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Monday, January 26, 2009

Fitna

I wrote recently on the pending prosecution of Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who is accused of making anti-Muslim expressions including the film he produced, Fitna. This movie is about 17 minutes long and focuses mostly on the Muslim immigrant situation in The Netherlands. The movie does, however, contain images from 9-11, the London subway attacks and the Madrid train bombings. It takes violent quotes from the Qu'ran and shows film clips of radical imams preaching death and destruction to Jews and other non-Muslims. It is graphic, disturbing and not for the weak of stomach.

According to Wilders' critics, the film has the effect of inciting anti-Muslim sentiment. It definitely argues that Europe is being overrun by a hostile population that, in the name of militant Islam, would destroy all our freedoms if it takes over, particularly in regards to women.

So is the film racist, Islamophobic, or whatever label you might want to apply? Or is it factual, merely presenting an unpleasant reality that many would rather not face? It should be pointed out that Wilders' film uses the words of radical Islamists themselves.

The question that should be asked is whether Fitna paints all Muslims with the same brush, or is it unfair to the millions of peaceful Muslims all over the world? Perhaps, yet is it wrong to point out the violent and hateful segment of the Muslim world that is out there? Is it unfair to all Muslims worldwide to make a film about the militants who are dedicated to death and destruction? Or more to the point; should the film be censored or banned and Wilders prosecuted?

In the interest of dealing with those questions, I think it is better to let each viewer decide. Condemn the film if you will. Condemn me for showing it. What one cannot escape is the simple fact that this film deals with the signature issue of our time. We have to deal with it. (There is a rebuttal film to Fitna, which I am also posting separately.)

Here is Fitna


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