Fitna, a 2008 short political film by Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilder

Fitna is a 2008 short political film by Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders with his view on the religion of the Islam. Approximately 17 minutes in length, the movie shows selected excerpts from Suras of the Qur’an, interspersed with media clips and newspaper cuttings showing or describing acts of violence and/or hatred by Muslims. The Arabic title-word “fitna” means “disagreement and division among people” or a “test of faith in times of trial”. Wilders, a prominent critic of Islam, described the film as “a call to shake off the creeping tyranny of Islamization”.

Wikipedia has the following information.

In January 2009 the Amsterdam appeals court ordered prosecutors to try him for “inciting hatred and discrimination, based on comments by him in various media on Muslims and their beliefs”. “In a democratic system, hate speech is considered so serious that it is in the general interest to… draw a clear line,” the court in Amsterdam said. Mr Wilders said the judgement was an “attack on the freedom of expression”. Prosecutors said that they could not appeal against the judgement and would open an investigation immediately.

Jordan is preparing a criminal case against Wilders, noting that it might be considerable time before an indictment is issued. Meanwhile, the groups making the complaint (The Messenger of Allah Unites Us) have urged the boycotting of Dutch products, and blame The Hague for not indicting Wilders themselves for inciting hatred of Islam. Less than a month later, the chief prosecutors in Amsterdam issued statements to the effect that Wilders will not be indicted on incitement to hatred charges within the Netherlands. Chief prosecutor Leo De Wit further noted that the content was “offensive to Muslims, but that they had to be taken in the context of the political debate around Islam in the Netherlands”. De Wit concluded, “we find Wilders’ remarks were limited to Islam as a religious movement”. Dutch foreign affairs minister Maxime Verhagen has ordered an analysis of the risks faced by the MP, noting the possibility that Wilders, while abroad, could be arrested and deported to Jordan at the latter’s request.

On 12 February 2009, Wilders was denied entry to the United Kingdom after being invited by the Lord Pearson of the United Kingdom Independence Party to show his film in the House of Lords. He has declared this ‘a sad day for the United Kingdom’ and accused the UK Government of cowardice. Wilders appealed the ban, and on 13 October 2009 it was overturned by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal. The UK Home Office has stated its intention not to appeal the tribunal decision; and Wilders’ planned visit to the UK went ahead, with his arriving in the country on 16 October 2009. Wilders described the decision to overturn the ban as a “victory for freedom of speech”.

Some have asked why political and cultural liberals in the West have not been outraged by the hard side of Islam. Perhaps they are blinded by their “anything but Christianity (or Roman Catholicism)” mindset. Or perhaps there is an anti-Americanism mindset also at work, and at this level Islam is a co-belligerent.

I am increasingly of the view that the clash of Western civilization with Islamicized cultures will the story of our children and grandchildren. While on a personal level Christians will evangelize through humble love and service, at the macro scales of cultural formation, there is a conflict into which all people of good will are called to engage. At the heart of the Christian story is the quiet and humble description of a God who creeps down the backstairs of history with a baby in his arms and lays him in straw poverty in a manger. This story yet wins hearts today but the its imaginative power and appeal to the truth that love is the greatest power in the world.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s