Wilders Film ‘Fitna’ Incites Muslims

Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders has debuted a new film that compares Islam to fascism. No rioting has yet ensued.

Iran and Indonesia on Friday condemned a film by a Dutch lawmaker that accuses the Koran of inciting violence, while Dutch Muslim leaders urged restraint.

Wilders Film ‘Fitna’ Incites Muslims Protest Photo A demonstrator holds a sign during a protest against Dutch politician and anti-Islam film-maker Geert Wilders at Dam square in Amsterdam March 22, 2008. REUTERS/Ade Johnson

Islam critic Geert Wilders launched his movie on Thursday evening. Titled “Fitna”, an Arabic term sometimes translated as “strife”, it intersperses images of the September 11, 2001 attacks and other Islamist bombings with quotations from the Koran. The film urges Muslims to tear out “hate-filled” verses from the Koran and starts and finishes with a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad with a bomb under his turban, originally published in Danish newspapers, accompanied by the sound of ticking. The image ignited violent protests around the world and a boycott of Danish products in 2006. Many Muslims consider any depiction of the Prophet as offensive.

Iran called the film heinous, blasphemous and anti-Islamic and called on European governments to block any further showing. Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation and a former Dutch colony, also condemned the film. “We are of the view that the film has a racist flavor and is an insult to Islam, hidden under the cover of freedom of expression,” a foreign ministry spokesman said. “We call on Indonesian people not to be incited.”

Wilders Film ‘Fitna’ Incites Muslims Protest Photo Demonstrators hold a placard of Geert Wilders during a protest against the Dutch politician and anti-Islam film-maker at Dam square in Amsterdam March 22, 2008. REUTERS/Ade Johnson

The Dutch Islamic Federation went to court on Friday to try to stop Wilders from comparing Islam to fascism, saying he incited hatred of Muslims. “A substantial number of people will associate Islam only with violence,” lawyer Ejder Kose said.

One wonders where they’re get such an impression? Perhaps this explains it:

Dutch authorities reported a calm night in contrast to the unrest that swept the country after the murder by a militant Islamist in 2004 of Dutch director Theo van Gogh, who made a film accusing Islam of condoning violence against women.

Dutch security officials raised the national risk level to “substantial” this month because of the Wilders film and perceptions of an increased al Qaeda threat. Wilders has been under heavy guard because of Islamist death threats since the murder of director van Gogh. Support for his anti-immigration Freedom Party rose in anticipation of the film to about 10 percent of the vote.

To be sure, there’s a childishness to Wilders’ antics, which are clearly designed to poke a stick at Muslim sensibilities. But the constant rioting and resort to violence at these provocations rather bolster his case.

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said in a televised speech on Thursday he rejected Wilders’ views and was pleased by the initial restrained reactions of Dutch Muslim organizations.

The European Union supports the Dutch government’s approach and believes the film serves no purpose other than “inflaming hatred”, the Slovenian EU presidency said in a statement: “The European Union and its member states apply the principle of the freedom of speech which is part of our values and traditions. However, it should be exercised in a spirit of respect for religious and other beliefs and convictions.”

That’s fine so far as it goes. On the other hand, not resorting to criminal violence when films and cartoons irritate you is a minimum requirement of citizenship in a free society, not something which ought bring praise from the prime minister.

And the idea that the EU “supports” freedom of speech by saying that it shouldn’t be exercised in a controversial way makes one wonder if they understand the concept at all. I agree that lumping all Muslims in with the extremists is bad manners, to say nothing of being incorrect. But that’s my view as an individual. It’s problematic when governments and quasi-governmental bodies make these sort of declarations, as it suggests a chilling effect.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Anderson says:

    The Liberty Fund should be distributing massive quantities of Milton’s Areopagitica and Mill’s On Liberty, translated into Arabic and Farsi, throughout Islam.

    The answer to a crappy little hate film is to make your own, much better film, explaining why the little hate film is so crappy.

    A fair number of Americans don’t seem to understand this, so it’s not surprising that many Muslims don’t, either.

    Or some Europeans, like the Dutch official on the radio this morning, saying that free speech isn’t freedom to insult others. Uh, in your FACE, Dutch boy!

  2. Steve Plunk says:

    True freedom of speech means we must accept the bad with the good. Insults, hate speech, whatever, it’s all part of the bargain.

    The film is doing exactly what it was designed to do, force the conversation rather than let it be swept under the rug and ignored.

  3. duckspeaker says:

    There’s only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and the Dutch.

  4. Bithead says:

    To be sure, there’s a childishness to Wilders’ antics, which are clearly designed to poke a stick at Muslim sensibilities. But the constant rioting and resort to violence at these provocations rather bolster his case.

    Hmmm. I’m with Steve, here:

    The film is doing exactly what it was designed to do, force the conversation rather than let it be swept under the rug and ignored.

    Sometimes to expose the cockroaches, you have to move the rocks they’re hiding under.

    And you know, if this film was about Christians, instead of Muslims, I wonder know what the reaction would be.

  5. Michael says:

    And the idea that the EU “supports” freedom of speech by saying that it shouldn’t be exercised in a controversial way makes one wonder if they understand the concept at all.

    Freedom of speech means you have the right to be an racist asshole, but it doesn’t mean you should be one. I think the EU’s statement in that respect is perfectly in line with American values.

  6. Michael says:

    And you know, if this film was about Christians, instead of Muslims, I wonder know what the reaction would be.

    That’s true, Christians have never been incited to violence over real or perceived slights to their religion.

  7. dutchmarbel says:

    In the Netherlands it is prohibited to intentionally insult or promote hate/discrimination against people because of their race or religion. It can be punished with a maximum of 1 year in jail. Which is why organisations are filing complaints with Wilders.

    Someone handed out a flyer during the demonstration March 22d with quotes from Wilders and the other politicians from his party. Only he used Jew where they used moslim, so you get things like “I don’t deny anyone the right to have a family life. Not Jews either. They are allowed to marry and live together. Just not in the Netherlands”. He got arrested and might be prosecuted for discrimination Link, but story and flyer are in Dutch.

    There have been many reactions from moslims in the Netherlands, also in the previous weeks, but no violent ones. I remember an action to send hugs to Wilders ’cause he was in obvious need of TLC. The mosques in most of the Netherlands (my city in any case) are offering tours around the mosques for non-muslims today as a reaction to the film and the muslim tv-channel has offered to broadcast the movie. But those initiatives are less newsworthy of course.

    Funny: the Danish cartoonist is considering suing Wilders too, because he forgot to ask permission to use the cartoon.

  8. Bithead says:

    That’s true, Christians have never been incited to violence over real or perceived slights to their religion.

    Tell me something, Mike; when was the last time you saw the left leap to the defense of Christians, as you see them doing, here?

  9. Michael says:

    Tell me something, Mike; when was the last time you saw the left leap to the defense of Christians, as you see them doing, here?

    When was the last time Christians needed defense?

  10. Anderson says:

    Hmmm … great minds think alike. An Amazon reviewer of On Liberty:

    America’s defense department should take some of the billions spent on the stealth bomber or the B1 and spend it to make Arabic and Farsi translations of this book in the hundreds of thousands. We could pack the bomb bays of a squadron of stealth bombers with the translations and carpet the cities of Muslim countries with this treatise on freedom. This is The Book, folks. You cannot read this little book without it changing your life.

    Fortunately, the book is short enough that paperbacks falling on Muslims’ heads should inflict little or no harm.

  11. Steve Verdon says:

    And the idea that the EU “supports” freedom of speech by saying that it shouldn’t be exercised in a controversial way makes one wonder if they understand the concept at all.

    The answer is no. This is somethign I’ve heard before and it is clear the people who support this notion are either completely stupid or closet authoritarians.

    Anderson,

    Can we also bundle it with the latest catalog from Victoria’s Secret too?

  12. davod says:

    “When was the last time Christians needed defense?”

    I suppose this comment could have been written as sarcasm. In case it was not I offer the following:

    Coptic Christians Threatened by Egypt’s Policies:Christians Persecuted by Both Police and Islamic Groups.

    EU approves resolution condemning persecution of Christians – In addition to mentioning several cases of persecution of Christians in Pakistan, Gaza, Turkey, China, Vietnam, Sudan, Iraq and Syria, the measure “deplores the kidnapping of Father Giancarlo Gossi in the Philippines, strongly condemns the murder of journalist Hrant Dink and of Father Andrea Santoro in Turkey, as well as underscores the problems of freedom of expression in China and repression in Vietnam.

  13. Grewgills says:

    And the idea that the EU “supports” freedom of speech by saying that it shouldn’t be exercised in a controversial way makes one wonder if they understand the concept at all. I agree that lumping all Muslims in with the extremists is bad manners, to say nothing of being incorrect. But that’s my view as an individual. It’s problematic when governments and quasi-governmental bodies make these sort of declarations, as it suggests a chilling effect.

    US politicians don’t seem to balk at criticizing any book or movie that offends their sensibilities and neither do they balk at saying that the producers of those books and movies should exercise discretion or that the views expressed in them do not comport with a majority of American’s sensibilities. The evils of Hollywood are a frequent target of many an American politician and the aim of their criticism extends beyond saying you have a right to say this or produce this, but we’d rather you be more polite.

    The clear dividing line is on hate speech laws. They are now being invoked in defense of Muslims* rather than just Jews and Christians and this rankles some. I dislike the laws and would be glad to see them go, but am not really comfortable with them being dismantled just because some people wish to spew their hatred of Muslims (or Jews, or Christians, etc).

    The film is doing exactly what it was designed to do, force the conversation rather than let it be swept under the rug and ignored.

    That is akin to saying that the Klan just wants to force the conversation about race rather than let it be swept under the rug. Wilders is a bigot and is proud of his bigotry.

    * My wife heard on Radio 1 the other day that a Dutch Jewish organization similar to the ADL is filing one of the complaints against Wilders.

  14. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Why is it being anti Muslim racist? Muslims call other religions lesser. They have forced people to accept Islam at the point of a sword. It is a faith based upon the word of a man who murdered others. Moses did not get to set foot in the Promised land because of his sins. Jesus gave his life for the sins of others. Mohammed killed those who refused to accept his belief. Satan is a liar and so was Mohammed.

  15. Bithead says:

    Can we also bundle it with the latest catalog from Victoria’s Secret too?

    Personally, I’ve often enough advocated bombing with a few dozen B-52 loads of good BBQ pork. Nobody can resist BBQ…

    The resulting Muslim angst should be enough to quiet the entire region for at least a generation.

  16. Grewgills says:

    Tell me something, Mike; when was the last time you saw the left leap to the defense of Christians, as you see them doing, here?

    By “the Left” do you mean Balkenende (center Right) and the EU presidency or Anderson and Michael?

    Bit, why is it you are outraged at hate speech directed at Christians and white Americans, yet you are perfectly comfortable and even supportive of hate speech directed at Muslims?

  17. Bithead says:

    The clear dividing line is on hate speech laws. They are now being invoked in defense of Muslims* rather than just Jews and Christians and this rankles some.

    I have argued quite often that Hate Crime laws should be eliminated.

  18. Bithead says:

    Bit, why is it you are outraged at hate speech directed at Christians and white Americans, yet you are perfectly comfortable and even supportive of hate speech directed at Muslims?

    You and I apparently have different working definitions of ‘hate’.

    When you get to where we see Christans beheading folks, currently, let us know.

  19. mannning says:

    I suppose it is true that many Muslims have not read the Koran, the Hadith, or any of the Fatwas that define the official faith of Islam. They take their understanding of Islam from their local imam and visiting clerics. The Koran is written in Arabic in the first place, and to purchase a translated copy may be more than many can afford.

    This means that some large percentage of Muslims are simply ignorant of the larger problems of adhering to the faith. Some, however, are quite aware of the demands of Jihad, and the hatred of Christians and Jews preached by imams and their Koran, yet they conduct themselves as rational citizens of many nations for most of their lives.

    Another group, however, which may amount to as much as 30-40% of Muslims, are not only aware of their obligations, but are quite willing to follow Jihadist leaders into terrorist actions against the infidel. Out of this group come the fighters, the terrorists, the insurgents, and the devoted anti-Jewish Hamas, Hisbollah, rocket launchings into Israel, and Iranian, Syrian or Saudi infiltrators in Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine.

    Since this group amounts to something like 50 to 150 million male Muslims of fighting age in the pool, there is no shortage of willing suicide bombers, fighters and intifada participants. What they usually lack is sufficient training, arms and easy access to their targets. This is a purely logistics problem.

    So I will give peaceful Muslims a wary pass for now, but such a pass is fully conditional on their continued good behavior in our nation and elsewhere.

    This does not help us much, since there are so many left around the world that are willing to riot, destroy, cut off heads, blow up restaurants, rocket civilians, burn autos, plant IEDs, shoot Iraqi citizens, and hang our men by the neck to bridgework. Many, many Muslims are violent, subversive and dangerous people, and they should be held accountable for their barbaric actions wherever they happen. This is what the GWOT is all about.

    I find appeasement of Muslims to be a rather risky business, since there is such a great chance that we are appeasing Jihadists–if only in waiting– and I certainly do not want to have to defend our nation from those who would install Sharia Law here in any way as they are pushing for in the UK, France, Holland, Sweden, and other EU nations.

    Too much tolerance of a dedicated enemy is not a wise thing to practice. Read the Koran, and watch Wilder’s movie. He is not exaggerating.

  20. Grewgills says:

    You and I apparently have different working definitions of ‘hate’.

    When you get to where we see Christans beheading folks, currently, let us know.

    Come on Bit, you know what I am talking about. You threw a fit about Rev Wright’s sermons*, yet you support Wilders’ film.

    * I recall you being incensed about other relatively mild criticisms about Christians as well.

  21. Michael says:

    When you get to where we see Christans beheading folks, currently, let us know.

    Why the “currently” qualifier?

  22. davod says:

    “The clear dividing line is on hate speech laws. They are now being invoked in defense of Muslims* rather than just Jews and Christians and this rankles some.”

    What is hate speech. I do not think anything in the film would be covered by hate speech laws in this country.

    What level of protection have hate speech laws in the US provided to Jews and Christians?

    If we were to change our laws to accede to the type of restrictions the Muslims need then there would be no spirited discussion of any religious text.

    No alternate gospels, no alternate family of Jesus, no scientific discussion of Evolution (conflicts with the bible). Heaven help the History Channel and its continual pushing of Nostradamus.

    And the government would become the prosecutor of what is now free speech.

  23. Bithead says:

    Come on Bit, you know what I am talking about. You threw a fit about Rev Wright’s sermons*, yet you support Wilders’ film.

    Aha.
    Well, that’s an easy one, then.
    Look, In Wright’s case..(And by extension, in Obama’s case) what we’re hurling are charges that Wright himself would, were the situations reversed. That’s not so much an issue with hatred being projected Wright’s way, as much as it is about exposure of the double standards empoyed.

    The situation with Wilders is not dissimiar; he’s simply playing by the rules as already laid out. Imagine my yawning when I find that they’re not about to let him play by the same rules Muslim extremists do.

  24. Bithead says:

    Why the “currently” qualifier?

    Because the usual knee-jerk reaction is to make a short trip to early 1400’s Spain… apparently lacking a better case to lean on.

  25. davod says:

    Eugene Volokh,at Volokh Conspiracy has viewed the film:

    I’m Now Watching Geert Wilders’ Fitna.

  26. Michael says:

    Because the usual knee-jerk reaction is to make a short trip to early 1400’s Spain… apparently lacking a better case to lean on.

    Actually I was only going to go back to the 1930s and 1940s in Europe. Or the North Ireland conflicts even more recently. Or in Indonesia within the past decade.

    But, you want to focus strictly on a time where Muslims are an unintegrated minority in Europe, where Islamophobic fear mongering is being spread as openly as Anti-semitic fear mongering was in the 1920s. Fitna itself is just a cheap imitation of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

  27. Grewgills says:

    davod,

    What is hate speech. I do not think anything in the film would be covered by hate speech laws in this country.

    What level of protection have hate speech laws in the US provided to Jews and Christians?

    The dividing line I was referring to was between the US and Europe. I am not aware of any hate speech laws in the US. Various other nations have hate speech laws. Hate speech laws in the Netherlands are currently being taken advantage of by Muslims and apparently some Jews in response to Wilders’ film. These laws have been most frequently used to limit hate speech directed at Jews, but are equally applicable to any religious or ethnic group. Some people, both here and there, are particularly upset about these laws now that they are protecting Muslims. As I said before I think all of us would be better off without these laws, but am concerned about the current reason for reexamination.

    Bit,

    Look, In Wright’s case..(And by extension, in Obama’s case) what we’re hurling are charges that Wright himself would, were the situations reversed. That’s not so much an issue with hatred being projected Wright’s way, as much as it is about exposure of the double standards empoyed.

    So Wright’s poor behavior justifies your poor behavior?

    The situation with Wilders is not dissimiar; he’s simply playing by the rules as already laid out.

    The rules are laid out clearly in Dutch law and it appears that he has broken them on multiple counts. He has done so willfully and intentionally.

    You still have not answered the question put to you. Why are you outraged by hateful speech directed against Christians and white Americans and even outraged at failure to publicly confront such speech in what you feel is a timely enough manner, but supportive of hateful speech against Muslims? I can only think of one reason and it is not particularly flattering. Please disabuse me of what I hope is a false impression.

  28. dutchmarbel says:

    My 10.09 AM comment was stuck in the spamfilter, so people may have missed it, but it explained a bit about the Dutch law in this case and referred to the incident where someone replaced the ‘muslims’ in quotes from Wilders and his party with ‘jews’ and got arrested.

    Most people think that the film is not as provocative as Wilders said it would be. Muslim organisations say (after seeing the film) that they don’t think Dutch muslims will react badly but that some foreign groups might be dissappointed because it is less provocative than they’d hoped.

    Our priminister Balkenende said the film was only intended to hurt feelings (which is bad but not prohibited, the EU said that it was intended to promote hate which *is* prohibited) and Wilders said that muslim organisations reacted more responsible than Balkende (who is not only center-right, but also for the Christian Democrats), which is kind of funny again.

    Best comment on the film so far was someone saying ‘the book is better’ 😉

    The only party who wants to introduce something sharia-like in the Netherlands is the SGP, the party of reformed protestants, who want to introduce a theology if they ever get enough votes (which is not likely as they also admit). They still refuse women in active leading positions, don’t work on sundays (not even their website), etc.

  29. Bithead says:

    So Wright’s poor behavior justifies your poor behavior?

    And why would something have to be said to get some to admit it’s poor behavior? (Which, if you’ll recall was the very question I was asking about Obama… why’d someone have to say something to get him off the dime after 20 years?)

    See, there’s the problem.

    The rules are laid out clearly in Dutch law and it appears that he has broken them on multiple counts. He has done so willfully and intentionally.

    Uh huh. Ask Theo vanGogh if Dutch law was followed in his case.

    Oops. You can’t. Sorry, I keep forgetting.

    I can only think of one reason and it is not particularly flattering.

    Then your mind seems lacking in it’s ability to absorb information it didn’t contain to begin with. My response is one of outrage at the double standards employed, in which I follow the laws as well as they do. If you can’t understand how that works, I’m afraid I can’t help you much.

  30. Bithead says:

    I am not aware of any hate speech laws in the US.

    Hmmm.
    Can’t understand why you wouldn’t be aware of such.

  31. dutchmarbel says:

    Uh huh. Ask Theo vanGogh if Dutch law was followed in his case.
    Oops. You can’t. Sorry, I keep forgetting.

    Theo van Gogh was offered police protection before he was killed, but refused. His killer has been sentenced to prison for life. All in accordance with Dutch law. What else should have been done?

  32. Grewgills says:

    And why would something have to be said…
    …See, there’s the problem.

    Rev Wright said some hateful things and was roundly criticized when they became public knowledge. When was the last time you are aware of that a politician publicly criticized one of his supporters for poor behavior or hateful speech prior to public outcry?
    Reagan didn’t, Gingrich didn’t, Bush didn’t, and neither did McCain, but you are not upset about their failure on this score. Why? There are only two likely reasons for this and one of them is not but, but it was 20 years.

    Uh huh. Ask Theo vanGogh if Dutch law was followed in his case.

    Dutchmarbel has already effectively handled this.

    My response is one of outrage at the double standards employed, in which I follow the laws as well as they do.

    So you are outraged that you and they both follow the laws equally well, neither are punished by the law, they are roundly publicly criticized, and you have to endure opposing argument on the internet. That is quite the burden you bear, no wonder you are outraged.

    What remains is that you are outraged by hateful speech directed against white Americans or against Christians, yet you are supportive of hateful speech directed against (mostly darker skinned) Muslims. Both types of speech have been roundly publicly criticized by Democratic politicians and the media; only the former two have also been roundly criticized by Republican politicians and you. I see a double standard here, but it is not the one you see.

    Hmmm.
    Can’t understand why you wouldn’t be aware of such. (hate speech laws in the US)

    Your first link is contradicted by your third link and the statute.
    The first claims,

    The law, SB1234, classifies as “hate speech” any public expression that makes certain favored citizens feel “unwelcome” or “intimidated.” Anyone found guilty of using such expressions could face six months in prison and a $25,000 fine.
    Homosexuals, transsexuals, women, the homeless and assorted minority groups have been given the authority to decide what constitutes “hate speech.” It’s all based on their emotional response to a speech, a conversation, a book or article, a poster, a radio broadcast–whatever. If it makes them feel uncomfortable, it’s hate speech.

    whereas the third and the actual law state,

    To increase penalties to $5,000 in fines and/or six months in jail, and
    To enhance the training that police officers receive about hate crimes.
    To criminalize the incitement to violence against a protected group if it is sufficiently serious that it can reasonably be expected to result in harm to members of the targeted victims

    Incitement to violence and property damage (what this law actually covers) are already prohibited speech and action. This law enhances punishment for specific instances of those existing crimes. The constitutionality of that law is questionable as your final and most worthwhile link points out.
    Your second link appears about as accurate as first* and your fourth link points to proposed hate crimes legislation that has failed to pass.

    Hate speech laws in Europe and elsewhere (outside the US) cannot properly be compared to hate crimes laws anywhere in the US. To try and draw an equivalence is at best ignorant.

    * A quick and lazy search did not turn up the actual statute.

  33. Bithead says:

    Theo van Gogh was offered police protection before he was killed, but refused.

    The issue is not that the all-knowing, all seeing, all caring government offered him protection, but that it was required. When you can get over the small mountain of how anti-hate laws affected this outcome, get back to me.

  34. dutchmarbel says:

    The issue is not that the all-knowing, all seeing, all caring government offered him protection, but that it was required. When you can get over the small mountain of how anti-hate laws affected this outcome, get back to me.

    Pim Fortuyn was killed by an animal-protection nut and both killings, high profiled as they are, pale in comparison to the number of women killed by their ex-partners (most after several threats). Nuts excist, in any country, which is why you need police and legislation.

    I’m a liberal democrat in the Netherlands and the head of my party needed police protection because Wilders-fans had sent death threats. The coach of one of our bigger soccer-teams received death threats last year.

    There are idiots beating up and sometimes killing homosexuals – and AFAIK in both our countries the perpetrators were mostly christian or coming from christian culture environment.

    The terrorism I grew up with was from non-religious groups like the RAF, christian/nationalist groups like the IRA and the ETA and the Dutch christian Moluccans.

  35. Bithead says:

    Rev Wright said some hateful things and was roundly criticized when they became public knowledge. When was the last time you are aware of that a politician publicly criticized one of his supporters for poor behavior or hateful speech prior to public outcry?

    Oh, please….let’s be honest enough to admit that the only reason Obama did that was because of how close this election is… even in the primary stages, and he saw the 20 year relationship with Wright as a bar to his attaining political power. He didn’t find it needful to disassociate himself from Wright until that became public, and yet was quite willing to sit in the pew for 20 years and not only suck it all in without complaint, but enabled this racist with his time, talents and hundreds of thousands of dollars…. So, your attempt to slip Obama by us as some sort of racial visionary is left at least a bit flat.

    Pim Fortuyn was killed by an animal-protection nut and both killings, high profiled as they are, pale in comparison to the number of women killed by their ex-partners (most after several threats). Nuts excist, in any country, which is why you need police and legislation.

    To what point and purpose? Clearly, the existence of mere laws didn’t help matters.

    Your first link is contradicted by your third link and the statute.

    But they both contradict your claim that such laws don’t exist, which was the point of my posting them. You may want to do some better research in future.

    Reagan didn’t, Gingrich didn’t, Bush didn’t, and neither did McCain,

    The first two didn’t feel the need, having both the record and the background for honest people to understand that where they were at was not where some of their supporters were. Most certaiuly, Reagan’s landslide victories over two cycles seems to suggest most people understood very well what was what.

    McCain, meanwhile, has fallen into a trap, I think, of rendering apologies were none are sought, except by those looking to discredit him.

    Hate speech laws in Europe and elsewhere (outside the US) cannot properly be compared to hate crimes laws anywhere in the US. To try and draw an equivalence is at best ignorant.

    To suggest this is to ignore the concept of thought, and it’s origins and our rights to our own thoughts. In both cases, they are predicated in the misguided notion that government should have any input on what one THINKS. Hate, after all, is a THOUGHT crime.

    Then again, the only diversity that liberalism doesn’t respect is diversity of thought. So I can see how some would find such laws attractive.

    So you are outraged that you and they both follow the laws equally well, neither are punished by the law, they are roundly publicly criticized, and you have to endure opposing argument on the internet. That is quite the burden you bear, no wonder you are outraged.

    Nice twist, but not even close to reality. Once again, I say I’m holding such people to the standards they expect everyone else to come up to, and pointing out, loudly, and hell, yes, rudely, when they do not measure up to their own standards.

    The point of course, is revealing the purpose behind the standards demanded. That is quite easily revealed when you note who is doing the most in the way of charging such: CAIR, for example, or the NAA(L)CP. Or, the Democrats who pander to both in their seeking of votes.

  36. dutchmarbel says:

    To what point and purpose? Clearly, the existence of mere laws didn’t help matters.

    That is why I mentioned police. How do you think it could have been resolved better?

    In both cases, they are predicated in the misguided notion that government should have any input on what one THINKS. Hate, after all, is a THOUGHT crime.

    That is why it is not HATE that is prohibited, but HATE SPEECH. As I teach my young sons: you cannot help how you feel, but you are responsible for what you DO with those feelings.

    For the people who understand Dutch: a Dutch moslim has made a little follow up film after fitna.

  37. Grewgills says:

    Oh, please….let’s be honest enough to admit that the only reason Obama did that was because…

    and again what politician has publicly condemned the speech of one of his supporters prior to there being a public outcry?
    Obama would have likely reacted in much the same manner if Rev Wright’s inflammatory statements had come out 2 years ago or 2 years from now. In this respect he is like most other politicians, his current rivals included.

    To what point and purpose? Clearly, the existence of mere laws didn’t help matters.

    By that logic we should have no laws whatsoever since no law eliminates the crime it addresses.

    But they both contradict your claim that such laws don’t exist, which was the point of my posting them. You may want to do some better research in future.

    The CA law is a hate crimes law, not a hate speech law. It attaches further penalties to activities that are already crimes (incitement to violence, violence, and property damage) based on intent of the perpetrator and its effect on a community. A hate speech law prohibits speech intended to provoke hate based on ethnicity, religion, etc. Your first post erroneously claims the CA law to be a hate speech law rather than a hate crimes law. You may disagree with both, but they are distinct.

    The first two didn’t feel the need…
    McCain, meanwhile, has fallen into a trap…

    But all had/have supporters who spewed hate and all embraced them afterwards. You hold your party’s politicians to a much lower standard than you do Democrats.
    McCain shouldn’t be disqualified because he embraced Hagee and Parsley after their hateful rhetoric was well known and neither should Obama be disqualified because of his association with Wright.
    What they should be called to do is to address that hateful rhetoric and either embrace it as their own or to repudiate it.
    Your standard for Obama is that repudiation is not enough and for McCain that it is entirely unnecessary. That is quite the double standard you have there.

    To suggest this is to ignore the concept of thought, and it’s origins and our rights to our own thoughts. In both cases, they are predicated in the misguided notion that government should have any input on what one THINKS.

    To argue as you do ignores the origin of these laws. Burning a cross in someone’s lawn is more than vandalism. It is an act designed to terrorize a community. Hate crimes laws are about punishing the act of terrorizing the community or group (ethnic, religious, or sexual), not about punishing hatred of that group. You are after all still free to hate them and to talk about hating them. You are not free to terrorize them.

    Once again, I say I’m holding such people to the standards they expect everyone else to come up to, and pointing out, loudly, and hell, yes, rudely, when they do not measure up to their own standards.

    Yet you conspicuously fail to apply that standard to Wilders and you even support his hateful rantings. That is your double (triple?) standard. You strenuously object to hateful speech directed at white Americans and Christians, yet you are entirely silent when it is directed at homosexuals (Hagee, Parsley, Robertson, et al.), or even support it if it is directed at Muslims.

  38. Bithead says:

    That is why I mentioned police. How do you think it could have been resolved better?

    There is no resolution, once it gets to that stage… mostly because the Muslims, for example in this case, are not interested in resolution, but of domination.

    What should have been done is cultural assimilation.

    That is why it is not HATE that is prohibited, but HATE SPEECH. As I teach my young sons: you cannot help how you feel, but you are responsible for what you DO with those feelings.

    So, government gets to say which of our thought can be legally expressed, thereby de-legitimizing our free speech rights. A destructive solution, at least.

    Obama would have likely reacted in much the same manner if Rev Wright’s inflammatory statements had come out 2 years ago or 2 years from now.

    Amusing, but unavailing, because the issue was that if it really bothered him, he’d have not been associated with the place.

    To argue as you do ignores the origin of these laws.

    Hardly. In fact, I’ve gone to some length to identify that purpose:

    The pattern is well established. Politicians and others have frequently blamed “hatred” for headline making crimes, particularly when in the act of pandering to so-called Minority groups..

    *After the April 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City, President Clinton named G. Gordon Liddy among the conservative talk-show hosts he called “purveyors of hatred and division,” saying they were “encouraging violence.” The liberal press, who has long been willing to prostitute itself to the end of defeating anyone who holds views to the right of say, Fidel Castro, gleefully agreed with him. There was serious talk of McVeigh being charged under “Hate crimes’
    laws, but I’ve forgotten if he ever was prosecuted under those laws. I suspect though, that he was so charged.

    *’Concerned’ over arson attacks on black churches in 1996, (You recall, the ones Mr. Clinton lied about) civil rights leader Joseph Lowery accused the Christian Coalition of fostering an “extremist climate.” The non problem was followed up as a group of hate crimes.

    *When avowed homosexual Matthew Shepard was killed in Wyoming last year, Homosexual-extra-rights advocate Joan M. Garry suggested it was the result of a conservative anti-homosexuality campaign she said “fuels the fires of bigotry.”, and his killers were subject to and convicted under Hate Crime statutes.

    *Following the shootings at a Jewish community center in California, the leftist media and politicians jumped onto the hate crime bandwagon, labeling those episodes of violence “hate crimes”..

    *In Texas, the dragging death of a black man has brought two white men to conviction and the death penalty. These were reported by the press, most notably CBS and CNN (who forever shill for big government ) as hate crimes.

    Yet there is another pattern, also well established… a more disturbing one.

    #When a gunman spouting blasphemous rhetoric burst into a youth service at a Fort Worth Baptist church this week, and fatally shot seven persons, the liberal’s war on hate crimes was nowhere to be seen. Nor were there endless lines of liberal leaders, making as much out of the situation as possible.

    #When in 1997, a kid who had been known as anti-Christian shot up a high school prayer group in Paducah, KY where were the people protecting us from ‘hate crime’? They must have hidden behind the folks who want to remove the second amendment from the books. It’s the oddest thing; these looked just like the folks who had been
    screaming about hate crimes in my first examples.

    #When the April murders of Christian students at Columbine High School in Colorado, made the front page… where the shooters specifically picked out Christians to shoot at by asking them for professions of faith and then killing them for their answer, we saw no crying and wailing from the usual suspects about ‘hate crime’. Yet, there can be no question that these crimes too, were motivated by hate.

    Such discrepancies alas constitute legal life in America today. And with our over dependence on law, and on government, such nonsense penetrates every aspect of our day to day lives. The obvious question is why such double standards are permitted to exist. The answer, I fear, goes directly to the heart of the motive behind the hate crime laws.

    Understand; “motive” is not an idle choice of a word.. I consider the laws and the motive behind them, criminal. Why?

    Well, in answer, it doesn’t pass my notice, and I hope it doesn’t pass yours, that there are many who scream loudly to the populace for hate crimes laws when certain groups… groups whom they have historically favored… are targeted. Yet, these same people keep stony silence when other groups that they don’t favor are. You should also take note, of which are which. This disparity, (along with the disparity in the implementation of hate crime laws themselves) sends the message that hate itself isn’t the real issue… but rather WHOM you hate… that it’s OK to hate certain people. And of course, by passing hate crime laws and selectively implementing them, the government sends the clear message of which we shall and shall not hate.

    Yet you conspicuously fail to apply that standard to Wilders and you even support his hateful rantings.

    Correct. Because I’m judging him the way the likes of Wirght, Sharpton, CAIR, etc, etc, judge themselves. They have no moral legs to stand on, until they start practicing what the preach…. literally. We’re supposed to accept hate against the west, and not return it, or even label it as such? I don’t think so, Tim.

    It’s that simple.

  39. dutchmarbel says:

    There is no resolution, once it gets to that stage… mostly because the Muslims, for example in this case, are not interested in resolution, but of domination.

    What should have been done is cultural assimilation.

    Muslim actually, it was only one. And the ‘danger’ usually isn’t in the unassimilated ones. Mohammed B. was born in the Netherlands, spoke Dutch, had close to the equivalent of a bachelor degree. He was pretty assimilated before he became extreme.

    We probabely have more muslim politicians than you have. Our youngest member of parlement is a 21 yo boy who fled Afghanistan in 1997 with his parents.

    At the same time; if I look at this ABC fragment the assimilation in the US doesn’t really work well either.

    Pim Fortuyn got killed by a very Dutch animal protection nut. How do you stop those?

    So, government gets to say which of our thought can be legally expressed, thereby de-legitimizing our free speech rights. A destructive solution, at least.

    Any society sets rules. We are slightly more strict than the US about hate speech, a lot more strict about guns, we are less strict about nudity, soft drugs, prostitution. In Israel Wilders probabely would be jailed, they are even more strict there.

    As a society we set limits to freedoms and have to be very careful about where we set those and why. Setting those borders is the task of the government and in our part of the world the population has a say in how that government works. Though you have a more limited choice and less people have an actual say in government, you still believe that those policies are set ‘for the people, by the people’. There just happen to be a lot of different people.

  40. Grewgills says:

    There is no resolution, once it gets to that stage… mostly because the Muslims, for example in this case…

    As Dutchmarbel correctly points out; a Muslim, not the Muslims. I see why you have little problem with Wilders, it appears you are of like mind.

    So, government gets to say which of our thought can be legally expressed, thereby de-legitimizing our free speech rights.

    Not our rights, their rights; unless you are living in the Netherlands. As previously stated you have nothing to worry about here unless you are inciting people to violence, participating in violence, or damaging property. Those are all crimes in and of themselves with or without hate crimes statutes increasing the penalties.

    Amusing, but unavailing, because the issue was that if it really bothered him, he’d have not been associated with the place.

    Using your rather restrictive criteria, the same can be said of any number of conservative politicians and Hagee, Parsley, Robertson, Falwell, Bob Jones University, etc. Do you want virtually all of the Republican leadership tarred with their outlandish and offensive statements and policies?

    Hardly. In fact, I’ve gone to some length to identify that purpose…

    All three cases you mentioned where Christians were targeted due to their religion* should be eligible for prosecution under standing hate crimes legislation. All three of those rather conservative states have hate crimes legislation though it is rather vague, weak, and rarely used. It would be up to the, probably conservative, DA in these jurisdictions to choose to utilize the hate crimes statutes in these cases. It is rather difficult to believe that in Ft Worth, TX; Paducah, KY; and Columbine, CO that law enforcement is prejudiced against Christians.
    I suspect that nothing anyone can say will dissuade you from thinking that that blacks, gays, women, and atheists make up a privileged class and the white Christian man is the real victim in our society with liberals and the media conspiring to bring him down.

    Correct. Because I’m judging him the way the likes of Wirght, Sharpton, CAIR, etc, etc, judge themselves.

    So you admit to your double standard, applying one set of rules to people you feel are using hateful rhetoric and an entirely different standard for Wilders using hateful rhetoric against Muslims and you have the gall to say the reason you are upset at Wright et al is their double standard. You truly are amazing.

    * I am taking your word for this because it does not matter whether these are actual or apocryphal cases for purposes of this discussion.

  41. Bithead says:

    Muslim actually, it was only one.

    Oh, come… you’re not going to try and pass this off as an isolated incident, are you?

    Using your rather restrictive criteria, the same can be said of any number of conservative politicians and Hagee, Parsley, Robertson, Falwell, Bob Jones University, etc.

    No, it cannot, because in no case was the Republican in question sitting in the pews every Sunday for 20 years, in no case is the Republican in question calling the pastor his mentor and friend, in no case is the republican in question enabling the pastor with money time and talent.

    I suspect that nothing anyone can say will dissuade you from thinking that that blacks, gays, women, and atheists make up a privileged class and the white Christian man is the real victim in our society with liberals and the media conspiring to bring him down.

    As Dred Scott proved, the fastest way to make a whole new class of victims is by means of governmental fiat.

    So you admit to your double standard, applying one set of rules to people you feel are using hateful rhetoric and an entirely different standard for Wilders using hateful rhetoric against Muslims and you have the gall to say the reason you are upset at Wright et al is their double standard. You truly are amazing.

    I’m applying their standards. You really have a problem with that?

    Oh, well… this is also the kind of thing that happens when we consider all cultures morally equal.

  42. mannning says:

    This has been a typical Leftist response to a center or right statement: change the terms of the argument from answering a single controversy to that of justifying all of the discovered controversies on the other political side as well, and equate them as equal.

    Such an argument is endless, futile, and, in fact, asinine, since the terms will shift in every case that appears to justify the right position. This is moral relativity in action, which is to be expected from Leftists.

    Wilders acts as a parakeet in a coal mine. If the parakeet gets sick or dies, it is a sure indication that there is a poisonous, deadly atmosphere surrounding the good citizens. How many death threats has Wilders received so far?

    The words sound like Alan Colmes in action, who finds rediculous defenses all the time for Leftwing silliness.

  43. dutchmarbel says:

    Dutchmarbel: “Muslim actually, it was only one.”

    Bithead: Oh, come… you’re not going to try and pass this off as an isolated incident, are you?

    Have I missed muslims killing anti-muslim people in the Netherlands? Did it happen more than once?

    Yeah, you have groups hating others and sometimes a nut kills someone. That is not muslim specific though. I don’t agree that we have a muslim problem in the Netherlands. We have many problems with many different groups, and there is a group of muslims who feel as if they ought to force their environment to live by their rules, or destroy if they cannot get their way. But simplifying it to ‘they who follow the islam are bad’ will most definately not make a difference. Should the US curtail the bible-belt because some religious idiots kill folks they disagree with? Should the US paint male adolescents black because some of them go crazy and start shooting fellow students?

    Manning: Wilders acts as a parakeet in a coal mine. If the parakeet gets sick or dies, it is a sure indication that there is a poisonous, deadly atmosphere surrounding the good citizens. How many death threats has Wilders received so far?

    You imply that Wilders is a good citizen. I disagree. Which doesn’t mean that I think he deserves the threats. Nobody should fear for their lives because of what they say. But the fact that he should have the freedom to say what he wants to say (up to a certain limit) does not mean that what he says isn’t stupid.

    In view of the emphasis on free speech: you do realize that Wilders advocated that the Koran will be prohibited in the Netherlands? You do realize that you have no idea what he actually says about muslims in the Netherlands? Things like “moslims are allowed to live together or marry, but not in the Netherlands”. “Religous schools may exist, but not islamic ones”. Problems with housing and infrastructure can be directly attributed to muslims”. As I said, someone made a brochure with some of the quotes, but with Jews instead of Muslims – and got arrested after handing out 11 pamphlets.

    Our muslim tv-channel offered to broadcast his film, he had several invites from muslim organisations to come and discuss his viewpoints, but he never says yes. He is not a parakeet in a coal mine, testing the oxygen. A more appropriate comparison for Americans would be that he is like the first communist, testing the waters to see if he can persuade society to spread his ideology whilst taking away freedoms from the groups he wants to damage.

  44. Bithead says:

    Have I missed muslims killing anti-muslim people in the Netherlands? Did it happen more than once?

    There’s an exodus of sorts going on, there, as I hear. Someone oughta post a sign: The last non-muslim out, turn out the lights.

    Point being, need one be killed to be a victim?
    Or does victimhood only apply to Muslims in that part of the world?

  45. Grewgills says:

    As Dred Scott proved, the fastest way to make a whole new class of victims is by means of governmental fiat.

    Really? Dredd Scott made a whole new class of victims?
    It was a bad decision from a civil rights perspective, but the victims of Dredd Scott were victims already. It was a later government fiat that ended their bondage and another government fiat that ended their legal forced segregation. So you see government fiat can do good. In both of those cases it was done despite strong opposition from social conservatives.

    I’m applying their standards. You really have a problem with that?

    I have a problem to you applying different standards to different groups of people, particularly when you claim that you are outraged because they are using a double standard. Do you really fail to see your own hypocrisy in making that argument?

    There’s an exodus of sorts going on, there, as I hear. Someone oughta post a sign: The last non-muslim out, turn out the lights.

    Where do you get your news?

    Wilders acts as a parakeet in a coal mine.

    canary? I guess any small bird will do.
    Wilders is neither though.
    Some quotes from Wilders,

    The core of the problem is fascistic Islam, the sick ideology of Allah and Mohammed as it is set out in the Islamic Mein Kampf: the Koran.

    Ban that wretched book (the Koran) like Mein Kampf is banned!

    I have had enough of Islam in Holland: Not one more Muslim immigrant should be let in. I have had enough of the reverence for Allah and Mohammed in the Netherlands: There should not be even one more mosque. I have had enough of the Koran in the Netherlands. Ban that wretched book.

    Islam is not a religion, it’s an ideology, the ideology of a retarded culture.

    He wants it to be illegal for Dutch citizens that immigrated from Morocco to be elected representatives in parliament, he wants the Koran banned, immigration to the Netherlands from Muslim countries banned, Muslims paid to leave the Netherlands, and any Dutch Muslim convicted of a crime (regardless of where they were born) to be stripped of their citizenship and “shipped back where they came from.”

  46. dutchmarbel says:

    There’s an exodus of sorts going on, there, as I hear. Someone oughta post a sign: The last non-muslim out, turn out the lights.

    yeah, we have records in emigration at the moment. If you are really interested: the latest report (analyses the figures incl. 2005) can be found in this Dutch pdf. They don’t register religions, but two thirds of the emigrants is either not born in the Netherlands or has at least one parent who is not born in the Netherlands. Of the one third that is born in the Neterlands out of parents who are born here too almost 40% emigrates to Germany and Belgium. Those are our neighbouring countries but the have more room and thus significantly lower prices for houses. Not everybody realizes that you cannot drive for three hours in the same direction and still stay in the Netherlands, not matter where you start.

    Point being, need one be killed to be a victim?
    Or does victimhood only apply to Muslims in that part of the world?

    So how are we a victim?

  47. mannning says:

    It really doesn’t matter what the opinions of the parakeet (or canary) are, he still acts as an alert for the evils gathering strength. Are any of you saying that his murder would be justified because of his opinions? No? Well, he has been threatened by Muslims. Maybe such threats are more smoke than fire, but murder HAS happened in Holland. hasn’t it?

    Bit made the point that citizens should not have to fear for their lives in the first place because of their hard talk against a religion, nor have to have protection because of threats, such as from Fatwas decreeing their death. The very existence of such threats to lives speaks of the evil we are dealing with–sooner or later–from “overzealous” Muslims.

    We are rapidly becoming overzealous ourselves in the West, or so hemmed in by well-meaning but fundamentally flawed laws, or to be so tolerant of evildoers, that we become nakedly and stupidly vulnerable, and forgetful of our duty to defend the people. Yes, even at the cost of some decrease in our freedom and liberty. I personally would not want to sacrifice my nation on the anvils of excessive tolerance and merely convenient and temporary assimilation.

    I thought the Dutch were very bright people, but they seem to be outsmarting themselves against a dedicated evil, and are making themselves all the more vulnerable. But, that is their choice, their freedom, and their funeral.

    What happens when the Muslims reach majority status in Europe? What happens if they do that in France, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Sweden and the UK? Poor little Holland will be like Israel: besieged on all sides. Not soon, perhaps, but in this century.

    I wish them good luck, those Nederlanders.

    TZ

  48. Culturalcubo says:

    I would like to contribute to the debate on freedom of speech. I don’t think a liberal way of managing such a fundamental value in democracy is enough. Not at all. In fact, I’d say not intervening in what people say or how they say it, when it comes to hatred-incitation, is a way of strengthening those who are usually in better positions for producing racist, sexist, xenophobic or homophobic discourses. I’m not saying either that laws are the best tool for limiting freedom of speech (as it happens with Holocaust denial laws in more than 10 European countries). However, some kind of social control must be set. Democracy, especially when it comes to public liberties, is based on the interrelations between freedom and duty, which implies that liberties mustn’t be limitless.

    You can see my post about Wilders’ Fitna at http://www.culturalcubo.com

  49. dutchmarbel says:

    @manning: Bit made the point that citizens should not have to fear for their lives in the first place because of their hard talk against a religion, nor have to have protection because of threats, such as from Fatwas decreeing their death. The very existence of such threats to lives speaks of the evil we are dealing with — sooner or later — from “overzealous” Muslims.

    I agree, but you seem to forget that most victims of muslim terrorist extremists still are muslim *and* that the nutters are a small minority. To keep things in perspective: According to our National Intelligence Department (AIVD) about 5% of the religous moslims is susceptible for extremism and about 10% of those 5% will become radicals. That is 0,5% of the 5.7% muslims in the Netherlands which is… 0.003% of the Dutch population that becomes extremist – and only a small percentage of them will go violent because most aim at creating radical islamitic enclaves in which they can follow their strict religious rules (like the Haredim communities do).

    If Geert Wilders wanted freedom of speech he wouldn’t want to take THEIR freedom of speech (and religion) away. He even proposed to ban our worldwide dutch news channel because they made a (rather amateuristic, but so is the fitna movie) 9 minute movie to ‘explain’ fitna the movie. Made before Geert released it, so it doesn’t comment upon the content.

    If Geert Wilders wanted dialogue with our muslim community, he would accept some of the numerous invites for debates muslim organisations sent him – which he never does.

    It it is not to protect freedom of speech or start a debate, what IS the use of the film?

    What happens when the Muslims reach majority status in Europe?
    this is the religion map of the Netherlands in 2003. these are the European percentages in 2003. By the time they are a majority my descendents might live on the moon.

  50. Mimi says:

    It is not my intention to insult certain people, and I know this is quite random, but I just want to emphasize the fact that the population of the Netherlands is bigger than 1. One man, Geert Wilders, made this movie, and ignorant people think all Dutch (roughly) have the same opinion.