Monday, March 03, 2008

Will Anti-Koran Film Be Banned?

The Dutch government is looking into whether it can stop a politician from releasing an anti-Koran film, fearing attacks on its citizens and businesses, a newspaper reported on Monday.

Government lawyers are looking into whether there are legal grounds to ban the film by anti-immigration lawmaker Geert Wilders (pic), the Telegraaf reported, citing sources close to the cabinet.

No comment from the government was immediately available.

The newspaper said the coalition government was divided on the film with the Christian Democrats more in favour of a ban while Labour was pushing freedom of expression and calling on Muslim countries to prevent violence against the Netherlands.

About 1 000 Afghans protested on Sunday against the republication of a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad in Danish newspapers and Wilders' plan to air the film.

The protesters, mostly religious clerics in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, marched and demanded the withdrawal of Danish and Dutch troops from Afghanistan.

Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende warned last week that the Netherlands risked economic sanctions and attacks against its troops because of the film, although he stopped short of saying that the film should not be broadcast.

Wilders is calling the film "Fitna", an Arabic term used in the Koran and sometimes translated as "strife".

In 2006 demonstrations and rioting erupted in many Muslim countries after Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohamed in a pejorative light appeared in a Danish newspaper. At least 50 people were killed and three Danish embassies attacked.

Balkenende said the Dutch government does not share Wilders' views and said the cabinet was obliged to point out the risks of transmitting the film.

Wilders, who is the target of death treats on Islamic militant websites, said he had completed the film and was in negotiations with TV stations for its broadcast, slated for March or April.

Wilders' party has nine of the 150 seats in the Dutch parliament, and has gained support in recent opinion polls. He has warned of a "tsunami of Islamisation" in a country that is home to nearly one million Muslims.

In 2004 the Netherlands was plunged into turmoil when an Islamic militant killed director Theo Van Gogh over a film accusing Islam of condoning violence against women. (Independent Online)

If the Dutch government is serious about not sharing Wilder's views and if they strongly believe that it is in the national interest to ban the film, then they should just go ahead and ban it before it causes dangerous repercussions worldwide.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Malaysians that hate the BN cannot continue to hurt the Malays and Muslims if they want to achieve their aspirations. Unless we do this together there will be no victory. And we cannot do this together if you people continue to belittle my faith and my racial origins.

a Muslim Malay

7:57 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is this anonymous idiot 7:57 PM talking about?????

8:13 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you know the film belittles Islam? thing is, Muslims have to be mature and responsible and not raise hell and brandish swords and bombs everytime a non-muslim tires to understand their religion. For once show us that you guys are rational and reasonable instead of always getting all emo and violent.

9:19 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There have been quite a few times in the past when Christanity was "insulted" & films deemed "sacriligious" been shown. There were a lot of protests from the Christians BUT there were no suicide bombers or "death threats".
By the way, what is anonymous 7:57 PM talking about?! What has the 'Anti-Koran" Film have to do with BN & the Malay Origin?

9:27 PM GMT+8  
Blogger walski69 said...

FYI - Geert Wilders, a Dutch MP, is a well-known far right wing-nut, who blames everything and anything bad that happens in the world on Islam and Muslims, and is one of the legislative voices calling for the ban of the Quran in the Netherlands, citing that the book is even more dangerous than Mein Kampf (which IS banned in that country).

Supposedly the film "Fitna" uses documentary images, and links to certain passages in the Quran, to make a point that Islam is dangerous.

The Dutch government is in a bind. On the one hand, Wilders point-of-view is not reflective of the Dutch government, and sees the danger in how Muslims the world over may react against the Netherlands and their interests. On the other hand, you have to understand that the Dutch government is also powerless to supress Wilders and what he has to say. The Netherlands is NOT Malaysia, where the government has unlimited powers over everything.

Personally, suppressing Wilders and preventing the release of the short film (I understand it's about 10 minutes long) is suppression of free speech. However, given that many Muslims will probably over-react to the release of this film, just as they over-reacted to the Danish cartoons, keeping the film unreleased may be in everybody's best interest.

Now, those who know me know damn well that I am all for free speech. And as ultra right-wing as Wilders is, I personally feel he has the right to state his opinion, no matter how slanted or wrong it may be. But because most Muslims don't see it that way, and simply cannot do the intelligent thing (which is to ignore the film, or at the very least intelligently criticize it, IF something wrong is seen), the release of the film will be more detrimental to the Netherlands.

Sad, but if the film is released, and violent behavior ensues, the Muslims would have proven Wilders to be correct. My money is on the Muslims reacting even more violently than they did to the Danish cartoons.

I mean, just look at Anonymous @ 7:57pm - anything even the slightest bit negative about Islam, and he/she goes ballistic - in a totally out of context manner. But presumably this has to do with the skewed Islam = Malay = Islam mindset that is unfortunately quite common.

Be that as it may, I for one, would like to see the film and criticize its flaws in reasoning and understanding. I don't plan, however outraged I may be by Geert Wilders assertions, to either boycott anything Dutch, or go on a rampage protesting against the Netherlands embassy.

On a lighter note, I can almost see the sales of anything with a Dutch Lady label on it drop, should the film see the light of day...

The violent behavior, extreme outrage, illogical anger, etc., exhibited by some Muslims, stems from compounded problems too lengthy to detail in this comment. And one film critical about the Quran and Islam is not going to help matters - especially when the Muslims are going to just prove the film-maker's point by over-reacting to it...

p.s. - if it interests you to get a feel for the opinions Geert Wilder has, check out this and this (via YouTube).

1:55 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Thru the lens said...

Hypothetically, if the Dutch govt were to ban this film due to its supposedly anti-Islam bent, then it should also ban any film that are anti-Christian or anti-Buddhist or anti-Jew or anti-Hindu or anti ... you get the drift.

The issue really is the potential response by the victims. If they choose the violent path, it would be a self fulfilling prophecy.

Protest by all means as that is a valid form of opposition in a democratic society. Using violence suggests that this particular group of people do not subscribe to this form of society. Nothing wrong with that, perhaps.

Muslims have to be aware that once they leave the confines of predominantly Mulsim societies such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran, they are subject to the norms of other societies. You cannot import your values into other people's houses. Maybe over time, you can ... but I suppose that this controversial film is basically talking about that creeping importation.

3:43 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bravo, 3.43 and 1.55 PM!! I have never read anything more articulate than that in this website's comments! I'm looking forward to more reasonable comments from you both. really, thumbs up!

As a Christian, it was hard when Da Vinci code came out. but the church was able to de-fray it, the Christians like me looked at both sides: we watched the movie, read the book, watched Discovery or whatever programs that discussed the truth and untruths and weighed the whole thing. not once did a Christian want to kill Dan Brown. Lucky guy, he chose the right target: level-headed believers who are smart enough to think for themselves, and who practise the commandment: DO NOT COMMIT MURDER.

7:25 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous SM said...

I agree with Anonymous 7:25 AM.
1:55 AM & 3:43 AM, your comments are well thought out; well done!
I too am all for free-speech (especially since we do not see it here in M'sia!). I am a Catholic but when the Da Vinci book & movie came out, I read it, saw the movie (enjoyed both actually) but took it all as entertainment & nothing more. I have not boycotted Dan Brown's (the author) books at all.
However, I "pity" the Dutch Govt. "Damn if u do & damn if u dont"!

9:45 AM GMT+8  

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