Lairedion on the gathering storm over Geert Wilders' upcoming anti-Islam film "Fitna".
Tensions are rising as Dutch controversial MP Geert Wilders is about to reveal his anti-Quran movie Fitna. How will Indonesian Muslims respond to the next "insult" on Islam, shortly after the second Danish cartoon controversy?
Since his emergence in Dutch politics Geert Wilders has gained much attention and support for his fierce anti-Islam and anti-immigration stances. In line with contemporary right-wing politicians his message seems simple yet appealing and his voice is loud. Deport criminal and illegal foreigners, stop the Islamization of Dutch society (prohibit construction of new mosques, refusing all Muslims from moving to and living in Holland), sell the Dutch Antilles to the highest offer on a Dutch auction website and much of the problems are solved.
So far his party PVV (Freedom Party) managed to win 9 seats in the last elections but opinion polls show they can count on 15 seats at least or even more if elections are hold right now. But his "crusade" comes with a price. Like so many critics of Islam he is constantly under the threat of being murdered and needs to be guarded 24/7 and lives on a secret location.
Geert Wilders, who has some Indonesian blood running through his veins, wants to show the world Al-Quran is a fascist and violent book, in line with Hitler's Mein Kampf, and must be banned. It will be interesting to see how Wilders can dismiss a book, considered holy by 1.3 billion people, as fascist in a movie of 15 minutes, while ulama's and clerics have been studying Al-Quran for centuries and up until now are having trouble to come to an unified explanation and interpretation.
But what's all the fuss about? So far it has only been speculation and the movie hasn't been broadcasted yet.
Anyway the Netherlands is pretty much in a state of alert. The Dutch government is preparing for the worst-case scenario (retaliation, violence and damage towards Dutch citizens, economic interests and enterprises, terrorist attacks). On the other side many people are criticizing the Dutch government for exaggerating any potential dangers and impacts caused by this movie. An interesting sign is that Dutch Muslims seem to grow mature and sensible in their reactions towards insults to Islam. The last Danish cartoon controversy didn't spark any violence or significant protest in Holland and this movie will be just the next insult, meant to provoke reactions and violence so that Wilders can prove his points and not worthy paying any attention.
The worldwide reaction probably will be different. Recovering from the latest Danish cartoon controversy, Muslims worldwide are preparing for the next Western "assault" on Islam. Politicians in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran are urging the Dutch government to prohibit the broadcast and last week some 200 Indonesian Muslims staged a protest outside the Dutch Embassy in Jakarta.
Where does the freedom of speech crosses the line and turns into discrimination thus violating article 1 of the Dutch Constitution where discrimination of people on their gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, political view or any other ground is prohibited? This is the same article Wilders is referring to by branding Al-Quran as fascist.
It is not known yet when the movie will go online. So far Wilders has stated the move is finished and he is negotiating a broadcast with Dutch TV stations but this is likely to fail as none of them want to burn their fingers. 28 March 2008 could be a possible date. For anyone interested bookmark www.fitnathemovie.com in your favorites.