Dutch Movie Provokes Fury from Muslims

April 01, 2008 04:56 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Some Muslims have reacted angrily to “Fitna,” a short film by Dutch filmmaker and politician Geert Wilders that argues that the Quran promotes violence. 

30-Second Summary

The video-sharing site LiveLeak posted “Fitna” on Thursday. It withdrew the documentary by the following day in response to death threats, but not before the film was viewed over three million times. The footage also migrated to YouTube and Google Video.

The 17-minute film pairs extracts from the Quran with images of terrorist attacks, including those at the World Trade Center and the Madrid bombings.

Muslims around the world have expressed outrage. In Indonesia, protesters gathered by the Dutch Embassy, hurled eggs and water bottles into the compound, and shouted that Wilders should die. Malaysia's conservative Islamic party called on Muslims to boycott Dutch products.

Even the Dutch government urged Wilders not to release the documentary. The Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said, "The film equates Islam with violence. We reject that interpretation.”

Wilders is no stranger to controversy. The MP has claimed that Islam cannot be a “moderate” religion, and he has garnered praise as well as ire for his incendiary comments.

However, reactions to his film pale in comparison with the violent demonstrations following the September 2005 publication in Danish newspapers of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. More than 50 people were killed worldwide in protests that began in early 2006. 

On Sunday, Germany also prompted criticism from some Muslims with the premiere of a theatrical adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s novel “The Satanic Verses” in Potsdam. When “The Satanic Verses” was published in 1988, Ayatollah Khomeini called for the author’s death, forcing Rushdie into a decade-long exile.

Headline Links: Muslims react to ‘Fitna’ and ‘The Satanic Verses’

Background: Wilders, LiveLeak and the Danish cartoons

Geert Wilders and LiveLeak
The Danish cartoons

Opinion & Analysis: Displaying the film

In defense of ‘Fitna’
In opposition to ‘Fitna’

Related Link: Danish cartoonist calls film copyright infringement


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