Warning: Extremely Graphic Content!

Even I had a difficult time watching parts of this film. Produced by right-wing Dutch MP Geert Wilders, it was initially supposed to be broadcast on Dutch Television, but the broadcast authorities refused to show it unless it was edited. Wilders then released it on Liveleak as a streaming video on the 27th of March. After more than a million downloads, Liveleak pulled the film citing serious threats against staff and their families. Network Solutions also took the unusual step of shutting down Wilders’ Web site promoting the film, citing complaints, even though it was only one page with the inoffensive movie graphic and a coming soon notice, and didn’t show any part of the film. Network Solutions continues to allow radical Muslim, Nazi and other offensive Web sites to stay up.

The Internet being what it is, the film has been uploaded to YouTube and Google videos, and is available for all to see and judge. Jewcy writer Ali Eteraz has already declared it to be “Boring, Pointless Anti-Islamic Propaganda,” and it is still to early to determine further reactions. There is already a Web site dedicated to all aspects of the film – themoviefitna.com and an extremely well documented Wikipedia page.

As for me, I found the movie gross, just as I find Wilders’ politics offensive. I am however impressed how his opponents got the film pulled from Liveleak and the site shut down by Network Solutions. So what do we have to do to get similar treatment for Jew Watch? I mean do we or do we not control the media???

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About the author

ck

Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

69 Comments

  • Satire again. I get it. 🙂 You writers here are so dry, I can barely tell when you are being serious or funny. Maybe some /sarcasm tags or smile faces are in order?

    But seriously, every time Muslims riot, burn, torch, curse, scream, hyperventilate, rage, etc., in the streets over ideas, pictures, movies, books, opinions, speech, decisions, etc., but stay indoors after beheadings, lashings, stonings, honor killings, suicide bombings, etc., I get a special warm feeling on the inside and feel proud to be a Jew.

    I echo quotes and sentiments all over the internet today when I say, if these same people spent the same amount of energy denouncing actual evil acts as much as they do beliefs and ideas, movies like Fitna would never have to be made.

    Like I said, I think this post is mostly satire, but for those that take it seriously, no, I don’t think CK is equating Wilders with the creep from Jewwatch.

  • Is it considered a Sharia crime to store the prop film on a YouTube Playlist as a gross reminder, then privatize it for precautionary measures?

    Hardly get any traffic, anyways.

    I hope my residential address isn’t available anywhere within the internet wilderness matrix.

  • It is patently ridiculous that people have to live in fear (in democratic and westernized nations) of angry Muslims in general, and especially, angry over ideas, movies, cartoons, etc.

    Wilders didn’t have to make any scenes to this movie. He proved his point before it ever hit the net. It could have just had a title like “A Movie Critical of Islam” with no other content and the same thing would have happened. It’s not even the content in his movie that is important, (and that I don’t agree with), it’s the idea of his movie. Muslim’s reactions to this movie only help other non-Muslims agree more with Wilders. While his movie and its ideas may be despicable (that’s up for debate AFAIC), the Muslim World’s reactions to it aren’t just predictable, but worse.

  • What kind of world do we live in when Europeans have to be afraid of immigrants they welcomed into their own country. Now, I’m no huge fan of colonialists or Europeans, and on one hand I feel sorry for them while on the other, I feel like they got exactly what they deserved. (Channeling Rev. Wright:) It’s the chickens coming home to roost!

  • The film hits the hard truth outlaw Islam which declared war on the US 9/11 I have no time for Islamic BS Muslims are scum of the earth.

  • I guess it is ok for muslims to cut the heads off Americans and drag them in the streets oh I forgot it is ok for Muslims to do that. Wake up what about Muslims honor killings that is ok to. I will make sure all the world sees the film.

  • Thomas, I don’t think anyone disagrees with you that many Muslims support terrorism against Jews and America. The problem is your generalization that “Muslims are the scum of the earth” basically equates each and every Muslim with evil when in fact, there are plenty of Muslims who are nice and decent people who do not act nor support the ones committing these atrocities. Generalizations are terrible because they paint everyone with one broad brush as if every single person feels and thinks the same way. It makes you look like a hater and discounts any of the credible tings you have to say. It’s no better than people in the Muslim World who say, “all Americans are blood thirsty Christian Crusaders!”. Well, I’m not Christian. 🙂

  • Look I have read the quran many times and its saids kill all who will not covert to Islam and it is the Islamic goal to take over the world. Lets not sugar coat the truth. See you on the battlefield.

  • Well, the Bible has some pretty f’ed up stuff in it too, like taking virgin love slaves from your enemies after battle, killing your children that misbehave, and ignoring women during their menstrual cycle. Surely, you/we don’t do those things?

  • Thomas, if you’ve read the Quran “many times”, it certainly cannot have escaped your attention that it says that the religions of the book i.e. Judaism and Christianity) need to be respected.

    Alex, a) do male love slaves count?, b) that’s my job, c) I put on sunglasses then – indoors.

  • Thomas, I suggest you take off your black shades and actually read the Quran and not just snippets linked to it on the internet. I’m not in favour of Islam, but blatant accusations based on gross misinformation.. Let’s say Jews in particular should know better than that.

  • peace be upon all
    am not just saying this because my ethics is to say so when you talk to people, no but it is that my religion the islam requires me to say so as peace is for everyone, islam doesn`t support terrorism againt anyone, but all religions demand it`s people to defend if someone harmed them, and even this defense is within limits, our prophet told us in war don`t ever kill women, children or religious people, our prophet also taught us not to snatch a tree or destroy a house over it`s people, there are some muslims don`t follow the right teachings of islam just because they are human beings, human always make mistakes like any christian or jew or any other, this doesn`t mean that their teachings is bad no never, you misunderstand our religion and you misunderstand whats liberty and it`s limits, even if you are not convinced with our teachings you don`t have the right to do such silly films and cartoons, if you are supposed to be civilized so you must understand very well is that different points of view must be respected, and that you don`t have the right to make fun of the others

  • Eiman, thanks for joining our conversation.

    Did you mean to say that different points of view must be respected and therefore we should be understanding of Muslim extremists who use terror against civilians?

    Or was your meaning that different points of view must be respected unless they are silly films and cartoons about Islam?

    What do you find more offensive, Eiman: an imam or Muslim child speaking about Jews being sons of apes and pigs, or a film showing a Muslim girl or an imam calling Jews sons of apes and pigs?

    My final question. Most people today get their news and information from tv and cinema. If you object to a movie like this, what is left?

  • “even if you are not convinced with our teachings you don`t have the right to do such silly films and cartoons”

    Um, yes we do, and we will. We live in a society with laws based on disagreements. There are many people in the West who don’t respect nor follow any religion, and they are free to insult that which many of us respect, but it’s their prerogative and it’s ours to learn to deal with insults. We don’t respond to insults with violence but with intelligence and debate, but we DO have the RIGHT to insult anyone we choose. That is freedom my friend. Words and ideas are not actions. Words and ideas may insult, but they can not kill nor inflict physical harm.

    By the way, humans beings who cut off people’s heads, abuse women and gays, etc., are not humans, but animals.

  • Alex, Western laws do not provide for insulting others, but for being able to deliberately choose your religious affiliation and to be critical of other religious affiliations – based on facts. Your liberties end where other people’s liberties begin. Freedom of speech is not freedom of insult, but freedom of critically voicing your opinions. One need not resort to an extremely low level of communication to express one’s thoughts. I’m, for instance, not entitled to call your mother “cyka” just like that because Western constitutions provide freedom of speech. If we demand civil discourse, we’ve got to stick to the rules as well.

    And, as a matter of precaution with you: SASHKA!!!

  • “or abridging the freedom of speech”

    That’s all it says. It doesn’t deal with subjectivity nor opinions. It doesn’t deal with what you can say, just that you can say things. I agree that when we get into libel, slander and incitement to violence, then other laws can be applied, but they are not constitutional. I’m not a lawyer, so I could be wrong. Furthermore, I don’t see any amendment that protects you from insults or being offended. That’s your responsibility as a human to deal with in a civilized fashion, not the state’s regulation of your emotions. Lastly, I meant to say, here is America, as those are the only laws I respect and follow anyway, so I don’t know how limited your freedoms are. I know that in Germany you can’t legally deny the Shoah, and although I hate with a passion any Holocaust denier, I find that law ridiculous.

  • That’s because you may not legally spread lies, and where the potential victims / addressees of those lies cannot or might not defend themselves (anymore), the state fills in. Civilized behaviour goes without insults. One may take offence on the truth, but I don’t think freedom of speech is a warrant for insulting through untruths.

  • Post 12, Alex, one tiny word, not to go OT, but nobody ignores anybody. At the time you mention, people have to TALK, make eye contact, and smile, to keep things going – no physical contact allowed. Zillions of people do this right now, today, some crankily, and some learning to refine and expand their methods of communicating and relating because they have to work at it, without the easy stuff. They have to THINK. As for the captured slaves and the rebellious sons – only sons! – that is a story for another day. Not going on now. OK, back to the thread.

  • It’s not. But it also has no fangs to prevent it either. Take for example the 911 Truth movement, completely based on lies, distortions, misinformation, ignorance, stupidity, etc.. It’s extremely offensive to the families of victims and I think to any American or person with a brain. Are these people being prosecuted from putting out books and films where they say, “yeah, your father didn’t really die, he’s just part of the evil Bushco conspiracy and he’s hiding out! Hes a traitor!!”? No, and neither should they be. (However, I think some vigilante style beat downs are something I can condone). The same could be said of the 87 lies, distortions, and half-truths in Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 911” movie, or the documented faulty science in “An Inconvenient Truth”. I’m personally offended to be likened to a “flat earther” because I don’t believe in anthropomorphic Global Warming. Am I protected from being offended by a hypocritical liar like Algore? No. He has the right to speak nonsense like Geert Wilders has to call Islam a violent religion and like Farrakhan gets to call Judaism a “gutter religion”.

    “Civilized behavior” is a very subjective term that has far too many variables including social norms, mores, and morals to have an objective definition. In the past, what was considered civilized behavior is now considered anything but and vice versa. I agree civilized discourse should be void of fact-less insults, but it’s such a huge gray area, that it can only be determined by the participants. If I have factual evidence that Muhammad took a child as his wife, by our Western standards, I can call him a pedophile. To me this is a fact, but to his followers he’s no such thing. Who is right? How can we consider anything from any “holy” book as facts? The Christians believe facts to be anything that was witnessed by multiple disciples but I don’t buy that logic. Unfortunately, in the human condition, what is a fact can be debated. But the point is, we will debate it whether anyone likes it or not, as that is our freedom and prerogative, despite the numerous fatwas against us. 🙂 And if it’s offensive to someone, well, that sucks for them.

  • The torah relates the descendants of Yishmael to be ‘pereh adam’ (breishit 16:12) lit. wild man. We would assume that wild is the adjective, but it is not. We are essentially warned that the descendants of Yishmael will be ‘wild’ in the form of man.

    On top of that, they know we are the chosen people. They know that they are on top while we are debased. They know that ultimately, we win. It is there job to try and postpone this ‘forever’.

  • @froylein “That’s because you may not legally spread lies, and where the potential victims / addressees of those lies cannot or might not defend themselves (anymore), the state fills in. ”

    Ah yes, here’s the rub isn’t it? “Truth” vs. “Lies” in politics is often (perhaps usually) a matter of perspective, and as the saying goes, the victors are the ones who write history. There are a number of Arab Muslims who assert that Abraham was not Jewish, that Jews never really lived in the Middle East and that the Holocaust was a big scam perpetrated to gain sympathy from Europeans. Now I think these are not only lies, but damned lies, but you’ll find those Arab Muslims really believe that everyone else is lying, and in their own lands, the government backs them up.

    This is why “lies” should not be outlawed – because the government shouldn’t get to decide what’s true and what isn’t.

    I’m thrilled to risk being offended in return for having the right to speak out, thank you very much. I want to keep the liars out front and in public where I can keep an eye on them. It’s like putting the school troublemaker in the front of the class instead of in the broom closet where he can cause more mischief behind your back.

  • Oh and btw @Thomas-the-religion-hating-troll

    Muslims are not all scum of the earth, you are just wrong. This is easy to prove with a single example and I’ve known more than one. In fact I see them every day. I wish all Muslims were like my coworker. He is a faithful, thoughtful, peaceful family man who just wants a better life for his family.

  • also @Thomas-the-religion-hating troll:

    To one of your other points: the Bible says a lot of things nobody does any more, like kill someone who violates the sabbath, who is a witch, who sleeps with someone of the same sex, and poke people’s eyes and teeth out if they do it to others. It also lists a bunch of animal sacrifices Jews were expected to make that we don’t do any more. Your argument shows either ignorance or a double-standard. What is so special about this group of people that they cannot change?

    A person who allows himself to hate is like the frog on the stove in a pot of water, Thomas. The heat comes on so gradually, he doesn’t realize he’s being boiled alive until it’s too late. Time to jump out of the pot, Thomas.

  • To the comments of troll I remember 9/11 its ok for Muslims to say what they will. The film saids the truth Islam wishes to make a Islamic world. It is funny how people shoot the mouth off on the computer it is so much different in person see you on the battlefield. And Muslims again are the scum of the earth period. The ones who did 9/11 were family men to thoughtful,peaceful. We will see if your Muslim friends will protect you.

  • No, while I can fathom your line of thought, I have to disagree as they, theologically speaking, are based on a few incorrect assumptions. You cannot prove the contents of belief, so nobody can tell whether they are right or wrong. Two billion people, for instance, believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the messiah, so does that make them right empirically? It is part of their belief, not their knowledge. We can neither prove them right nor wrong through scientific method. Same goes for Abraham, the only account of who is the biblical one; we do not even know whether he really existed, but its part of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim beliefs that he did. Since being Jewish is not only defined by circumcision and (at least since the beginning of the Rabbinical Period) matrilineal lineage, but also the observance of the mitzvot, the biblical figure of Abraham isn’t Jewish even by Jewish standards. Actually, Moses is considered the founder of Judaism starting with the giving of the law. Again, this is part of the beliefs of the Abrahamite religions, other religions do not believe this. Cults try to prove the contents of their beliefs through (pseudo-)scientific method; serious religions don’t.
    The government can indeed decide what’s true or not as long as it doesn’t meddle with the contents of belief – unless adherents to a faith are being put at risk.

  • I don’t know about Germany, Froylein, but in the US we consider it our G-d given (or, at least, Constitutional) right to speak our minds, regardless of whom it might offend, and we do not believe that anyone, most especially the government, has the right to prevent us from doing so. I can understand why Germany would want to ban Holocaust denial, but I am not sure that is the correct course. I always prefer to know who my enemies are.

    It would be better if people were nicer. However, it is dangerous and counterproductive to try to legislate things like that. People simply turn into resentful liars.There is always some thin-skinned idiot who is going to take offense at something someone says. They do not need the government, they need to grow a thicker skin.

    I want to be able to say whatever I want. That means I must extend that right to others. If there is no right to offend, there is no free speech. Sticks and stones, etc.

  • Ephraim, that’s exactly the point: the right to offend, based on truths or perceived truths (as in the contents of beliefs) is not the same as the right to insult people. E.g. I can claim that smoking is a disgusting habit (my opinion) and in psychology is considered typical of people who have never managed to get over not being breastfed anymore (science), which I know offends a lot of people. But it would be a different matter if I called all smokers names, hence insulted them.

  • It may not be “nice” but it’s certainly “legal”. Like for instance, I’m calling eiman and Thomas pricks. That’s just my opinion of course. If I need to worry about the “state” arresting me for that, then I need to move to a free country. And in my opinion, there aren’t any freer, or I’d be there already.

  • Even if you insulted the smokers, you wouldn’t be breaking the law. And what if the smoker felt insulted by you calling his smoking a disgusting habit? Even if you did not intend to insult someone, what if that person felt that you did indeed do so? Who defines what an insult is? Legislating something like that is impossible.

    By modern modern Western standards Mohammed was a pedophile, a mass murderer and a violent imperialist. By modern Western standards Islam as it seems to be understood by its most visible adherents is a backward, violent, misogynistic, oppressive, domineering religion bent on world domination and the subjugation of non-Muslims. I am sure that many Muslims would find this insulting. But it seems to me to be true. Does that mean I should not be allowed to say it?

    Insulting someone is rude, and one should not make a habit of it. But it is not and should not be illegal.

  • All religion is mass mind control, Islam is a danger to western lifestyle and belief systems. Islam has one goal to make the world accept it. The film makes the point of the Islamic goal.

  • You may state that you think somebody is a prick, but you may not equal them to one. It is indeed possible to legislate what an insult is; as I said before, offending and insulting people are two different matters.

    Ephraim, the way you put it is the way to say it – by contextualizing your sentiments as your opinions based on particular premises.

  • “It is indeed possible to legislate what an insult is;”

    And it would be thought control enforced by thought police. I could never advocate the censoring of any ideas or words. That’s insanity, and not a place I could live in, but we already see this drastic stifling of freedoms already happening here, and I’d say, mainly to outspoken critics of Islam. So basically, you are advocating what our enemies are proposing and utilizing against us. Damn Froylein, what’s up with that?

  • It’s not about thought control but evaluating utterances by set standards (which also, BTW, are the standards of civil discourse I’d expect from anybody who hasn’t grown up in the gutter). In the US, the state is still the executive and legislative as well as judiciary power. If you feel the legislative system is being used unfairly against you, then appeal to a court. I am not advocating anything but civil behaviour and respect of our political systems we deliberately choose to live in.

  • Well, I’m advocating keeping the state out of making those decisions. If I act rude or crass or uncivilized with my discourse, then I expect to be held accountable by my peers and detractors, not some bureaucratic idiot executing a law created by a group of other bureaucratic idiots. This is one of the biggest reasons we moved to the USA from the USSR. There, you had to watch everything you said. One slip of the tongue, one drunken rant, one “offensive” utterance, and you could wind up branded a traitor, locked away, tortured, disappeared, whacked, etc., all under the jurisdiction of the state. I’m for as little government as possible, certainly for as little involvement in people’s ideas and beliefs.

    “That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.” – Thomas Jefferson

  • Well, froylein, I guess you’re a German after all.

    What you propose is anathema to an American, and the fact that you think the state should have the power to throw someone in jail for saying “You’re a prick” as opposed to “I think you’re a prick” (or something; I confess that I am at a loss to understand what you mean and how you propose to regulate something like this) is profoundly disturbing.

    This impulse towards fascism under the guise of just trying to regulate “offensive” behavior is a very deep-seated human desire, it’s true. I would also like to live in a world where I had the power to make everyone who says things I don’t like shut their mouths. But if I want to have the right to say what I want, regardless of whom it might offend or insult, means that I must extend that right to everyone else. If not, then as soon as the mechanism of government is in the hands of people who do not think like me, I can be assured that my freedom will be curtailed. This is fascism, something with which Europe is very familiar, but which, thank G-d, has yet to infect us here (or so I hope). I guess the American idea of freedom is really very different from the European one.

    Thank G-d I live in America. The idea of living in a country where the government could prosecute me because I hurt someone’s feelings is too horrible to contemplate.

    I know there are plenty of wannabe thought police, of both the Left and Right, lurking everywhere here in the US just looking for their opportunity to stifle people’s freedom of speech. I hope we never succumb to that. Our Constitution is the only thing that stands between us and thought police. I hope it is up to the task of keeping us free.

    In the meantime, you Euros had better start training your jaw muscles. If you don’t learn to speak out against the Islamazoids the way Geert Wilders has done, you’re going to find out that pretty soon you’re not going to be able to say anything.

    I’m pretty sure the whole point of Wilders’ film was not just to speak the truth about Islam as he sees it (his right, surely, regardless of whether you disagree with him or think he could have been “nicer” about it), but, even more importantly, to show everyone what a bunch of craven, cowardly boot-lickers the European elite has become, how frightened they are of the Muslims and how they will do anything to appease them, up to and including trying to take away the right of a citizen to speak his mind. I think he has proven his point.

  • Well Ephraim, I find it profoundly disturbing that neither you nor Alex seem to know or at the very least grasp the difference between somebody taking offence on something I say or me insulting somebody. The USSR was a state with definite fascistoid traits, but my premise is a civilized democratic state.
    Your ideas about Europe bespeak that you are not too familiar with the political and cultural landscape of Europe other than what can be found in Europhobe tabloid media. There has been an active and decidedly critical discourse going on with Muslims over here, particularly when it comes to what Muslims claim to be part of their religious expression, e.g. veiling up, building mosques etc. People generally know the names of their heads-of-state rather than the names of finalists in major sports events. The majority of college students here is able to correctly point Canada on a map. You won’t find any press as politically diverse and as many critical and deep political newspapers and TV shows as in Germany anywhere abroad. Go to a newsstand at a station here and you can purchase major newspapers from all over the world, smaller ones available on demand with next-day delivery. Go to an “international” newsstand in midtown Manhattan, and you can be lucky if you can even get the international, not domestic, version of two major British papers there.
    Fascism is based on arbitrariness, that’s right, but Wilders is just another fascist driven by the desire to achieve ethnic purity in the Netherlands (which, in contrast to concepts popular among American potheads, is shifting to the political far right). It may have escaped your attention, but somebody who will label Muslims enemies of state may just as deliberately apply his xenophobia to other groups of society. Wilders is not out there to protect democracy, and he’s certainly not out there to protect Jews. And lowering our discourse to the same level we are critical of when used by Muslims, including fake accusations, overgeneralizations and taking statements out of context, just makes us as little civil and also as little mature as the eight year-old that cries, “Mum, he’s started it!”

  • Well presented by both of Ephraim and Froylein.

    Sometimes I’d like to lock up anti-Semites. The problem is that it’s not always clear who the anti-Semite is. For example, I don’t think that Walt and Mearsheimer are anti-Semitic, but I believe (despite their protestations to the contrary) that their writings about the “Israel Lobby” are anti-Semitic. They are certainly offensive to me. But I can’t imagine locking them up or fining them for their speech. This isn’t just because I’m a nice guy, but it’s also because it permits me to also keep my free speech which could be curtailed just as easily by somebody who thinks that I may be offensive to their group or person.

    The problem with the discussion of Islam today is that it’s undeniable that there is a war going on between the West and a segment of the Islamic population that holds itself up as the true Islam and which manages to get the support of 7-10% of the Muslim population in many countries and sometimes even more than that. What drives those who are conducting this war, and the manner in which they are fighting it – and by this war I mean everything from WTC to Iraq to blowing up trains to threatening politicians’ and authors and filmmakers’ lives – appears to be their Muslim faith.

    How can one discuss this war or these attacks without discussing Islam? What type of conversation is acceptable and what isn’t? If I hear Froylein, if a peace-loving Muslim is offended by comments about the Islamic nature of the fight against the West, then one should refrain from discussing Islam as related to this violence.

    If you can’t discuss the problem of extreme Islam openly, you also can’t resolve the fight against it because you’re skirting the issue. When the number 2 in Al Qaeda says openly that attacks on Jews inside and outside of Israel are desirable, it seems to be rather foolish not to consider where he’s coming from, what he’s about, and even in watching a film like this which opens the door to understanding this or at least having an open conversation about it to some degree.

  • A film like this aims at channelling a discussion in certain, non-profound directions though. BTW, I’ve just read up more on Wilders on a Dutch site; he also opposes immigration of non-Westerners to Western countries. That would have included Alex and his family. Oddly enough, most “Russians” migrating to the Netherlands these days (in as little numbers as they are) are Jewish.

    On a lighter note:

  • Well, froylein, I know the name of my head of state and I can find Canada on a map. I even know where Andorra and Lichtenstein are, believe it or not.

    But, anyway, nice to know that you think I hold the opinions that I do because you think I’m just another stupid, sports-obsessed American. Last time I looked, Americans don’t riot at football games. But go ahead, continue to pat yourself on the back about how civilized, urbane, and educated you Europeans are compared to us stupid cowboys. Just don’t pull a muscle while you’re doing it.

    You are, of course, completely missing the point, but this is not surprising, since you obviously don’t understand anything at all about what makes America America. The very idea that you think insulting people should be illegal just shows that you have no real idea of what freedom of speech actually means.

    What has happened to the spirit of Voltaire?

    Anyway, I am not talking about the discussions that take place between everyday people. I am sure the discussion in Europe is quite lively. I am talking about government policy and the pressure to conform to a certain point of view that is promulgated by political and cultural elites, like the recent decision in Britain to replace the term “Islamic terrorism” with “anti-Islamic activity”. Orwell would be proud. Once things have come to this pass, where you cannot call a spade a spade, the battle is all but lost.

    I do not support Geert Wilders because I think he’s a friend of the Jews. I’m pretty sure he isn’t. I support his right to speak his mind. I am quite aware that he is what one might call a “European nativist”. But did you expect anything else? So long as there were few people living in Europe who challenged the way Europeans had structured their societies, it was possible for people to be nice. The assumptions upon which European society and culture were based were not challenged. In such a situation, a cultured, civilized, democratic society can function precisely because everyone subscribes to the same cultural ethos, at least in broad terms.

    The Muslims actively challenge this, and they are very aggressive about it. It is impossible to deny that the tenets of Islam (and the tenets of any traditional religion, Judaism and Christianity included, for that matter) are by their very nature completely incompatible with a modern, democratic, egalitarian, secular society such as that in Europe. After all, what was The Enlightenment all about if not freeing society from the control of the clerics?

    To the extent that Muslims wish to practice their faith in private, there is no issue. To the extent that they insist on imposing their religion on the society at large, or attempt to get the society at large to accomodate them in ways that force the majority society to bend to them, there will inevitably be trouble, and a lot of it. Do you really think it could not be so?

    All Geert Wilders is doing is pointing this out. It is precisely the complete and utter failure of Europe as a whole to insist that the liberal, egalitarian, and democratic ideals it purports to live by must apply to everyone without exception that has ceded the field to xenophobes like Wilders.

    The problem with liberals is that they are not willing to really fight for their liberal ideas. If they really believed in liberalism and equality, it would be impossible for them to look the other way as Muslims plant within Europe a society so diametrically opposed to everything that modern Europe is supposed to stand for. By abandoning their responsibilities, they have, by default, ceded the field to rabble-rousers like Wilders. When the storm comes, and it will, they will have no one but themselves to blame.

  • It’s called Liechtenstein.

    You find it fair enough to yourself to set my views in the light of what you perceive to be typically European (which couldn’t be farther from reality at that), and I am not entitled to do the same to you (even relating to matters based on empirical data) without you making condescending remarks about my assumed background? Where’s your freedom of speech when it displeases you? Are you even aware of that Germany has banned female Muslim teachers from wearing headscarves in class? Have you even read that mosques were not permitted to be built in certain neighbourhoods as they might clash with the interests of the non-Muslim majority? If this is Big Brothereesque, what do you make out of that the US government exercises the right to check what books people check out at libraries or what they order from certain online retailers? Not that I’d disagree with the validity of such measures being taken in order to prevent terrorist activities, but if you consider a call for civil discourse thought control and view low-level discourse open talk, then I must wonder how much of an (democratic) education you’ve had.

  • BTW, part of my studies was “Cultural Studies US” (taught by US Americans), which included US American history and the political and legal system as well as demography. Part due to my studies and out of personal interest I’ve particularly delved into the subject of the evolution of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution and particularly in how the latter compares to European constutions of more recent date. I’ve spent a lot of time in the US, too.

  • When I have I said that you are not entitled toyour opinion? All I am doing is disagreeing with you. I don’t recall telling you to shut up because you offended me. I am simply taking issue with your opinion that the state should be able to legislate against people insulting one another. As I have said, I think it is best to refrain from gratutitous insults as a general rule, but that should be an issue between people, not something the state should legislate.

    You seem to feel otherwise, and so it appears to me that you and I have a fundamental differnce of opinion about the mutual limits of freedom of expression and governmental power. So, we disagree, so what?

    And as far as I know, you condescended to me first, with your comments about how stupid and sports-obsessed Americans are. If you don’t like being condescended to, don’t start doing it first.

  • Oh, yeah: there is a great deal of difference between calling for a civil discourse, a sentiment with which of course I agree, and advocating laws against insulting people, which you seem to advocate. That is, indeed, thought control. It is my turn to be surprised at your lack of understanding what democracy is.

  • my friend The middle let me answer your questions:

    -extremists who use terror against civilans why do you call them muslims if you think that they are doing so because islam asking them this so you are comletely wrong islam denies all these actions and i told you before that islam forbids harming anyone for no reason and the only reason is to defend for your self if someone hamed you, and let me ask you my friend why don`t you consider the jews acting towards palistinians terrorrism?

    -do you consider that those insulting films against islam a respeted way? the respected way is to discuss and ask without insulting, just like what you , themiddle, did, you asked me few questions in a polite way and here i am answering, we don`t have problem with this.

    -if you blame a muslim saying about a jew being sons of apes and pigs so if you are fair enough why don`t you blame others like the producer of that film who are saying alot of wrong things about muslims that hurt the muslim feelings? and a note for you my friend that our religion demand us to respect all religions and never hurt any of their followers otherwise you are not a good believer of islam.

    -do you think that t.v. and cinema the perfect place for the right information? we don`t object on t.v. and cinema based on right information.

    -i ask you, themiddle, to read about the real islam if you really want to know the truth and i ask you why do you just believe those films and cartoons and you don`t believe us when we say that all what they include is completely wrong and they translate verses from our holy book in a wrong meaning?

    – as for you Alex:
    -freedom is not to insult people, you are using a word that you don`t really understand, and as , froylein, told you your liberty end where other people`s liberties begin

    -and let me tell you that you are ignorant with the islamic religion because it is totally forbidden to cut off people`s head`s or to abuse women and guy`s, don`t speak of something you don`t really know anything about it

  • I can see why Muffti complains about a lack of reading comprehension among commenters. Where have I said that Americans are “stupid and sports-obsessed”? If one of my students wrote something like that in a paper, there’d be a huge red slope on the margin and the line, “Where do you see this in the text?” I’ve merely stated that Europeans know who their heads of state are rather than the finalists of major sports events and that the majority of European college students can point Canada on the map. That’s what I’ve said. Your projection of what you feel is not in there. You initially singled me out as German and European though, followed up by sentiments about how little of democratic knowledge Europeans possess and how much they have been they’ve been subjecting themselves to Islam; neither of which claims holds true in actual politics and in the events going in society over here. Insults can never and have never been part of civil discourse; individuals must have the right to protect themselves against bogus allegations, particularly those condescending on their dignity – that’s what insults do. Insults are not critical sentiments (based on truth) people may disagree on or feel offended by. That is a pretty basic distinction all my students understand. If one feels a need to resort to a certain type of vocabulary to bring their point across, I’m afraid that person is on a conversational level below that which I expect from my students. Wilders was not pointing anything out but merely acting as an agitator evoking xenophobia. Over here in Europe, we’ve learnt our lessons when it comes to such agitators and know how dangerous they can become. That is part of our understanding of our responsibility towards democracy. The response on Dutch TV shows you quite well what people here think about Wilders. Politicians can be and are critical of Islam here, even Muslim politicians (e.g. Cem Özdemir) are critical of Muslims that try to install hardline religious practice they could not even pursue in countries they emigrated from and clearly state that Muslims have to stick to the levels of discourse they expect people to use when referring to them.

  • Come now, froylein, don’t be so coy. Why would you say that in Europe “People generally know the names of their heads-of-state rather than the names of finalists in major sports events. The majority of college students here is able to correctly point Canada on a map” if you did not intend to contrast the supposedly high level of European education and political engagement with the lack thereof on the part of Americans? If that is not what you intended, what purpose do these sentences serve? I see this attitude in Europeans all of the time, constantly condescending to Americans because of our supposed lack of education and our lack of European “sophistication”. I’m pretty sick of it.

    Again, I have to stress that I am not supporting Wilders because I necessarily think he’s a nice person. I am supporting his right to air his views without being subjected to threats of violence. This is a matter of principle. Theo van Gogh was murdered by a Muslim fanatic for the film he and Hirsii Ali produced; she was forced to live under 24-hour guard so she would not be murdered; and eventually the Dutch more or less drove her from the country. Wilders, too, has to be kept under constant guard so he is not killed out of hand by people who find his views offensive and who think he should not be allowed to “insult” them. This is just plain wrong. Don’t you think you should protest this instead of advocating shutting Wilders up because you do not like his views and/or the way he expresses them?

    Muslim imams living in Europe living off governmental assistance constantly preach jihad and hatred of the infidel. Do you see any of them being forced to live in fear of their lives because of what they say? No, it is only supposed European xenophobes like Wilders, who say that Islam and democracy are not compatible (they aren’t), who live in fear of their lives. Don’t you consider this odd?

    Yet you seem to believe that it is the proper and “democratic” thing to do to legislate against certain types of expression. When I say “I guess you are a German after all” this is what I mean. You clearly have an understanding or a definition of democracy that is nothing like what most Americans have. Having said that, I do not deny that there are plenty of people here in the US who would like to do exactly as you propose: enact laws against certain types of speech. But that is fundamentally un-American, and I hope it never comes to pass.

    As I said, I can easily understand the desire to muzzle people who preach hatred, racism and xenophobia. In a perfect and civilized world they would not be saying these things. But until the imams who preach hatred of the infidel and jihad against non Muslims inside Europe while they live on the dole are not forced to shut up like you want Wilders to be shut up, he should be allowed to say what he wants. If people don’t like it they can ignore him.

    As I said, you cannot legislate courtesy. This is what leads to “hate speech” codes where the only speech that is banned is whatever the people in power want to ban. This is the road to fascism. The ONLY reason that people are concerned about what Wilders said in his film is because they are afraid of Muslim violence. If they were really concerned about civil discourse most of the imams would never be able to give a sermon.

    Anyway, I am perfectly aware of what an insult is and I do not need to be lectured and condescended to by someone who seems to think that I do not. You simply do not seem to understand that I just do not agree with you that a person should be able to throw someone in jail because he feels he has been insulted.

    If you are talking about libel and slander, that is a different matter. But I do not see how Wilders’ film could be considered libel or slander; he quoted passages of the Koran advocating violence against unbelievers and then showed clips of Muslims dong exactly that in the name of their religion. So let them take him to court so a jury can decide whether or not he was lying about their religion. But their threats of violence against him have already proven that he was essentially correct.

    His film is inflammatory and insulting, I agree. Quite impolite, and Wilders showed a great lack of tact and politesse and tact in what he did, no doubt. For that you would ban his speech and call it democracy?

    As far as European resistance to creeping Islamization, I am glad the Europeans are resisting and I hope they continue to do so.

  • The film states what the Muslims do if you don’t follow Islam. Look how they treat women like shit. Islam is for people with no brain and are purely stupid.

  • Thomas, I will allow that last comment so people can see what a piece of goat dung you are. I won’t allow any more of these hateful comments. You post hate again and I’ll delete it. You post hate after that and I’ll put you in the filter and you’ll have a hard time getting through to comment on our site again.

    You’ve been warned.

    Eiman, it’s coming. I’m busy.

  • Don’t worry I won’t waste my time as I see you support the killing of non-muslims and don’t support freedom of speech. I will support the film and make sure it is promoted in America you won’t be able to delete that.
    Good Day

  • Eiman,

    Thank you for responding. I’ll do my best to answer.

    TM asked:

    Did you mean to say that different points of view must be respected and therefore we should be understanding of Muslim extremists who use terror against civilians?

    Eiman responded:

    -extremists who use terror against civilans why do you call them muslims if you think that they are doing so because islam asking them this so you are comletely wrong islam denies all these actions and i told you before that islam forbids harming anyone for no reason and the only reason is to defend for your self if someone hamed you, and let me ask you my friend why don`t you consider the jews acting towards palistinians terrorrism?

    Eiman, they are Muslims. They are devout Muslims. That is a fact and it is indisputable.

    In fact, there are many Muslims who would counter what you wrote by claiming that you are the betrayer of true Islam while these terrorists are the true Muslims. How many Muslims believe this? I don’t know exactly, but I’ve seen surveys that show well more than 10%. Sometimes as many as 25%. Support really only erodes when the violence of the extremist Islamists is turned against other Muslims.

    According to you and most Muslims who I’ve read or spoken to about this, I am supposed to understand that it is unIslamic to attack without cause; that religiously acceptable Muslim violence stems from a response to attacks and is therefore justified. You may believe this but it can also be interpreted as a point of sophistry. After all, any condition can be perceived as being under attack and therefore the response is always just “defense.”

    Bin Laden said that American troops on Saudi soil was such an infringement of Muslim land and sovereignty that it warranted attacks such as those on 9/11…in self defense of course. This is quite a talmudic presentation but the bottom line is that Bin Laden thought it was okay to attack buildings with thousands of civilians as part of his “defense.” This is no different than a Palestinian or Iraqi thinking that it’s acceptable or desirable to have a suicide bombing blowing up in a crowded market, restaurant or bus, where the targeted victims are civilians. In fact, from interviews and videos, we know they think it’s very “Muslim,” to do this and they justify it by relating the murder of these innocent civilians by bringing up any perceived or even real grievances caused by the armies they oppose.

    As to your final question about “Jews acting towards Palestinians” being terrorism, there have been a handful of acts since 1967 that I would call Jewish terrorism. They include the bombings and attacks on some Arab mayors in the early ’80s and Baruch Goldstein’s ’94 massacre of 29 Palestinians. There have also been a handful of aborted or failed attacks against Palestinian civilians over the past several years.

    However, that wasn’t what you meant, was it? You meant the IDF and the Israeli government. I don’t see how you can compare their actions. If Israel wanted to target Palestinian civilians, it could do so easily. The number of deaths and injuries Israel could cause would be astounding, but the fact is that most statistics show that the majority of Palestinian victims of Israeli attacks are young men. By contrast, the majority of Israeli victims of Palestinian attackers are women, the elderly and children. The reason is, of course, that Israel is targeting terrorists and militants while the Palestinians are targeting civilians. Israel is fighting as in a war with soldiers and the Palestinians are fighting against defenseless targets. That is the difference between defense and terrorism.

    TM asked:

    Or was your meaning that different points of view must be respected unless they are silly films and cartoons about Islam?

    You responded:

    -do you consider that those insulting films against islam a respected way? the respected way is to discuss and ask without insulting, just like what you , themiddle, did, you asked me few questions in a polite way and here i am answering, we don`t have problem with this.

    I don’t disagree that there are polite and reasonable ways to discuss a burning topic and that this is desirable. The question is, what is “respectable” and who decides? I’m not sure that I have the answer and even if you do have the answer, you are merely one individual. The premise of the “silly cartoons and films” may be offensive to you, but sometimes people want to rattle other people and a harsh or aggressive statement can be effective.

    You have the right to speak out loudly against the content of the films. That is the nature of discourse sometimes when one lives in a free society. I don’t like anti-Semites and speak out against them when I can, but I also realize that I cannot shut them up because to do so would be to limit the right of people to question conventional ideas. It becomes the key to a backward looking society.

    For example, imagine if the government of the US declared that speaking out against the Iraq War was a crime, or even if a group of active Republicans made it their mission to attack – physically or economically – anybody who spoke out against the war. Obviously, this would stifle discussion and debate. The Republicans could justify it for as long as they want because the country is at war, after all. However, they don’t because our society forbids it and permits any form of discussion – even the burning of the same flag which many of the US soldiers hold up as one of the key reasons they fight in wars.

    The other issue is that this particular movie by Wilders is shorthand for a much larger discussion. He tackles a number of key problems that affect Western and Muslim societies today and which he connects to extreme Islamic perpertrators and their beliefs. That is a serious charge and one that carries with it the burden of proof. He provides it with the words of modern imams and Muslim terrorists. Of course you are offended and hurt, but for most people it is an important presentation of information. I think most will recognize that it is crudely compiled propaganda and carrying of some unpleasant overtones. However, the producer’s goal was to force a discussion and it is the role of those who oppose his presentation to debate peacefully and honestly with his points.

    The Middle asked:

    What do you find more offensive, Eiman: an imam or Muslim child speaking about Jews being sons of apes and pigs, or a film showing a Muslim girl or an imam calling Jews sons of apes and pigs?

    You answered:

    -if you blame a muslim saying about a jew being sons of apes and pigs so if you are fair enough why don`t you blame others like the producer of that film who are saying alot of wrong things about muslims that hurt the muslim feelings? and a note for you my friend that our religion demand us to respect all religions and never hurt any of their followers otherwise you are not a good believer of islam.

    I’m sorry but I don’t understand the comparison. There are Muslims out there who are blowing up trains and then their videos have them quoting from the Koran. There are imams out there who are aggressively denouncing Western society and openly seeking its downfall. These are things that we can see and hear. When the little girl says what she says about Jews in the movie, it is clear that she was raised to believe it. I have never met a Jew who is the son of a pig or an ape. They don’t exist. It is an insult. It is an insult against all Jews. Do you see the difference between comparing these statements to Wilders’ film? He is speaking about certain Muslims only and then providing evidence to show why he believes what he believes. The apes and pigs comments are simply inherent animus against Jews.

    If you would like to suggest that these imams who want to destroy the West in their sermons, or these terrorists who gloat after their attacks in videos extolling Islam are not Muslims, you will not find it easy to convince anybody of that. It is like saying the the sky is red when everybody sees that it is blue.

    If you want to say that Jews are not sons of pigs and apes that would be welcome. If you would like to distance yourself from the Muslims who commit these acts of terror or who advocate destruction of the West, that would also be most welcome. After all, if you don’t denounce it but merely say “They’re not Muslims,” at least I feel that I don’t understand why you are evading simple and straightforward facts. I think most reasonable people recognize that these terrorists are not the same as all Muslims and represent a minority.

    TM asked:

    My final question. Most people today get their news and information from tv and cinema. If you object to a movie like this, what is left?

    Eiman answered:

    -do you think that t.v. and cinema the perfect place for the right information? we don`t object on t.v. and cinema based on right information.

    I think these are just another form of media. I don’t see anything wrong with you and other Muslims objecting to this film. However, I don’t understand why you are objecting to the film without addressing its content in any way other than to say it’s not “right information” or that it’s offensive or that it’s about people who are not Muslim.

    Wilders presents his case using information which includes film clips of attacks and the speeches and behavior of certain Muslims. Perhaps these clips are too short to give us a full context of what is happening, but enough of this type of material has been documented that we all know there are some Muslims out there who subscribe to a violent jihad against the West. This movie may be propaganda, but I view it as the opposite of a Bin Laden video release to the press. That’s propaganda, too. So is al Zawahiri giving answers on an Internet forum where he encourages the Muslims listening to go out and kill Jews everywhere in the world where they can reach them. Propaganda. Except that some people believe it and may act on it. God forbid! And I will point you to al Zawahiri’s forehead where his devoted prayers 5 times daily have given him a scar that we see on the most devout Muslims.

    If you want to say these men are not Muslims, that’s fine. I just won’t believe you. You have to deal with them as part of your religion no less than I have to deal with those members of my religion who have used our religion to justify unacceptable acts.

    Finally, Eiman said:

    -i ask you, themiddle, to read about the real islam if you really want to know the truth and i ask you why do you just believe those films and cartoons and you don`t believe us when we say that all what they include is completely wrong and they translate verses from our holy book in a wrong meaning?

    I do believe you. I believe that you reject the reading of the Koran and certain hadiths which those like Bin Laden translate as permission to fight a war that includes murderous violence against civilians. Or his efforts to sow terror among the general population.

    I believe there are many Muslims like you who believe that Islam is a very different religion than that of Bin Laden and al Qaeda or Hamas. The problem is that those Muslims are, for the most part, not heard and are not a vocal group. Instead, I read and hear many Muslims who express rage about cartoons and movies and discussion of Islamic terrorism, and blame it on either hate against Muslims, ignorance about Muslims, aggression toward Muslims, or this term called Islamophobia.

    I suggest a different approach. I propose an approach where you tell me that what Bin Laden and Hamas are doing is not real Islam but that you recognize that they and many others view what they are doing as a very pure form of Islam. You tell me that this is an issue which needs to be addressed in your community. You also should tell me where this movie by Wilders is wrong, and to actually convince me you will also probably have to acknowledge that there are pockets in Islam that do believe what is shown in the film. With trains and buildings blowing up, followed by men discussing their Islamic beliefs in videos about the attacks, I don’t see how I’m supposed to understand that they are not Muslims and we’re not seeing a trend in a war against the West by some Muslims. In a religion with 1.3 – 1.5 billion adherents, even if just 5% of Muslims support or wish to participate in this type of violent jihad, the numbers are simply too staggering to address.

  • “I see this attitude in Europeans all of the time, constantly condescending to Americans because of our supposed lack of education and our lack of European “sophistication”. I’m pretty sick of it.”

    Me too. It’s pathetic, especially that it’s coming from Europeans of all people. Jealousy and contempt does strange things to perfectly nice people.

  • The Middle, sorry for being late by tomorrow you `ll have my answer, i am very busy with my exams

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