19 April 2008

Geert Wilders and the Koran II

Gert Wilders eventually published his film on the internet. Fitna (that's the title, and it means division in Arabic) is a sixteen minutes montage of archive images (international and Dutch) and tacky music. It also shows gruesome news archives, such as a beheading and various terrorist attacks by some extremist Muslim groups (mainly Al Qaeda). There are also a couple of provocative pictures such as one of the caricatures of Muhammad from the Jyllands Posten and a short view of the Koran (read in the wrong direction), followed by the noise of pages torn. Fellow Muslims, don't worry, the film production informed us that the pages actually torn off were from a telephone book. Yeah, right... The symbol is there. Anyway, to summarize on such a non event, it is a totally uninteresting film with no original image whatsoever and a poor message. It can be summarized as: "Some Muslims do horrible things and follow some very extreme surates from the Koran. Ergo, most Muslims are dangerous people and should radically change their views and amend their religion or get the hell out from the Netherlands".

Needless to say that the film was not welcome in the Netherlands (a traditionally very tolerant country). Politicians from practically all parties did what they could in term of damage control before the publication and after. But the law in the Netherlands is fortunately very liberal and protects freedom of opinion. So the film was published on the Internet (no TV station wanted to take the risk to publish him in its entirety, which is I think a shame). And now that it is done, I could also add: why all the trouble? There is nothing interesting there. It is a non event. Ok, it is more of a media event than a real event. The film is provocative but pretty mildly, the images are gruesome, but they are only archives. And the film is full of mistakes and approximations.

In the end, Geert Wilders managed to get sued three times for it. The Muslim associations in the Netherlands sued because it attacks religion (under the anti-racism laws). This has no chance of success because of the prominence of the freedom of expression laws. The caricaturist of the Jyllands Posten sued (and might win) because his caricature was used without his authorization, which is a violation of European laws on copyright. And a Dutch Muslim artist sued (and won) because his picture was used in place of the face of a Dutch-Moroccan terrorist.

As we say in French: "Circulez, y a rien à voir" (go on, there is nothing to see)!

1 comment:

Jean-Baptiste Perrin said...

Which proves if it was still needed that it is perfectly possible to live in a Western society with a high Muslim population without feeling threatened in any way.