The Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilders has posted his controversial film critical of Islam’s holy book, the Koran, on the Internet. I personally have not seen this video and do not plan to watch it simply in protest of his deliberate attempt to spark hatred along religious lines. Generally when reading the description of the video from a number of reports I must confess it does not apparently appear to be ‘that offensive’ as compared to what was hyped globally, that said I still refuse to patronize this video under any circumstances.
The video was hosted yesterday on LiveLeak.com defended its decision to host this controversial film by stating “LiveLeak.com has a strict stance on remaining unbiased and allowing freedom of speech so far as the law and our rules allow,” but barely a day later [today] it has pulled the plug after receiving a number of threats to its staff members, they have this statement posted on their website right now
Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some ill informed reports from certain corners of the British media that could directly lead to the harm of some of our staff, Liveleak.com has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers. This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else. We would like to thank the thousands of people, from all backgrounds and religions, who gave us their support. They realized LiveLeak.com is a vehicle for many opinions and not just for the support of one. Perhaps there is still hope that this situation may produce a discussion that could benefit and educate all of us as to how we can accept one anothers culture. We stood for what we believe in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high.
Further on the film, the Dutch PM Jan Peter Balkenende said the film wrongly equated Islam with violence. “We believe it serves no purpose other than to offend,” he said in a statement. Its is good to note that the Dutch broadcasters have declined to show this movie. While Brahim Bourzik, a spokesman for a Dutch Moroccan group, said that he did not believe Mr Wilders’ film would spark fury from Muslims in Holland. “It is not a film, it is propaganda,” he said. “All the elements have been seen before, there is nothing new in it.”
The video has been described by various media outlets as follows:
Graphic images from the bomb attacks on London in July 2005 and Madrid in March 2004 are shown. Pictures of a woman being stoned, scenes from a beheading and images of the Dutch director Theo van Gogh, who was murdered by a radical Islamist in 2004, are also included. And pictures appearing to show Muslim demonstrators holding up placards saying “God bless Hitler” and “Freedom go to hell” also feature. The film shows a young girl in a headscarf making derogatory comments about Jewish people. It also displays a graph showing how the number of Muslims in the Netherlands and Europe has grown. The film ends with someone turning pages of a Koran, followed by a tearing sound. A text that appears on the screen says: “The sound you heard was from a page (being torn from a) phone book. “It is not up to me, but up to the Muslims themselves to tear the spiteful verses from the Koran.” The film concludes: “Stop Islamization. Defend our freedom.”
The interesting twist to this event is that the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who depicted the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb in his turban, says he will sue the maker of an anti-Islam film as his cartoon, which sparked riots two years ago, was used in the film by Dutch politician Geert Wilders without permission.