Monday, March 24, 2008

Go, Wilders, Go!

Geert Wilders is facing death for publicly stating that in his opinion, Islam is a fascism, that the Qur'an promotes violence,and that the Qur'an, like Mein Kampf, should be banned from the Netherlands. OK, the Pope quotes a Byzantine emperor discussing Reason and God's plan for Humanity: it sets off riots and murder among Muslim nations, Muslims go berserk and kill people. A Danish newspaper prints innocuous cartoons of Mohammed, and, yes, the same result. I sneeze in the bathroom, no riots as yet but I'm holding my breath.

Geert Wilders is a Dutch parliamentarian. In the greater scheme of things he's only marginally more visible to the public than I or than you. But he is under 24 hour per day guard by the Dutch secret police to keep Muslims from murdering him. Wilders is only one of a growing number of private and public figures in the same position, under threat of murder by Muslims, under guard by police. The fact is, we in the West are all in something like the same position: the police and militaries of our various nations conducting round the clock exercises to ensure that we too aren't murdered by Muslim fanatics and or their sympathisers as were Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh. It's only going to get worse. Lots of our own are pretending this is not happening, that what's happening isn't important, that this effort to kill at random is not the fault of jihadis but is due to the existence of Israel, due to American imperialism, is due to the Moon being in Virgo. Uh huh. We are all to some extent in the same position Geert Wilders is in. We face death at the hands and by the designs of jihadis.

Wilders is trying to show a short film, a 15 minute film, to give a sense of why Muslims are doing this outrageous thing to the world. He is being stymied at every turn. It is to our collective benefit that he succeed here, and we are being cheated by nearly everyone in a position to make his effort successful. It's up to us to ensure his success. We have to support our own freedom by supporting Wilders' efforts to show his film, especially because so many Muslims don't like it. They aren't special and they have to know it concretely. Muslims are no more privileged than anyone else. If they don't like criticism of their religion, such as it is, then too bad for them. We must do what we can to make them get over it, even if it means rubbing the noses of Muslims everywhere in the images of hostile films.

Too! Bad! Get over it.

CNN during the cartoon intifada ran a banner each day for weeks reading "Out of respect for Islam CNN is not showing the Danish cartoons." Today CNN runs some older news about another censorship effort from America:

CNN) -- A Web site promoting a Dutch lawmaker's film critical of Islam has been suspended by its host company after the firm received unspecified complaints about its content, the company disclosed Sunday.

"This site has been suspended while Network Solutions is investigating whether the site's content is in violation of the Network Solutions Acceptable Use Policy," the company said in a posting on the Web site set up to promote the film. "Network Solutions has received a number of complaints regarding this site that are under investigation."


The company did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.

Network Solutions' terms of service ban material "that is obscene, defamatory, libelous, unlawful, harassing, abusive, threatening, harmful, vulgar, constitutes an illegal threat, violates export control laws, hate propaganda, fraudulent material or fraudulent activity, invasive of privacy or publicity rights, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable material of any kind or nature."

Last month, Pakistan's government blocked the popular video-sharing Web site YouTube because of a "highly blasphemous" and "anti-Quranic" video featuring Wilders, according to a government news release. The video was reportedly a trailer for his movie....

That blurb was about Geert Wilders and his film Fitna. Network Solutions is an American company Wilders used to show the trailer for his up-coming film on the Internet.They shut him down due to "complaints." Maybe they don't think of themselves as similar to the Pakistani government. I see them as similar. I also await CNN's efforts to show Wilders' film on video through their network. In that case I am not holding my breath.

If we don't care about democracy and our Modernity, then there are many others around us who are happy to take it from uw, to destroy it and enslave us, literally and more or less permanently. End of your life as you've always lived it. Some work hard toward that end, some of our own, some of our good-intentions Left, our church goers, our politicians, our business people. Wilders stands up to all this. I'm going to stand with him, here in my isolated little place in Canada. I'm going to demonstrate in support of Wilders and his film. It's not a big splash, not like CNN doing the news, but I'll be in the open and I'll show my support for the good, which is something you'll likely never see from CNN and the others of that ilk. I hope you'll attend here and join me when the time and place are known. It's democracy, and I intend to exercise my right to it.

For further details, please turn to till I can catch up here with the general outline.


truepeers said...

I have no idea if Wilders is a nice guy or someone i would vote for.

None of that matters now. There is no way out of a conflict turning on much more fundamental concerns.

I've read the Koran. I don't see how one can argue it is not a deeply resentful book that endlessly targets the "unbeliever". Does that make it fascism? That would be an interesting debate, if we were allowed to have it.

I'm with you Dag, let's protest to defend Wilders' right to speak.
But I guess you're suggesting that how we do it really depends on how the Dutch government acts in the coming days...

But what this controversy really has me keen on doing is making my own Koran film, maybe from the perspective of Mohammed's Jewish slave.

And then we should have a Koran film film festival. I'd even encourage Michael Lucas to enter a flick.

When someone screams "you're not free", it's time to show you are.

Dag said...

I'm excited by all this, this being one time in our lives when we can stand up for a legitimate good and be proud of our efforts. No recourse to petty nihilistic cliches and pot-smoking indifference to Life itself. Today, and in these long years to come, we will decide our future. Our time is a crucible for the future, a time like so many others some lost, some won for the good. Ours is a blessing.