak.com, some of the messages therein are personally offensive. That being said, our being offended is no reason to deny Mr. Wilders the right to have his film seen.”

  2. I did not find the script or editing or even the core message of this film to be overly offensive. Of course some of the footage is graphic, however the director did not cause the graphic events but merely seeks to put them into context. Sometimes a message needs to shock in order to reach it’s mark. I think this film is fair comment. I think it is worthy of debate and discussion.

  3. From Andrew Bolts article:-

    Wilders now travels everywhere with six bodyguards. He cannot sleep in his own home, but is moved around between various undisclosed safe houses. He sees his wife twice a week, at a safe house. Visitors to his parliament office must be cleared in advance and are thoroughly searched; even ballpoint pens are carefully examined.

    That is a very high personal price to pay for making a political statement. I think the guy deserves a bravery award. Him and Ayan Ali Hirsi.

  4. Dutch Prime Minister,

    “The film equates Islam with violence. We reject that interpretation.”

    but he still has to provide Wilders with six bodyguards.

  5. Pingback: Media Districts Entertainment Blog » Fitna The Movie Is Out

  6. I don’t see the moral hazard, Amir. If a group of citizens has issued a death threat against another citizen, the state is duty-bound to protect him. where’s the hazard in that?

    Amir – even paedophiles are (rightfully) protected by the state against fellow citizens.

    Has Wilders even committed a crime?

  7. In America that same “Spirit” was called Patrick Henry.
    Netherlands, you should be honored to have Geert Wilders in your midst..protect him!

  8. Walt, I’m dutch, and sadly, people in The Netherlands in general are told by the general media that Wilders is a dangerous man, interested only in making Islam look bad.
    One could argue that that’s exactly what he’s doing, but on the other hand, he’s the only guy in dutch politics and the media that dares to voice his concerns.
    The thing we’re forgetting in The Netherlands is that people, no matter what their views, should be able to voice their opinions. This is also called Freedom of Speech, and is a right that’s listed as the first law/amendment/whatever in almost every constitution. We need to be reminded of this every now and then…

  9. It must be said that not all Muslims observe the doctrines displayed in the film. Not all Christians were in the KKK but the KKK was a Christian hate sect. Both the KKK and radical islam commit atrocities against humanity and must be exposed and extinguished. Please protect this man Holland.

  10. True, Pommy. However, given the raison d’etre of this film (and the pre-release ‘marketing’) appears to have been to provoke the very angry reaction that state must not protect him against, I just don’t see him as particularly brave.

    He also strikes me as something of a hypocrite and an attention-seeker rather than someone who is genuinely committed to the cause of advancing liberal ideas or addressing his country’s various problems with its immigrant population. For example, on the one hand, he and his supporters denounce calls for his video to be banned on free speech grounds; but, at the same time, Wilders is himself calling for the Quran to be banned!

  11. BTW, further to the above, I haven’t watched it yet so don’t know whether it really as offensive and as outrageous as it was meant to be.

  12. I have a slow connection. It seems rather boring. I am sure most intelligent people could dig up bizzare quotes from the leadership and texts of every religion that goes on the record.

    So I don’t see what his point is. Much violence was celebrated in the 19th and 20th centuries over Marxism and (perhaps misguided) Christianity. Shall we ban Marx and the Bible to preserve free speech too?

  13. Mark – The film does not advocate banning of Islam or the Koran. The film implies that the Koran and Islamists promote violence but also implies that it is for Muslims to tear out these pages from the Koran and not for others.

    MontanaPhil – Would a film about the violent tendancies of the KKK be acceptable? What if it stated that the KKK was inspired by the bible? Personally I’d be open to such a film.

    Amir – Yes I think the government should pay for his protection if the risk is real. The point of governments (and some would say the only valid point) is to protect us against thugs and thieves. Anybody that threatens this mans life because of this film is a thug. There is nothing intellectual or clever about killing people because you disagree with them. Do you think the government should protect you if somebody threatened to harm you because of your opinions or statements? I do.

    The film is confronting but I think within the context of the message it is selling (ie Islamism is a doctrine that threatens liberty) it is making fair comment.

  14. He also strikes me as something of a hypocrite

    Amir

    That’s exactly the point i made in this post on Fitna last week.

    https://alsblog.wordpress.com/2008/03/19/fitna-the-movie-coming-to-no-screens-near-you-soon/

    I don’t like that he calls for a ban on wearing the veil or the Koran. after all, the Old Testament contains some pretty wacko stuff too. people should be free to wear and read what they like.

    However, i don’t see how you can doubt his bravery. the man has put his life squarely on the line for a cause he passionately believes in. Why do you say that? Do watch the video – it’s not as gratuitously insulting as the pre-marketing suggested.

  15. Mark – yes, there’s some shocking stuff in the Old Testament. But the difference is that Jews generally don’t go round committing murder in the name of the Yahweh.

    And neither is there a world movement toward communism. That was a threat a generation ago but that battle is thankfully over.

  16. META COMMENT: I’ve parked the comment by the troll called “Jesus” in the unapproved queue for now because the email address looks doubtful and the substance of the comment seemed incoherent. Please email pommy if you are fair dinkum and you want your comments included.

  17. I just watched it. It’s a pretty sad effort really. He’s just cobbled together some verses from the Quran, some newspaper headlines, videos and pictures of Muslims behaving badly and then added some statistics on Muslim populations in Europe. Throw some spooky music on top to, I suppose, add gravitas or an air of menace to the whole thing and it still adds up to nothing original or particularly clever. He’s even trying to ride on the coattails of the Danish cartoonists to create offense and controversy rather than do anything original himself (although using the photo of a rapper instead of a terrorist is admittedly pretty original!)

    His message seems to be that unless the governments of Europes come up with a final solution to the Muslim problem, the future is going to be weely weely bad.

    Anyway, I doubt Wilders has much to worry about from this little effort. He and his platoon of bodyguards can sleep easy tonight. He probably needs to try a bit harder next time although he does deserve 10/10 for all the publicity leading up to this.

  18. Some might argue you have some sort of bias Amir. Not me though. I haven’t watched it yet. I’ll reserve judgment lest I be judged…

  19. If Wilder’s characterisation of my faith is correct then my natural bias should be to be outraged and angry 🙂 Anyway, honestly, having watched it, I just don’t think it comes close to being as offensive, inciteful or controversial as the media coverage, panicked politicians and Wilder’s own publicity machine led us to believe. Of course, that isn’t to say I like it or think it is a useful or accurate portrayal of my faith or the issues (I don’t).

  20. Amir,

    It’s pretty safe to assume you follow Islamic teachings. Myself, I’m theistic agnostic. I would like to know, though, why those who so persistently denounce Geert’s efforts and refute the content of his message, don’t address it directly. Instead of an answer with any specificity, the most prevalent responses to Wilders’ concerns are:

    (1) That they are politically motivated (There are more political ways to gain power than having to endure death threats).
    (2) That they are unfounded (Were we watching the same 15 minute film? Does the misuse of a rapper’s image negate the rest of the message in its entirety? Islamic fundamentalists denouncing all but their own religion and swearing to take over the world, going as far as to salute Hitler, not to mention the press articles referenced in the film, i.e. treatment of gays…)
    (3) Anti-Islamic (There’s Anti intolerant/irrational/barbaric/fundamental Islam and then there’s Anti-Islam.)

    There is a final solution. Geert mentions it in his many interviews (see YouTube). It makes more sense than anything Muslims suggest in Fitna as a way of dealing with clashing religious denominations. I’ll give you a hint: It isn’t jihad.

  21. Miska, the footage is real. I don’t dispute that. Some Muslims do bad things and some of them even justify those bad things by referencing religious texts. I don’t dispute that either and neither would the majority of Muslims. I’m not sure what your point is.

    What aspect of Geert’s video do you think we need to address exactly? It’s doesn’t offer an intelligent critique of anything or even an intelligent solution to the perceived problem. It’s just pictures of Muslims doing bad things and then this vague call to arms that the European states need to do something — which, as we know from his other comments, involves massively illiberal things like banning books and articles of clothing.

  22. Amir; All good Islamic people should feel morally outraged when seeing this, not at Wilders but at the perpetrators of the events shown.

    My problem with Wilders is that he doesn’t discriminate between the average follower if your faith and the islamofascists, however you appear not to recognize that they are the people giving your faith a bad name, not Wilders.

    Without Osama and the other loud mouthed dictatorial zealots and their half witted followers Wilders would be another narcissistic political nobody, that few would have heard of.

  23. The problem is that he doesn’t distinguish between “good Islamic people” and the terrorists/extremists/etc. He says there is no such thing as “moderate Islam” and says “Islamic ideology” is the enemy.

    Anyway, Jim, most Muslims are outraged about the terrorism and so on that has been committed in the name of our faith. There just isn’t a terrible lot that “good Islamic people” in the West can do to stop it beyond what they are already doing.

  24. Just to be clear my comments are predominantly about the film, not about Wilders. Outside the context of this film I know nothing about the man.

    Amir – your response seems pretty balanced and reasonable. That does not surprise me because you are generally balanced and reasonable. The film depicts some seriously horrific stuff but as you say you do already know that some Muslims do bad things. Clearly it is a propaganda film and you and I are probably not the target audience. However
    I think it is a salient reminder of some of the bad crap that happens because of indoctrination, bad leadership and fundamentalist religion. I think some people within the so called liberal democracies do need reminding periodically that the enemies of freedom come in many shapes and sizes.

    Whilst I don’t expect Muslims to literally tear pages out of the Koran any more than I think we should burn books or ban films, it clearly makes good sense for Muslims to disown some of the dumb stuff that it says within the Koran. Just as the Christians should do when they wave their book about.

  25. Amir: When you personally spend as much time denouncing Islamic extremism as you do denouncing idiots like the fake sheik, then maybe we would believe you.

    The problem is neither you nor any other Islamic spokesman has ever taken time to do it. As far as the rest of the world is concerned Osama and Abu Bakar Bashir speak for all muslims.

    If you feel differently why not speak out? Or are you too scared?

  26. When the muslims try to ban this film they ban themselves,the film is about and stars muslims…

    This film is about muslims and what they are saying,its not about what Geert Wilders has said,so when they wish death on him they actually wish it on themselves.

    Finally,Winston Churchill was resigned to the wilderness in the 1930,s for warning about the Nazis,the muslims are much more evil than the Nazis because they believe in a false God and a false prophet.

  27. Amir; All faiths have their extremists, however most of them are marginalized, especially those who support the generally older less tolerant ideas. Probably the worst, most intolerant, and most hate filled of the Christians are the Reconstructionists, who advocate positions that even fundamentalists find scary.

    For more on them I recommend, “Invitation to a Stoning.”

    “In a world run by Rushdoony followers, sots would escape capital punishment–which would make them happy exceptions indeed. Those who would face execution include not only gays but a very long list of others: blasphemers, heretics, apostate Christians, people who cursed or struck their parents, females guilty of “unchastity before marriage,” “incorrigible” juvenile delinquents, adulterers, and (probably) telephone psychics. And that’s to say nothing of murderers and those guilty of raping married women or “betrothed virgins.”

    “Why stoning?” asks North. “There are many reasons. First, the implements of execution are available to everyone at virtually no cost.” Thrift and ubiquity aside, “executions are community projects–not with spectators who watch a professional executioner do `his’ duty, but rather with actual participants.” You might even say that like square dances or quilting bees, they represent the kind of hands-on neighborliness so often missed in this impersonal era.

    The difference is that these people are generally condemned when they raise their heads, and deservedly so, and by even fundamentalist Christians. Moderate Islamics do not criticize their zealots, mind you Christian zealots wont kill you for criticism of them.

    The problem you have is that Yobbo is correct when he says “As far as the rest of the world is concerned Osama and Abu Bakar Bashir speak for all muslims.”

  28. My take on this issue is this.

    Yes religions are irrational belief systems, virtually by definition, at least if they are faith-based theisms. You won’t get any sense out of them, because for them it’s all about what so-and-so said in a holy book: evidence and reason are trumped by faith every time. Yes they are dangerous too – but less dangerous than socialism which is also irrational, and is the most violent belief system in the history of the world.

    However, on the positive side, most of their adherents don’t actually do what the religion tells them to do. How many Catholics do you know who actually comply with all the church’s nutty directives? Virtually none, including the clergy.

    Similarly with Muslims. The vast vast majority, virtually all, just want to get on with life, they do not comply with many of the central tenets of their religion, and their religion warrants no more concern about anti-social behaviour than does that of any other religion.

    I think in any time in any society there are some criminal elements, especially young men – the traditional warrior class – who love the licence of murder and mayhem, and that’s not going to stop either. Those in Muslim cultures hang it on Islam, while young homicidal maniacs in the west hang it on some other peg, like nationalism, or racism like that guy who blew up the Oaklahoma building, or heavy metal like the dudes in the school shootings.

    Suggesting that the Koran or the jilbab be banned is positively repulsive, and I feel sorry for the poor ole Muslims who, whenever this kind of hype gets aired, get bigotted morons putting shit on them when they walk down the street.

  29. I’ve been reading various sites regarding this film that are calling Wilder names such as “vile” and “hate filled”.
    what I find vile and hate filled are the heinous acts that are committed in the film and certainly not the film itself or it’s maker.

  30. Also, to Justin, if radical Christians in America, were committing acts like radical Islamists are. If radical Christians were blowing themselves and innocent people up, Hanging gays, mutilating women etc.-the list goes on and on-the uproar against them by US citizens, including Christians, would be deafening. And please skip the going back in history ploy and please skip the anti war anti Bush rhetoric. I’m talking about the here and now-now’s the time for good Muslims(and there are many)to stand up to the radicals in their midst.

  31. Similarly with Muslims. The vast vast majority, virtually all, just want to get on with life, they do not comply with many of the central tenets of their religion, and their religion warrants no more concern about anti-social behaviour than does that of any other religion.

    What is your source for this Justin? Where is your proof that the “vast majority” of muslims don’t practice their faith?

    I think in any time in any society there are some criminal elements, especially young men – the traditional warrior class – who love the licence of murder and mayhem, and that’s not going to stop either. Those in Muslim cultures hang it on Islam, while young homicidal maniacs in the west hang it on some other peg, like nationalism, or racism like that guy who blew up the Oaklahoma building, or heavy metal like the dudes in the school shootings.

    This is just simple apologism. Comparing the worldwide phenomonem of militant Islam to a few isolated malcontents in Western Society to make it seem like less of an issue is dishonest in the extreme, and nothing you say should be taken seriously in the future if you really think anyone is stupid enough to believe this bullshit.

    25,000 Marilyn Manson fans aren’t fighting Nato forces in Iraq, you fuckwit.

  32. The bali bombings and WTC attacks were not the work of a lone nutball, but of a organised force who have carried out similar operations on a regular basis all around the world, and enjoy considerable support from citizens in their home countries.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0123/p01s04-woap.htm

    “Maskun, Tenggulun’s village head and a traditional healer who mixes herbal medicine with mysticism, says that probably 10 percent of the village shares the Gufron family’s beliefs. But that’s up from hardly any in the 1970s”

    That’s about the same amount of support as what One Nation got in Australia, at the height of its success.

  33. the stupidity of the bulk of the responses to this film (perhaps not in this blog, but in more popular places) is telling. they don’t go for the actual valid arguments that could be made, but pretend that it’s all about the verses and that other sacred texts have violence in them too, or that they’re supposedly taken out of context, without explaining what the context is. pretty run-of-the-mill stuff that we see from other fundies too, including that you focus on the single point that you think is the weakest and ignore the rest, or on various red herrings like like that the message is negative and therefore bad

    the coherent (even if wrong) arguments that I can think of are (1) that the shown atrocities weren’t motivated by Islamic faith, (2) that that they were faith-based, but the faith itself was based on a misinterpretation or misunderstanding of “real” Islam, (3) that Islam is no more violent than other religions (this one’s actually used often). anyway, all of these can be taken down pretty easily, but still seem to appeal to the man on the street. if this movie would achieve something, given the publicity, I’d hope it would be more discussions about Islam, and that people would realize that Islam has influential strains that are extremely (heh) aggressive and take criticism very badly, and that they shouldn’t be given a free pass with anything, and that the intolerance they espouse shouldn’t ever be met with tolerance, but return intolerance. I guess I can dream

  34. i don’t now what mr.wilders says about moslem,…he’s grazy man, actualy he must be stayed in a lunaticasylum for whoe life. its danger for the world.

  35. to yobbo:
    brother,
    I would suggest you to read about red Indian genocide, Spanish inquisitions, WW1 and WW2, Nagasaki and Hiroshima destruction , Palestinian Iraqi and afghan genocide, Vietnam war..
    Today it has become a Fashion to label Muslims as terrorists.

  36. What have any of them to do with this movie Waqas? Or are you saying that because white Christians acted terribly in the distant past, it’s now the muslims’ turn and we should give them 40-50 years to get it out of their system?

  37. No friend! i am just saying that combining the act of a group or act of an individual do not reflects the majority.
    There are 1 billion muslims around the world and 99.99% condemns the terrorism from any group or country or religion. The freedom of speech is a good thing only if it does not harm anybody. This film would affect 1 billion Muslims around the world and the concept that the west is adding petrol to the fire would become more firm in their mind.
    Emotions of 1 Billion people means nothing to you?

  38. No friend! i am just saying that combining the act of a group or act of an individual ( to a religions is not right way of thinking. Minority within any religion do not reflects the majority.
    There are 1 billion muslims around the world and 99.99% condemns the terrorism from any group or country or religion. The freedom of speech is a good thing only if it does not harm anybody. This film would affect 1 billion Muslims around the world and the concept that the west is adding petrol to the fire would become more firm in their mind.

  39. Lets take the example of
    Bush had said God asks him to invade iraq.
    is it means that the Christianity is the cause of +1 million deaths in Iraq in just 6 years?
    Is it means that the bible is preaching hatred?
    Is it means that the all Christians are terrorists like Bush?
    No Sir,
    It means that the religion has nothing to do with the insanity of individuals.
    You cannot target the teachings of any religion by the attitude of the followers of the religion.

  40. Western countries in the history:
    Crimes, Tortures, Holocaust, Genocide, Racism . . . throughout their short history.

    More: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Vietnam, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine,. . .

    Islam, the religion that starts with swearing to “Pen and what it writes”! at the time science men were sentenced to death by European nations for their belief!

    West following a racist idea is moving toward an integrated world war against Moslems!

    Democracy, human rights, freedom, . . .
    state terrorism, brutality, torture, . . .
    All could be seen in Abo Ghraib . ..

    http://persia1.wordpress.com/2008/03/27/war-of-oil-revisiting-us-crimes/
    http://persia1.wordpress.com/2008/03/28/holocaust-free-speech-prophet-mohammad/

  41. Quick update: The link now points to a “movie” that LiveLeak put out, stating that the original movie was endangering the lives of their employees, and they didn’t want to take that kind of risk (can’t really blame them). You can see the replacement movie at the original link.

  42. This film shows how absolutely monstrous the Islamists are. Geert makes his point perfectly. The Islamists want to destroy our way of life and, in many cases, our lives actual (and brutally at that). And now the Islamists have shown once again that they do not belong in our societies by using barbaric threats of physical violence to get the truth off of LiveWire.

    And “axr38”, I do very much blame them, and so does every other human being.

  43. @Comment by Hugh E Torrance | March 28, 2008
    the god you worship and the god Muslims worship are the same, chief. So if they follow a false god, that means you do too. I’m really sick of Christian fundamentalists like yourself. You are on your way to being as bad as the radical Islamists if not for some more violence.

    @Comment by Waqas Yousaf | March 29, 2008
    declared war doesn’t = terrorism. It’s not great, but a declared war let’s people know what to expect and gives them a chance to react BEFORE it happens. Islamic terrorists offer no such opportunity to their victims and specifically targets civilians. You point is completely irrelevant.
    Furthermore, most of the genocides you listed, aside from stretching the use of the term, weren’t predicated on religion (except, as luck would have it, the Turkish ones against their non-Muslim countrymen. Oh and the Holocaust, which as we see in the film isn’t exactly an unpopular event to many Muslims–even ‘peaceful’ Muslims I’ve encountered have confided in me that they didn’t think the offing of 5 million Jews was all that bad)
    Another point many miss when equating the bible to the Koran, the Koran, as evidenced in the film, has PRESCRIPTIVE violence. It directly calls for adherents to cut down people who don’t believe in Islam. The bible has DESCRIPTIVE violence in that it tells stories of violent acts but that’s about it. Big difference there. Sure there are still kooks who pervert the bible, but they are very few and universally condemned and mocked, something that simply doesn’t happen with enough regularity in the Muslim community.
    I do believe that the overwhelming majority of Muslims aren’t interested in killing people, but there are enough (even if we use the 99.9% figure–which I don’t buy) that aren’t peaceful. I mean, .01% of a billion is a million. That makes it technically one of the largest standing armies on earth, near or equal to the size of China’s army.
    Makes the threat more real when you think of it that way, no?

    Basically all this film and thread have shown us is that religion have been the single largest causes of violence and destruction on earth throughout history and are the real enemy of peace despite the sheep’s clothing they all dress themselves in.
    I don’t favor banning anyone from practicing a religion peacefully, but I do pity them.

  44. @Comment by axr38 | March 29, 2008

    that is a sad, sad indictment of the whole situation. NO ONE should be places in harm’s way for criticizing ANYTHING. That spits in the face of any free society.

    @Comment by libertynecessary | March 29, 2008
    I believe axl was saying you can’t blame liveleak for not wanting to endanger their employees by hosting the video.

  45. In other words, there is a deep and bitter irony in the West’s current claims to be standing up to evil religious sects in the name of universal values. It was precisely the West’s earlier disregard for secularism and democracy in the Middle East, its elevation of its own powerful interests over the needs and desires of local populations, which helped to give rise to a layer of apparently “evil” radical Islamism. What we have today is not a World War between a principled West and psychotic groups from “over there,” but rather the messy residue of decades of Western meddling in the Middle East.

    Duplicitous Western support for Islamist movements has a long and dishonorable history. In the early and middle 20th century, both British and U.S. intelligence supported the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which so many of today’s radical Islamic sects – including Hamas and even al-Qaeda – have sprung. Indeed, in the 1920s, the British, then the colonial rulers of Egypt, helped to set up the Muslim Brotherhood as a means of keeping Egyptian nationalism and anti-colonialism in check. The immediate precursor to the Muslim Brotherhood was an organization called the Society of Propaganda and Guidance, which was funded and backed by British colonialists. In return, the Society provided Islamist backing to British rule in Egypt. It published a journal called The Lighthouse, which attacked Egyptian nationalists – who wanted British forces out of Egypt – as “atheists and infidels.” Under British patronage, the Society set up the Institute of Propaganda and Guidance, which brought Islamists from across the Muslim world to Egypt so they could be trained in political agitation, and then take such anti-anti-colonialism back to their own homelands.

    Complete article at http://www.antiwar.com/orig/oneill.php?articleid=9615

  46. It appears the “Sweet religion of peace” has terrorized and bullied LiveLeak into pulling the film.

    “How dare you call us killers! I’ll kill you!”

  47. But the matter of fact is you can still find a countless number of similarly critical of Islam videos on liveleak, youtube, google video, and many other websites.

  48. I’m a Christian American and I must admit that I agree with Waqas Yousaf based on simple logic and honesty.

  49. Pingback: Fitna popularity, thanks to Pommy « Thoughts on Freedom

  50. The response from the EU and the UN is extremely disappointing. you wonder if they even bothered to watch the film rather than simply releasing a pre-written press release.

    There is no way this film is incitement to violence. Most Dutch Muslim groups are relieved at how tame the film has ended up.

    Reminds me once again of the poisonous nature of the EU and the UN. What exactly do they stand for anymore?

  51. Pommy, I’ve kept a quality version of that screenshot if you want it – front page of WordPress… I do believe that’s akin to being slashdotted 😉

  52. ‘What is your source for this Justin? Where is your proof that the “vast majority” of muslims don’t practice their faith?’

    My source for this a year spent in a Muslim society and observing the large proportion of cigarette-smoking, beer-drinking, whore-mongering, alms-denying, mosque-avoiding Muslims. My source is also many years experience in immigration practice with Muslims who had been involved in dreadful racial, national, religious or political conflicts in their home countries who wanted nothing more than to have a nice home in suburbia, send their kids to school, and enjoy ‘the blessings of liberty’. My source is in observing that the various requirements of Sharia law, if fully observed, would lead to the breakdown of society, and the deaths of those many people whose lives are supported by widespread practices that do not comply with religious law.

    ‘This is just simple apologism. Comparing the worldwide phenomonem of militant Islam to a few isolated malcontents in Western Society [snip abusive diatribe]. 25,000 Marilyn Manson fans aren’t fighting Nato forces in Iraq, you fuckwit.’

    You have made my point for me. Any young man in the west who wants to go killing people and destroying property, can just join the army and go to Iraq or Afghanistan. Mainstream opinion in the west will, wrongly, accept this as legitimate, as ‘serving his country’, while they will rightly condemn the actions of Muslim terrorists as terrorist.

    It is not apologism to point this out. I am not apologising for Muslim violence. It is right to condemn it, and it is not a justification to point out the over-abundance of violence that has been committed in the name of other causes. It is right to condemn those other causes, including the rampant militarism of the west.

    There is no point in taking sides in a contention between various irrational and violent belief systems. Reasonable people should deplore the irrationality and violence coming from any quarter.

  53. I think that the movie is terribly made. I think that it is a movie that is made by an uneducated person….BUT, BUT, BUT I fully stand with Geert Wilder on principle: he has every right to say what he thinks.

    What I find patently offensive is the world’s reaction to the film: every one is condemning the movie not on specific content or anything like that – although it appears that way. THey are condemning it based on anticipated violent reaction from the Muslim world, which in an ironic sense only serves to validate MP Wilder’s principal premise.

    Speaking of Premise: I think that he is right on one regard. Fascism, Nazism and Communism were the defeated Ideologies of the 20th Century. Now, we have to defeat Jihadi ideology (which stands apart from Islamism i.e. the Islamist AK Party in Turkey which embraces the Democratic process).

    The movie was a disappointment. It seems to be a cut and paste of various newspaper clippings, selective “sermons” by Islamic “clerics” (I use the term lightly) and events. It views Islam in the snapshot of 9-11 and that is a terrible mistake.

    Its main flaw is that it makes an emotional appeal rather than a scholarly one.

  54. The world is going to be seriously ruined and destroyed by dhimmis, cowards, defeatists, appeasers and apologists defending the world’s largest cult from Mecca.

    I support Geert Wilders and the stand against the world’s greatest threat to freedom: Islam.

  55. Justin

    You are speaking from a personal experience. but you cant ignore the consistency of poll findings throughout Europe that more and more young Muslims are turning away from their host secular democracies and wishing to see Sharia implemented.

    The latest poll in the UK suggests that 37% of young British Muslims want to see democracy replaced by Sharia Law.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/jan/29/thinktanks.religion

    This is a huge number of people.

    Any young man in the west who wants to go killing people and destroying property, can just join the army and go to Iraq or Afghanistan.

    I hope you’re not equating the 9/11 or 7/7 terrorists with our Armed Forces? If not, what’s your point?

  56. I hope you’re not equating the 9/11 or 7/7 terrorists with our Armed Forces? If not, what’s your point?

    That’s exactly what he’s doing. He’s a troll who’s always taken this line.

    By the way, your anecdotal evidence about muslims being warm and fuzzy is laughable. Post a source or fuck off.

  57. Pommy
    “I hope you’re not equating the 9/11 or 7/7 terrorists with our Armed Forces? If not, what’s your point?”

    It’s no use capitalising the initials: that doesn’t advance the argument any. What the terrorists and ‘our Armed Forces’ have in common is that they both involve the use of violence to kill people, and claiming a higher value as a justification. That much they have in common. The question is the legitimacy of it. The justification the Muslim terrorists claim is religious: what Allah said, what Mohammed said etc. which I don’t accept.

    But estimates of how many people the western militaries have killed, or been the occasion of killing, in Iraq alone, amount to somewhere between one hundred thousand, and one million people. Are you suggesting that that is justified, for no other reason than that a democratic state has decided to do it? If not, what is the justification? We now know that the reason for the war on Iraq were mistaken at best and fraudulent at worst. Do you buy the line that it’s a kind of welfare handout? Whatever justification you come up with, of course the people on the receiving end of it are no more bound to accept that, than you are Muslim terrorism.

    A perfect example of the disconnect was media coverage of Prince Harry in Afghanistan. Here’s Harry on his camp-bed. Here’s Harry kicking a soccer ball with his comrades. Here’s Harry firing a heavy machine gun into the distance. What’s he supposed to be doing: – shooting a few Afghans? Perhaps a bit harmless target practice in a donkey.

    The point is, when thousands of men from the west get armed to the teeth and go off on military adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, mainstream commentary not only treats it as unquestionably legitimate, they don’t even see it as being a form of violent, aggressive behaviour, just as you seem to be surprised that anyone should point out the fact that it is. Why not? Because their mindset is that the fact that their states have decided to do it, automatically gives it this legitimacy, even where we know the pretext for war was not just wrong, but involved lies or criminal negligence. I hope you are not denying the fact of the killing and maiming of tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq? Do you say they are legitimate because democratic states have decided to do these actions? That would make them legitimate if they had killed, ten million, wouldn’t it?

    Yobbo
    If you can’t be bothered curbing your foul abuse or forming up anything but fragments of argument incoherent with rage, fuck off yourself.

  58. Justin

    So you are equating the 9/11 terrorists with our Armed Forces. This puts us so far apart ideologically that there is little point debating you.

    It is the politicians that messed up Iraq, not the ordinary working class soldier. it is not the soldier that is killing the ‘million people’ that you refer to but terrorist insurgents. i could on but there is little point. you are a pacifist and a moral relativist.

  59. I warned you pommy. Justin’s first appearance on this site was basically to call soldiers murderers and nothing has changed since. He’s a troll and has nothing to offer to this or any argument.

  60. What is this: argument by capitalising letters? I am not a pacifist nor a moral relativist; your approach is mere name-calling in place of rational argument. I have shown what the armed forces and the terrorists have in common. You have not shown what distinguishes them. Spare me the phony moral outrage: what are your reasons?

    Neither you nor Yobbo has shown what is the justification for these killings of tens or hundreds of thousands of people. Your approach seems insist that there is a difference that is so great and so obvious that any discussion of it is simply an outrage (Yobbo’s approach), or to assume that the legitimacy of any state decision to embark on any military adventure is self-justifying. But if that’s not it, what is it? You haven’t said what are the reasons. Never mind the name-calling: what do you say is the justification?

    Perhaps Yobbo thinks that his method of argumentation by insults and fragments will conceal the fact that he hasn’t put forward any relevant or coherent argument. It doesn’t. The challenge for you is to show what distinguishes the use of violence by these various violent groups, apart from self-referential appeals to a higher good. You haven’t done it, and are being publicly thrashed.

  61. I don’t need to put forward an argument to dismiss a troll who is trying to hijack a thread.

    Just piss off, really.

  62. It’s not that you don’t *need* to, it’s that you can’t, so stop pretending otherwise, fool. You haven’t even got to square one, unless you count having a hissy-fit of petulant rage.

    That’s one down. What about you, pommy?

  63. Justin is giving moral equivalence to terror groups with the western militaries and think he has an argument to offer.

    You don’t seem to be able to handle moral priorities very well, Justin.

  64. I haven’t given moral equivalence to terror groups and western militaries.

    I have pointed out the factual similarities – that both involve killing people and appeal to higher values as justification. I have remarked that the difference must be in the legitimacy that people accord to the different justifying values. I have said that I don’t accept the religious belief system underlying the terrorist view of the legitimacy of their killings.

    I have then *asked* for how the killings of much larger numbers of people by the western militaries is distinguished.

    No-one has answered, other than with fallacies and errors, including your own piece of mind-reading.

    This is relevant to thoughts on freedom, because these killings not only obviously violate the lives and properties of the many people who might want to hear your reasons why it is justified, but are funded by compulsory confiscation of people’s property via the tax system in the western countries. So they are bad on two counts.

    You haven’t shown why they are good on even one.

    Don’t tell me, let me guess: you’ve got a great reason why they are legitimate, and should not be condemned in the same breath with terrorism, it’s just that you’re too far above everyone to condescend to say what it is?

  65. Justin is absolutely correct. It’s not Islam that is driving terrorism, that’s merely one motivational tool. Even Osama bin Laden needs more than the Koran to persuade people to become suicide bombers. The further motivation is largely provided by American intervention in the Middle East.

    As for what Muslims really think, this book is the most comprehensive study of opinions among Muslims. I haven’t read it yet, but according to the publisher’s description it finds:

    * Muslims and Americans are equally likely to reject attacks on civilians as morally unjustifiable.
    * Large majorities of Muslims would guarantee free speech if it were up to them to write a new constitution AND they say religious leaders should have no direct role in drafting that constitution.
    * Muslims around the world say that what they LEAST admire about the West is its perceived moral decay and breakdown of traditional values — the same answers that Americans themselves give when asked this question.
    * When asked about their dreams for the future, Muslims say they want better jobs and security, not conflict and violence.
    * Muslims say the most important thing Westerners can do to improve relations with their societies is to change their negative views toward Muslims and respect Islam.

  66. Amir, Of course Muslims always say they reject terrorism but I have a simple and direct query.

    Do you reject those passages in the Koran that call for the killing of infidels?

    Those quoted in the film seem fairly direct and unambiguous to me.

  67. hc
    You are showing the argument *against* the relevance of the whole hoo-ha.

    Yes people belief in nutty things, and people have inconsistent beliefs. People identifying as Muslim, or Catholic or whatever, if asked publicly whether they accept or reject their own holy authority, will of course say they accept it. But of all Muslims, what proportion is out there killing infidels? Someone above said even if it’s .01%, of one billion, that’s one million. But it’s nothing like a million, is it? The proportion and number who are actually killing infidels on the ground that they are infidels and the Koran tells them to do it, is tiny in comparison to the rest. Therefore the rest identify as Muslim and don’t comply with their own articles of faith; as I was saying earlier.

    Look there’s no question that these violent religious fanatics are bad news. Any modern Briton who thinks society or his own life would be better under Sharia law needs his head read. But so what? Don’t tell me people actually think there’s a risk of Britian turning to Sharia law? Even Afghanistan couldn’t manage it. I don’t think the justices of the Queens Bench need to start boning up on their suras and hadiths quite yet.

    The whole thing is over-blown, though it is fair enough of Mr Dutch to point out what a noxious pack of sociopaths these fanatics are.

    But my point is, it’s easy to recognise a violent belief system when its as exotic and frank as the Muslims’. But what if it’s municipal and disingenuous?

    The challenge is to recognise a belief system that is at least ten times more violent, that imposes restrictions that are just as arbitrary as if they were derived from religion, that is just as superstitious in preferring authority and fallacies over reason, and that is far more intrusive in its pious meddling in every aspect of our daily lives: and that is the dominant political paradigm in all western countries, the interventionist belief system which is what is left of the twentieth century’s experiments with socialism.

    ‘ Anything you want, ask the state for it. If there are shortages, the state will supply them. The state personifies a superior wisdom. The state can do anything. The state can make something out of nothing. The state knows better for us, than we know for ourselves. The state’s job is to promote a nurturing spirit in the people. The state’s role is minister to our higher and spiritual needs, expressed in a love for the environment. The state makes up for society’s inability to act socially.’

    These statements express the irrational assumptions which underlie the governmental actions we read about in the news every day, in every field: consumer protection, land zoning, social security, occupational licensing, primary industries, industrial relations, the environment, and so on.

    These ideas are the similar to the kinds of ideas that underlie the religious nutters. They are nutty. Yet just as they underlay the edifices of government n the Soviet Union, so they underlie the edifices of government in the west. It is as though the superstitious nature of man has not gone away in the western world. Western man has just transferred his religious reverence to the state, instead of to the church.

    This statism is, in my opinion, far more noxious than radical Islam, because radical Islam hardly affects us at all, but these nutty irrational beliefs about the state control, or try to control, our actions in just about every corner of our lives, every day.

  68. Pommy and Yobbo, Justin comes from that branch of the Libertarian philosophical tradition that places peace on the same level as civil liberty and free markets. The ideas are strongly present in both Rothbard and Nozick, who argue that there are serious problems with state authority. For people who accept those ideas, this ‘justification of authority’ problem has a knock-on effect when it comes to manifestations of state power. And state power is always most obviously exercised by police and the military. Don’t forget that antiwar.com is run by libertarians, not a bunch of rabid lefties.

    My criticism of this position – which tends to be held by minarchists, rather than moderates – is that it misconceives the nature of state authority when following that authority may actually be more beneficial for citizens than not following it. If the argument is that we all ought to lead free, successful lives, then making decisions about whether the state can facilitate that on too strict a case-by-case basis results in institutional (and personal) paralysis. This is what Joseph Raz means when he talks about the ‘service conception of authority’. Where the state’s authority ‘serves’ us, then it is better to follow it than oppose it.

    Of course, in cases like Iraq and Afghanistan, debates over whether the state’s authority ‘serves’ us as such are vast, and I’ve made it clear that I think it does in the case of Afghanistan, and doesn’t in the case of Iraq.

    However – that aside – there is a danger in engaging in ‘immoral equivalency’ when discussion the actions of Islamists and Western troops – including Israel. It’s also unnecessary when arguing about the rights and wrongs of state authority. First, it tends to weaken the lawyer’s account of ‘intent’. There is a vast difference between the intent manifested by an Israeli soldier and the terrorists. The latter wants to kill civilians – that’s the point. The former does not. Failure to keep intent in the picture collapses murder into unlawful killing, to put it bluntly.

    And Sukrit, if you believe what people tell a bunch of pollsters about their irrational sky-God beliefs, then I’ve got a bridge I want to sell you.

  69. Actually, I thought this film was somewhat tame. The central argument here is ‘freedom of speech’….does it exist in Europe? Not anymore apparently, the apologists and hand-wringers have shown that they do not have the fortitude to prevail against the threat of Islamofascism. They will cower like sheep before the Muslims, gratefully accept their dhimmitude and tug their forelocks for their new masters.

  70. HC, I don’t need to reject any verses in the Qu’ran because each and every verse that describes such things is referring to a specific historical episode or to specific situations such as during war. I have and will, however, reject interpretations of those verses that are incorrect; and that includes interpretations that would be used by extremists and others to justify terrorism, kidnappings or other violence against people just because they are so-called “infidels”.

  71. One of the issues Wilders forgot to mention is that there is no evidence whatsoever that any being called “Allah” exists. There is no evidence that “Mohammed” was in fact a prophet of any kind – simply because somebody descended from a cave and claimed that a flying bird-man annointed him as such is worthless. Wilders should have emphasised this – it would have forced his Islamic critics to provide a concrete justification for their faith (which of course is impossible).

    For this reason, it is simply pointless to bother about whether the Koran should be “quoted in context” or not. There is nothing offensive that can be said about a load of psychobabble. Unless we give equal weight to David Koresh’s claims to the the Seventh Seal or whatever the hell his beef was, there is no reason to take the Koran seriously.

  72. According to Sukrit’s link, Muslims say that the best thing that Westerners can do to improve relations with Muslims is to respect Islam. But that is as worthless as saying that the best thing that Westerners can do with Pacific Island Cargo Cultists is to respect their Cargo Cult. Unless the word “respect” has been utterly degraded to the point of being without meaning (I thought we usually respected people who provided extraordinary service to the community, etc), there is no reason to accord “respect” to something that was fabricated out of thin air and cannot be defended on its own terms.

  73. The best thing Westerners can do to improve relations with Muslims is for the media to report on the moderate Muslims as much as they report on the extremists Muslims. So many times various media outlets will ask were are the moderate Muslims to condemn terrorist actions and violations of human rights in Muslim countries? At the very same time these media outlets refuse to interview moderate Muslims.

    Another important thing is for people to condemn and try to put a stop countries (like the U.S. and Britain) who collaborate with Muslim extremist and dictators. See my comment # 57.

    Also there are many unanswered questions about 9/11 that need to be investigated. There is growing grassroots movement that is questioning the official 9/11 government explanation. Many of them are non-Muslims. Here is an excellent source on this topic http://www.911blogger.com

  74. I repeat, I have not equated the morality of terrorism with that of the military. I have pointed out the common fact of killings and appeal to higher values, and asked what is the legitimacy of the killings by western militaries in Iraq and Afghanistan. No-one has given any decent intelligent answer except to say that in Afghanistan it serves our interests, but without saying why. If our making war in Afghanistan is necessary for ‘defence’, then that just about gives the state a carte blanche to make war in our name anywhere on the flimsiest of pretexts.

  75. Steve – Indeed. The bully in my son’s class also demands respect at the point of a fist. Should he be given it? After all, if bullies are appeased, surely they will stop their bullying behaviour, right?

    Justin – mad guy kills 3,000 people. threatens to kill many, many, more. US says to Afghanistan, ‘hand over the mad guy’. Taliban say no. Whole world (except N Korea, Cuba and Justin) think the US has a fair point. World takes a closer look at Taliban regime and decides they are murdering scum. Everyone (including the Afghanis) agrees it’s probably a good idea to remove them once and for all.

    US-led invasion of Afghanistan has support of whole world except the rogue states, including the Muslim world.

    We are still fighting that battle. That is its legitimacy. Australia’s interests are served by fighting those who oppose freedom and by partnering up with the US where appropriate.

  76. It’s not Islam that is driving terrorism

    Sukrit – why does this ridiculous statement from you not surprise me. Oh yes, becuase your last contribution was that there is no difference between China and the US on the human rights front. And whilst you were writing your defence of China, they were brutally crushing a ‘rebellion’ in Tibet.

  77. Muslims say the most important thing Westerners can do to improve relations with their societies is to change their negative views toward Muslims and respect Islam

    This sort of statement is the crux of the problem between tribal societies and the West. I don’t give a fuck for Islam and I don’t have to. I hold some degree of negative views towards all religion and in a free society and I should be able to, and I think Islam is especially retarded. I don’t give a fuck about ‘honour’ and respecting tribal communities either, and I think those communities are backwards which is why most of them live like pack animals.

    You have every right to reject my views and practice your backward religion. Just mind your own business and keep your hands to yourself. That’s what’s needed and that’s not changing my negative views or respecting Islam.

  78. For what it is worth I think Justin has asked a fair point. He hasn’t asked for this film to be banned or for the Koran to be made compulsory. It seems silly to attack his position as trolling. He has merely asked when and why do we regard violent aggression (predominantly enacted by young men) as legitimate. I see no problem with being outraged by the hideous violence of muslims perpetrated in the name of Allah, whilst also being outraged by the hideous violence perpetrated in the name of governments. I don’t see the point of reverting to anti-intellectual tribalism rather than addressing points reasonably.

  79. Justin has, I think, brought up the other side of the story. The best thing in my view (and Justin’s) that people can do to improve relations with the Islamic world is to stop waging unnecessary wars of choice thre. I couldn’t agree more – the usual result, as with most wars, is to get your bravest and most patriotic young men killed or brutalised on the battlefield, while wiping out large numbers of innocent people. This is terrible for the domestic gene pool, amongst other things, and it is for this reason that a foreign policy of non-intervention should be prioritised.

  80. Terje,

    No, that’s not what Justin is arguing. It is always right to question the legitimacy of state involvement in other countries. But Justin is not asking for a debate about the rights and wrongs of Aghanistan or Iraq. He quite plainly sees little difference between the actions of Western soldiers in Afghan/Iraq and the actions of terrorists. I will not debate someone with such a warped view of the world.

  81. I will not debate someone with such a warped view of the world.

    Why on earth not? Justin is hardly extreme on this issue. The idea that you advance your cause by refusing to debate certain view points is folly in my view.

    Some western soldiers do go to war because they want to kill people. I worked with an ex-soldier once (I’ve worked with a couple over the years) and he told me directly that he wanted to go to vietnam to kill people. On a separate occasion he also told me that he and some mates beat up a fellow soldier who lied about his age and got to the news that he would be sent to vietnam, the reason for the beating was plain old jealousy. That does not mean all people fighting under an Australian flag are equivalent to all people fighting under the banner of Allah, however I don’t think that was Justins point. His point (if I understand it) was that:-

    i) a lot of people feel a great love for their banner (country/religion) even whilst they witness others doing awful things in the name of that banner.

    ii) Some people are keen to kill and will seek a manner that they think can be rationalised within their society in order to do so.

    I don’t see this as suggestion moral equivalence at all. It is merely using the familiar to explain the unfamiliar.

  82. I think its funny that we are calling him a brave man just for exercising his right of free speech… this in its self proves that we have a massive problem with islam. we cant even speak our opinion any more with out death threats. you think how many times in movies and tv shows they mock Christians and Jesus and the people never get called brave or get death threats… good on him for exposing the truth. Islam is a hate filled religion in which the concept of forgiveness does not exist.

  83. Hmmm I wonder how many people who call Islam a violent or hate-filled religion actually work with, live around, associate with Muslims.

    Perhaps I’m more open-minded in my view 1) because I have friends who are Muslim and they have never spoken a violent word against America/”Westerners” and 2) because I see it a lot like the gun issue here in the US, “Guns don’t kill people, people do.”

    @footballerslives, “The bible has DESCRIPTIVE violence in that it tells stories of violent acts but that’s about it.” Are you kidding? A lot of the Old Testament condones violence and speaks of “putting people to death” destroying towns, destroying people, a law of “eye for eye” and demanding sacrificial offerings of both of animals and children.

    Every religion is perverted from time to time to support someone’s insanity.

  84. The best thing Westerners can do to improve relations with Muslims is for the media to report on the moderate Muslims as much as they report on the extremists Muslims. So many times various media outlets will ask were are the moderate Muslims to condemn terrorist actions and violations of human rights in Muslim countries? At the very same time these media outlets refuse to interview moderate Muslims.

    Another important thing is for people to condemn and try to put a stop to countries (like the U.S. and Britain) who collaborate with Muslim extremist and dictators. See my comment # 57.

    Also there are many unanswered questions about 9/11 that need to be investigated. There is a growing grassroots movement that is questioning the official 9/11 government explanation. Many of them are non-Muslims.

  85. 27thfloor,

    My personal experience with male muslims would suggest that about 70% are inclined towards conduct and behaviour that is disturbing. However it is likely that I know more muslims than I realise and that the sample space is unrepresentative. God I hope so.

  86. @27thfloor – so have you seen any Presbyterians flying paper kites into your house lately? Your moral equivalence is astounding (not to mention your total ignorance of Christianity)

  87. saint,

    If you don’t know that there are violent passages in the Bible then you are the ignorant one.

    Bombing a country’s infrastructure and homes is not morally better then flying an airplane into a building.

    DO a Google search of “Operation Northwoods” this was where the United State had wanted to simulate terrorist attacks and blame it on Cuba.

  88. Saint

    Randall’s a Truther. you’re unlikely to get much sense out of him.

    27th floor – Every religion is perverted from time to time to support someone’s insanity.

    Yes, that’s true. But christianity transformed itself in the 16th and 17th Centuries through the Reformation. Islam is yet to experience such a movement.

  89. Australia’s foreign minister, Stephen Smith has commented on Fitna, calling it “highly offensive”.

    Stephen Smith said Geert Wilders’ film “Fitna” equated Islam with acts of terror and other violence. “It is an obvious attempt to generate discord between faith communities,” Smith said.”

    Like leaders in the Muslim world and in Europe, I strongly reject the ideas contained in the film and deplore its release. “In Australia we believe in the right to freedom of expression but we don’t believe in abusing that right to incite racial hatred.”

    So do you believe in freedom of speech, Steve?

  90. pommygranate.

    I made comments #s 57, 59, 102, 105 and all you can say is I am “Truther.” You haven’t commented specifically on anything I have written. Yeah, that makes real sense.

    By the way the country that has the most number of rapes and murders is the Christian Congo. But Westerners are not too concerned about that because the United States, Europe, and Israel benefit from the diamonds, other natural resources, slave labor, and sale of weapons to the Congo.

  91. This thread’s turned into quite the party, hasn’t it? People from all over.

    And to answer your question, Pommy, no, I don’t think Smith believes in freedom of speech. When pushed, many people who think they do actually don’t – what they support is freedom for opinions within a range they personally find acceptable.

  92. Skeptic

    indeed. he has no understanding of free speech. the whole point of free speech is letting people say stuff that you find ‘offensive’ and ‘insulting’. Its not talking about the poor summer weather in Brisbane.

    Randall

    DO a Google search of “Operation Northwoods” this was where the United State had wanted to simulate terrorist attacks and blame it on Cuba.

    the United States, Europe, and Israel benefit from the diamonds,

    There is a growing grassroots movement that is questioning the official 9/11 government explanation.

    And did you know that Princess Diana was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald’s Muslim-convert nephew in the Hollywood set that NASA used to fake the moon landings. Honest, mate.

  93. pommygranate,

    I had brought up “Operations Northwoods” in repsonse to saint’s comment #104 where he said “@27thfloor – so have you seen any Presbyterians flying paper kites into your house lately? Your moral equivalence is astounding (not to mention your total ignorance of Christianity)”

    Actually this doesn’t makes sense but I was guessing that saint was implying that Christians have not have thought of flying airplanes into buildings. I wanted to show him that Christians have thought of flying planes into buildings.

    Tell me pommygranate do you think that people who bomb infrastructure and homes are on a higher moral level than those who fly planes into buildings?

  94. Randall

    As i said to Justin and Sukrit, i think people who deliberately target innocent civilians are not on the same moral plane as those who target terrorists and enemy combatants.

  95. pommygranate,

    Ooops, I accidentally pressed the “Submit Comment” button before I finished writing (comment #114).

    When you consider the fact that the United States had helped Saddam Hussein into power and supported him, strategically and financially, when he was committing his worst atrocities, how are Iraqis supposed to feel when the United States invades Iraq two times and led the campaign to place sanctions against in between these two invasions? It is the people that are suffering the most, not Saddam Hussein and he was once a U.S. puppet.

    Why did the Unites States choose to recruit and train Muslim extremists to fight it proxy war against the Russians in Afghanistan; why didn’t the U.S. choose to collaborate with secular pro-democracy groups? Once again millions of Muslims suffer due to actions that the United States has taken.

    For those who are so outraged with the human rights violations of Saudi Arabia, why are you not demanding that the United States stop accepting trillions of dollars of investment money from the Saudis? Why is the United States selling billions of dollars of weapons to the Saudis? (the place were most of the alleged 9/11 hijackers came from?) Actually, the Saudis do not have the qualified personnel to operate the weapons; Saudi Arabia is just a storage place for weapons that the United States uses in its military interventions in the Middle East and surrounding regions.

    If you are not talking about all factors that are contributing to the spread of Muslim extremists, then you will not solve the problem.

  96. Randall

    You make some good points, especially about the US’s close relationship with the House of Saud, which has largely been responsible for the spread and financing of jihadism.

    But come back to your original question. Do you really believe the 9/11 terrorists are morally equivalent to our troops? really?

  97. Pommy,

    Killing innocent people in order to achieve a military objective does seem pretty awful. What do you make of the Americans using the atom bomb in WWII or the British bombing of Berlin cities (or the German bombing of British cities) or the following memo regarding gas attacks?

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHU407A.html

    I think that the west has sufficient military advantage in most conflicts that it can these days afford to be more surgical in the way it wages war. However if we were out gunned by a muslim nation and it was hell bent on invading and impose Sarah law then I don’t think we would want to rule out anything.

    My objection to Islamic extremists is not principly related to how they wage their war (terrorism) but rather to the unworthiness of their cause (Sarah law and an Islamic theocracy). All modes of war essential entail using the threat of force and demonstrations of lethal capacity to subjugate people.

  98. pommygranate,

    No I don’t think the 9/11 terrorists are eqivalent to the American troops in terms of the intent of their actions. But the decision makers in the American government are equivalent to the 9/11 terrorists.

    TerjeP,

    How do you think many people in the Third World feel when Western countries preach human rights and democracy, yet go around engaging in regime change and supporting brutal dictators who do their bidding? Don’t you think that the people would be angry that they are not being allowed to develop and do what’s best for their own country?

    After colonialism there was a time when the Middle East admired and wanted to emulate the West, but the animosity grew when Western countries kept on interfering with their governments.

    By the way, Western countries do this not only in the Middle East, but also in Africa, Asia, and South America

  99. Randall – my observation is that people are generally annoyed with political interference from abroad. Although there are exceptions and not everybody has the same view of things. As far as possible I think governments are wise to stay out of physical conflict in relation to other countries domestic affairs.

    Having said that I still think Sharia law sux.

  100. I can’t say the Afghanis feel the same way about the US as the Chileans did. The Afghanis want to help but live in fear of the Taliban. Pakistan should be raided and Meshud should be killed or captured.

    Personally I think “the West” simply shouldn’t support oppressive regimes. We’ll trade with you, but we will embarrass you at every opportunity and we will crush you at any sign of delinquency and we can bump you off when it is convenient to us. “the West” should have no qualms about targeted assassination, from lowly clerics and zealots up to Heads of State. If you are oppressive, you are no longer our ally. If Philipines went native, and the generals thought it was necessary to defeat MILF, then a war against both them and the oppressive Manilla regime should not be beyond our consideration.

    Tyrants and terrorists should live in fear. I also think such an idea is utterly pragmatic, it does not lead to situations like the Ambassador Gillespe ambiguity, support of tyrants like Diem of South Vietnam, allying with al Qaida etc in the first instance. In short I think it lives up to our ideals and minimises blowback.

    Personally also I think we should stay in Iraq as we should have stayed in Vietnam, even if the decision to go in was flawed. Abandonment leads to a sense of entitlement – re Osama bin Laden.

  101. What defeated the Soviet Union?

    1. Economic supremacy of free enterprise.

    2. The Soviets could not keep up with the US arms race.

    3. Second and third strike capability and excellent MRBM tactics that boxed them in.

    4. Dialogue based on the above led by a reformer from within.

    5. The alliance of Western political support, Communist bloc trade unions and mass movements and support from religious leaders and exiles massed against the reformer.

    Allegiance with murderers like Pinochet did not help one bit.

    I do not suspect that waterboarding, blanket discrimination, xenophobia, negation of civil liberites or allegiance with dictators now will help. In fact I am pretty certain that terrorist organisations use these as propaganda agains the US and its allies.

    In short, banning the Koran or Fitna will not help us out. Nor did we “need” to ally with Islamic exremists to defeat the Soviets. But in a way I think “the cartoons” and Fitna do help. They are a cultural influence – it might give some people in Iran for example the idea that it is fine to question the authority of Sharia law and the foundation of their Islamic republic.

  102. Mark – targeted assassination of tyrants. i like it. let the monsters live in perpetual fear but spare their innocent citizens.

  103. I’d like targeted assassinations but only if it was applied with some degree of transparency. In other words a nation should be declared an outlaw nation through some open process before pursuit of such tactics is permitted. A free hand for governments to assassinate foreign leaders willy nilly is a receipe for trouble. And the definition of “outlaw nation” should have clear remediation steps that allow such nations an exit strategy. Better also to let private interests conduct such assassinations with immunity under the cover of outlaw nation status.

    I don’t know the details but McCain has been banging on about a league of democratic nations. I like the concept although I don’t know the proposed details:-

    http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/03/26/819810.aspx

  104. I kind of agree with Mc Cain. I would prefer to reform the UN in this way but it might be busted. I agree as it conforms to my idea of not supporting tyrants for expediency. This would give dissidents in countries like Syria something to point out – “we’re not part of the “Allied Nations” because we’re a joke and it is the fault of the Assad regime”.

    I also think unless Mugabe voluntarily goes, I cannot see any other way of him being removed other than a mercenary force. No one wants to do it. I understand Australian law would punish an Australian citizen for participating in what the public and Govenrment agrees with in sentiment but cannot and should not practically do.

    Terje – targeted assassinations not just for outlaw heads of State, but for terrorists etc as it is normally applied. I agree, it needs due process or it would be abused and be horrendous.

  105. Mark – I believe you are right about the punishment of Australian citizens. I don’t know the full story about David Hicks but if Afghanistan had been a declared outlaw state I’d be prepared to see individuals such as him over their taking down the leadership essentially with immunity against prosecution in Australia. Unfortunately I think the laws changed in the other direction because of the Hicks case. Of course Hicks was proping up the despots not taking them down so he is not the best example, merely a topical one.

  106. I was thinking more like someone trying to plot a coup against Mugabe (lets hope he steps down). It would be absurd if we treated Mugabe like a pariah but punish private individuals for doing what the Government wants to but cannot practically do. IMO Hicks got off easily and anyone who fights with terrorists (of any political persuasion) and/or against Australian soldiers (I am sure he says he didn’t) should be punished severely.

  107. The trouble is that at present an Australian plotting a coup against Mugabe would most likely be classified as a terrorist and would fall fowl of Australian law.

    In terms of classifying foreign governments I think we need some defined labels along the lines of:-

    1. Outlaw;
    2. Un-Democratic;
    3. Democratic

    With laws applied to private milita that seek to depose such governments defined accordingly. To move from the first group to the second group a government would need to have:-

    a) rule of law
    b) legitamacy, historical or otherwise
    c) some credible, orderly and transparent process of leadership succession, even if merely a heriditary process.

    The second of these might be quite subjective but if a government has run a place for 25 years without any serious civil war then I think it can claim some degree of legitamacy. Rule of law would need to include an independent and functional court system.

  108. He enacted the law as PM I believe.

    We shouldn’t have to publicly declare a shitlist of persons or States. Of course sometimes it would be useful.

  109. Any excuse you give, the CIA and the Russpies will grab as their justification also. And we don’t want to give Trinifar any ideas about how to react to our views, do we?

  110. I don’t see your point. Abu Bakar Bashir is free, has lead terrorist attacks against Australians and incites further violence against us. What do you think we should do?

  111. Mark, #131 mentioned Mugabe. Whilst I would not object too much if he was ‘taken out’, other heads of state mightn’t like the precedent.

  112. I thought the movie was really good. Islamic doctrine if taken seriously is very dangerous and very anti-individual. And it is definitely taken seriously in certain countries because there is no separation of church and state. Islamic law is enforced and threats and violence from extremists are tolerated and not dealt with. When this violence is directed at people in the west, the only way to deal with it is to stand up for your rights. So I congratulate Wilders, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ezra Levant, Liveleak and anyone involved in bravely exercising their right to free speech. And shame on those who don’t have the guts to print the Danish cartoons or host this movie. The west is currently allowing Islamic countries to be much more of a threat than is necessary.

  113. would any democracy count? Hamas was, after all, democratically elected. would be a bit of a shit-fight to see who was in and who was out.

  114. Better in my view to have Hamas at the table and have other nations believe that the door is also open to them if they reform than to exclude Hamas and leave other nations with the impression that the door was forever shut. It would still stand a strong chance of being a far better institution than the UN.

  115. Nah Nah Nah Terje, better we bomb the crap out of every holy site in the Middle East, starting with Jerusalem. That way they can all hate us and commit terrorist acts, thus justifying our going in there and taking over the whole Middle East.

    I am at a loss to understand why people even argue about the relative merits of what Israel or Hamas or … did. They’ll all want their arses kicked. Just put a massive fence around the whole place, take away their weapons but give them clubs and firesticks. Then install CCTV everywhere with satellite links so we can then tune in to watch the slaughter at our convenience.

    When two parties go to war choosing which side to be on typically extends the war. Both parties must be subject to severe punishment for their killing. YOu wanna stop the violence there, embargoes on everyone involved in the violence.

  116. Right you want to punish the Israeli, Palestinian and Lebanese populace for the proxy war the Iranian and Syrian Government fights against the Israeli Government?

    That’s heartless.

  117. People get the government they deserve.

    Heraclitus.

    Yeah, I’m heartless dude. Believe it.

  118. @pommygranate
    Are you kidding? Reformation of the 16th & 17th century? Slavery was still a live and well in 18th century. Eugenics was alive and well in the 20th century. I’ve barely scratched the surface of things that Christian Americans have done to hurt and kill thousands even millions of people.

    Be serious.

  119. I never knew that those who would outwardly identify as American Christians would advocate oppression of non State relgions, eugenics etc. I am also quite sure that a lot of abolitionists had strong religious convictions and drew a lot of inspiration from William Wilberforce and John Newton.

    If you scratch the surface, please be very detailed.

  120. 27th floor

    Slavery was actually abolished by a devout Christian.
    Eugenics were practised by totalitarian states.

    Go on tell us – what have those evil Christian Americans done?

  121. LOL I think both of you (Mark & pommy) missed my point. A lot of ppl have commented/implied that Christians don’t kill people. My point is… they have/do. Along with people of all other religions. To say that Islam is evil and Christianity is pure & innocent (as many have done on this blog) is asinine.

    I’m a Christian and can admit that. No one and nothing is perfect, or am I wrong about that too?

  122. A lot of people here are visitors. We get both Christian and Islamic whackos sometimes.

    We have also found that mentioning religion on a blog is great for shameless self promotion.

  123. I definitely take the side of Israel compared to Iran, Syria or other Islamic countries. I definitely take the side of Christian culture (where there is a much better separation of church and state) over the cultures of Islamic countries.
    While all countries and religions have big faults in today’s world, it’s very clear who’s providing their citizens with a better standard of individual rights protections – therefore the Islamic countries should rightfully be condemned more so than Israel or predominantly Christian nations.

    Australia is far from perfect, we have many legalised violations of individual rights but we are worlds apart from Islamic law countries.

    27th floor: You say Christians commited crimes in the past. In the middle ages, Christian European authorities committed crimes even worse than what Islamic countries do today. However that was the past, and is not relevant to a judgment of condemnation in today’s world.
    Personally I think it’s a good example what happens when religious doctrine is treated seriously. eg/ The story in the bible where Abraham goes to sacrifice his son Isaac at the whim of “God” was instinctively horrifying to me as a child, and the philosophical implications of this story are indeed horrifying.

  124. Those evil American christians have attempted to force children to learn creationism. They have murdered abortion doctors. Many of them supported the invasion of Iraq. Their leaders have been caught out in any number of sex, money, and drug scandals. They run “brat camps” where children are subject to torture and brutalisation. Their leaders (eg. Benny Hinn) take money for their own self aggrandisement. They often worship mammon. They promote homophobia with a vengence. Worse than all of this they generally support Dubya. Looks like the Holy Spirit, purported dwelling within them (Rom 12.1) and their divine nature (I peter 3:12?) has turned too many of them into bigoted hateful individuals who consider themselves to be morally superior to us mere sinners whose eyes are scaled ( 1 Corinthians somewhere I think!).

    Here in Aus, I have known some fine christians, people I have been proud to call my friends.

  125. Actually I think we need a nuanced view of the Church during the dark and middle ages.

    Charlemange’s forced conversions, the crusades, witch hunts, corruption and intercenine denominational violence were simp,y awful.

    However, the clergy also talked Attila out of attacking Rome and reformed the ulta violence of the knights into the chivalric code which lasted basically until Agincourt.

  126. Any western liberal by definition must side with a Xian society over an Islamic society. After all, liberalism was largely a product of Protestantism, and is antithetical to Muhammadanism!

  127. 27th floor

    I’m not sure they are. That Christians have committed atrocities in the past is obvious. The point is that nowadays, Christians are largely peaceful.

  128. America calls itself a christian nation and has initiated more military actions than all other nations.

  129. John – but not in the name of Christianity, nor to spread the word of Jesus – that’s the crucial distinction.

  130. Yeah, Americans have got a new religion- Americanity! If you have got the numbers (Democracy), then the God(s) of your choice must be behind you, supporting you! All together now- “Our Founding Fathers, who art in New Haven….. ” How does the rest of it go..?

  131. John Greenfield, the capitalist and individualist ideas of the Renaissance (aka age of reason – not faith) were due to a revival of pre-Christian ideas, particularly those of ancient Greek philosophers. The Philosopher Thomas Acquinas for example although Christian, and later made a saint, was inspired explicitly by Aristotle.

    From Wikipedia/ “Aquinas believed ….. that human beings have the natural capacity to know many things without special divine revelation, even though such revelation occurs from time to time, “especially in regard to [topics of] faith.” Aquinas was also an Aristotelian and an empiricist. He substantially influenced these two streams of Western thought.

    Can you imagine that, a culture that thought knowledge came from devine inspiration not scientific method. Ha! Just sit around praying and God will pop a scientific discovery into your head.

    The idea that 1000 years of the collectivist culture of the Middle Ages (where scientific knowledge and medical knowledge was lost, average life expectancy was appalling low, thousands of people were tortured, wars were frequent, a society where even basic technologies such as the art of stone buildings disappeared etc) is somehow a precondition of achieving capitalism is at best laughable.
    This hypothesis is a load of crap spread by presumably dishonest and/or lazy and ignorant Christian leaders.

    Examine the main ideas of Christian philosphy such as faith and sacrifice, and it’s glaringly obvious that reason and logic (pre-conditions of science) and individualism and freedom (pre-conditions of capitalism) are totally at odds with Christian philosophy. The Renaissance was the exception not the rule, but the ideas of this time were so powerful and effective that they have lingered and are still around even today.

    Christians were teaching and still teach stories such as Joshua trumpeting down the walls of Jericho, destorying the largest trading city in the world at that time because he was from a “choosen race”. This racist, collectivist, anti-freedom teaching is the antithesis of capitalism.

    Even after the Renaissance scientists such as Galileo were locked up. There are many more examples.

    It makes me really mad that Christians try to take credit for capitalism, but are unable quote anything from their doctrine that supports this. On the other hand it’s incredibly easy to find anti-freedom ideas in Christian doctrine.

  132. That’s right pommygranite, and in the main christians today are more interested in doing good in the world rather than killing people to defend their faith. So perhaps to take a post millenialist perspective, it is as if christianity slowly evolves a higher ethical system more in line with the wishes of its founder. Islam, however, at least under these extremists, is falling back into barbarism.

  133. Timbaby, stop pouting. Here comes your come-uppance!
    Capitalism was a direct result of the Protestant work ethic, which developed from Calvinism. People could prove, through their industry (one of the seven virtues), that they were following the divine word, as revealed in the Bible. Whilst works alone didn’t guarantee salvation, they were a sign of a busy soul (The devil finds work for idle hands, and all that.). Which other philosophy lauded work and its’ reward? And didn’t Aristotle think that slavery was natural, therefore right? In fact wasn’t Aristotle an advocate of an Aristocracy? And weren’t the Protestant Swiss and Protestant Dutch havens of Capitalism, and wealth, because of their work ethics?
    Whilst Catholicism might have a lot to answer for, Protestantism has a lot to be proud of.

  134. John Hasenkam,

    You are making sweeping generalizations that make no sense. You will have to give specific examples. Besides much of Europe is steadily becoming less and less religious. The same is true with the United States, although in surveys people will say they are religious, but most don’t go to church regularly.

    The United States is the number one seller of weapons, even selling them to unstable regions and they have sold them to opposite sides of conflicts, like in the Iran-Iraq war and the Congo.

    As I have mentioned before, the region where the most killing and rapes are occurring is the Christian Congo.But Westerners are not too concerned about that because the United States, Europe, and Israel benefit from the diamonds, other natural resources, slave labor, and sale of weapons to the Congo

    John Greenfield,

    You can not really categorize things strictly by religion, there is so much overlapping. Western countries have a long history of collaborating with Muslim extremists (as well as dictators and kings) to prevent the development of secular democratic governments in Third world countries because they have financial or strategic interests in them.

  135. Nicholas,
    Hard work is not a pre-condition for capitalism, hard work was not exculsive to Calvinists and existed throughout history.

    Capitalist ideas probably developed initially in Roman Catholic Italy, not in Switzerland where Calvin was based. There is much evidence to suggest that Capitalist Europe had its roots in the pre-reformation era. Thomas Aquinas who I quoted earlier pre-dates the reformation by at least 200 years for example.

    It’s more important to ask yourself why the schism in the Roman Catholic church came about in the first place, than to say the schism happened and that this caused a change in people’s thinking. You’ve got cause and effect around the wrong way. Individualism was on the rise, and this caused people to demand the bible be in their native language and many other pro-individual ideas. Protestants originate from Rome.

    I think it’s very clear that religion had little to do with the renaissance and fought it quite hard in some areas.

    It’s a classic case of correlation not causation.

  136. Tim,
    Hard work has existed throughout history, but the Protestants were the ones who believed that hard work could be ennobling, and that exterior work could be a sign of an interior faith. If a man worked hard, and earned wealth thereby, he had a right to it. Did other cultures claim this about hard work? Or did they claim that the ‘upper’ classes (the whip-wielders) had a divine right to dominate?
    If you google “aristotle on Slavery”, you will find that Aristotle justified slavery on varied grounds. One of them was race. Barbarians (non-Greeks) were natural slaves, simply because they weren’t Greeks. (And so were Women. Well, he got ONE thing right!)
    I am reading an amazing book about Jesus called “What Jesus meant”. It reveals how radical he was- seen with all sorts of ritually-unclean people like Tax Collectors, drinkers, gluttons, and working-class people with really common names like Simon and Andrew! The man was a bohemian before they thought of the word! Why, he judged people by what they did, not who their parents were! He even tried to get people to drop their racial prejudices, by declaring they should love everyone, not just their kin and kith! (Yes, even those mixed-race mongrels next door called the Samaritans!) That was the real point about the command to love your neighbour- he was trying to shake them out of their racist attitudes. If you look at the context, you’ll see what I mean.
    Ritual Christianity put a stop to all that, and built up a power-structure that Jesus was always raling against, but that was dispite his words, not because of them.

  137. OR, Mark, you are wrong!
    Ritual Christianity, I said, not religion. Jesus was here to do away with the old law, by fulfilling it completely. He not only celebrated Passover, he became a part of it! Whilst he wanted his disciples to remember him, he did not otherwise establish fixed rites- it was humans who wanted mindless actions, without having to think about things, or apply the words of Jesus to their lives. For instance, once a year, the Pope washes people’s feet. I bet that is the only time he does it! And he never had another humble thought for a whole year. It’s become a ritual, and therefore meaningless.

  138. Pingback: Fitna « The Legal Soapbox

  139. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2274677605731263078&q=sheikh+pirzada&total=12&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0

    hello all of my jews and christian friends here is the video in response ( as you were askin for it) to the greed wilders non-sense video to spoil islam..but i am glad our religion is not protected by guns or nuclear weapons or by spoiling other religions but protected by by ALLAH the almighty (God) so muslims dont have to worry………..please see this video there are 2 parts please watch both the parts because this video is not made by anyone like greed wilders who has no knowledge of islam at all but made by a good scholor of islam who has a good knowledge of islam. you can also get this video in you tube just type the name of Shaykh Pirzada …please watch it carefully both the parts ..

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