The fear card

If I told you large groups of fundamentalists were threatening to commit acts of terror over the release of a simple movie criticizing Islam and the Qur’an, I’m sure none of you would be surprised. We take this kind of ridiculousness for granted now. You can’t release a cartoon, a book, or a documentary without fear of reprisal, and now, rather than only make threats at the authors of such works (which was already outrageous enough as it is), now an entire country is somehow responsible for the work of one of its citizens.

Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician, recently made a movie critical of the Qur’an. The hoopla that’s followed was no surprise; however, the reaction of his own government is beginning to showcase a dangerous and frightening precedence. His own Prime Minister has tried to delay the release of the film, and the Ministry of Justice attempted to find ways of killing the project all together, to no avail. The government claims this is to protect the lives of its troops in Afghanistan, there on a peace mission.

It sounds almost reasonable, doesn’t it? Maybe they should censor this movie to prevent innocent lives from being lost. Maybe they should succumb to the intense political pressure coming from Iran, who threatened to review their diplomatic stance with the Netherlands, right?

No. Although I’m not in a habit of writing this sort of tirade, I have no choice but to use strong language in my response to quantify my anger and disappointment at the Dutch government for succumbing to this pressure. Fuck you. Honestly, if we allow ourselves to be bullied by fear, what else are we willing to sacrifice? Do any of you think defending your principles would be easy? Does anyone think there isn’t a war of ideology being instigated by fundamentalists? Who looks like they might be winning? Terrorists are willing to die for their convictions, however convoluted and stupid they are; and yet when faced with the same choice, we run in fear, and submit to their demands. It makes us look weak and scared. It makes the enemies of reason emboldened in their efforts to suppress our beliefs and our rights. It makes their terrorism work on us.

Comments (13)

  • avatar

    Jordan

    Thank God the terrorist are winning…wait…what?!

    I guess that logic really doesn’t work.

  • avatar

    Accomando

    “…His own Prime Minister has tried to delay the release of the film…”

    It was supposed to be released on March 1st, they have succesfully delayed it.

    I am actually speculating at this point that Wilders might be bullshittin’ this whole thing, just to show everyone how stupid they look trying to stop a film that was never even created.

    If not, if Wilders did really make the movie, well, you can’t see it on the American web anyway.

    The U.S. hosting server has already suspended the website where the film cannot even be seen yet! It just has a “coming soon page”, but its already been suspended….

    http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2008/03/24/3342595.htm

  • avatar

    C.S

    It always amazes me how harshly some fundamentalists rally against any sort of criticism of their religion, because it seems to showcase a lack of confidence in their particular belief system. If it is the “true” religion, then logically it would be able to stand up to any level of investigation and criticism.

    I don’t agree with the Dutch government’s position on this subject at all, but I can’t say it’s all that hard to understand when they’ve got people like Mohammed Bouyeri walking the streeets.

  • avatar

    Norm

    Let’s not forget the psychological terrorism at home. Try raising the issue of tax exemptions for churches. These organizations and edifices are being subsidized by taxpayers.

    Yes, it takes guts for politicians to put their personal safety on the line, but they don’t have the guts to stand up to the churches at home. There has got to be something unconstitutional about it.

    I don’t often say this, but I wish I was a lawyer.

  • avatar

    Swedish guy

    And the Netherlands used to be the bastion of freedom over here in Europe. Freedom of religion, freedom of speech… the lot. Things has changed since Theo van Gogh was shot.

  • avatar

    Accomando

    “…Theo van Gogh was shot…”

    That really doesn’t describe the actual situation of what happened at all, much, much more brutal of a murder…..

    “…He shot him eight times with an HS 2000 handgun, and Van Gogh died on the spot. Bouyeri then cut Van Gogh’s throat, nearly decapitating him, and stabbed him in the chest. Two knives were left implanted in his torso, one attaching a five-page note to his body. The note threatened Western governments, Jews and Ayaan Hirsi Ali (who went into hiding). The note also contained references to the ideologies of the Egyptian organization Takfir wal-Hijra.

    The killer, Mohammed Bouyeri, a 26-year-old Dutch citizen, was apprehended by the police after being shot in the leg. Although born in Amsterdam, well-educated and apparently well-integrated…”

    See the last part, “well educated” and “well-integrated”, that’s what is really, really scary.

  • avatar

    Accomando

    No longer up at livelink here is their statement……..

    “Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some ill informed reports from certain corners of the British media that could directly lead to the harm of some of our staff, Liveleak.com has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers.

    This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else. We would like to thank the thousands of people, from all backgrounds and religions, who gave us their support. They realised LiveLeak.com is a vehicle for many opinions and not just for the support of one.

    Perhaps there is still hope that this situation may produce a discussion that could benefit and educate all of us as to how we can accept one anothers culture.

    We stood for what we believe in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high.”

  • avatar

    Accomando

    It’s back up at livelink, here is their statement……….

    On the 28th of March LiveLeak.com was left with no other choice but to remove the film fitna from our servers following serious threats to our staff and their families. Since that time we have worked constantly on upgrading all security measures thus offering better protection for our staff and families. With these measures in place we have decided to once more make this video live on our site. We will not be pressured into censoring material which is legal and within our rules. We apologise for the removal and the delay in getting it back, but when you run a website you don’t consider that some people would be insecure enough to threaten our lives simply because they do not like the content of a video we neither produced nor endorsed but merely hosted

  • avatar

    joe Botelho

    to paraphrase kevin smith, “you tell em, jacob fortin!”
    Damn extremists, why the fuck is everyone especially governments afraid of laying a smack down on religous groups like this? these backward ass mutha fuckas cant handle there scared cow critized without spilling blood. we treat them as equal when these groups are just a bunch of savages. Be them muslims or 700 club they not only threaten but act upon there threats and we(all of us) cower our heads in fear. we have to stand up and fight for free thought and free will. Are you with me?

  • avatar

    joe botelho

    i guess no ones with me. sniff sniff.

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