I recently saw Fitna, the highly debated and criticized film by Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, and it made me sick. There is no constructive argument whatsoever, just one message: Islam = Evil. It’s a dangerous 15 minute insult to both religious freedom and freedom of speech. Quoting Geert Wilders “I don’t oppose Muslims just Islam ideology”, what the f*ck??!! Maybe on of his great, charismatic one-liners that make him the politician he is, but this is even beyond stupid for him and that is saying something.
The Qur’an is no more evil than the bible is, or any other holy book. They all have things in them that should be interpreted in a historical context, and they have old traditions in them that should be discarded or changed. That’s just that, traditions change, which is a process that happens all the time often unnoticed by most. And discriminating traditions should change, words in the Qur’an and the bible shouldn’t be taken seriously. I mean I can find a fair amount of sexist and violence inciting quotes from the bible that are very similar, but hey… historical context! Interpret the text, don’t rip sentences out there to re-brand to serve your own ideas. Those books aren’t written for that.
I oppose religious extremism and violence, as I oppose any form of violence. But to equate and ideology with violence? or to start lecturing Muslims on having the tear pages from the Qur’an while the bible still stands intact? After insulting them? Wilders is crossing a line here, one of common sense among others.
He did do cause something that I thought would never happen, it made me agree with Jan Peter Balkenende, current Prime Minister of the Netherlands (unfortunately…). I never hide my dislike of him and his damn moralistic politics but his comments on Fitna: “The film equates Islam with violence. We reject this interpretation. The vast majority of Muslims reject extremism and violence. In fact, the victims are often also Muslims… …We therefore regret that Mr. Wilders has released this film. We believe it serves no purpose other than to cause offence.” mark the first time that I will admit agreeing with him.
From my point of view Geert Wilders poses a much bigger threat to the Netherlands than the Qur’an ever will. Rant over.