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Something caught my eye in the Reuters story Jason commented on:

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday condemned as “offensively anti-Islamic” a Dutch lawmaker’s film that accuses the Koran of inciting violence.

Interestingly, Ban’s condemnation of Dutch politician Geert Wilders’ film on fundamentalist Muslim violence as “offensively anti-Islamic”may tacitly admit Wilders’ point.

Imagine a Mississippi filmmaker were to produce a movie linking the violence of abortion bombers and the Bible verses they use to justify their actions. Being an extremely devout evangelical, I would hardly call that work anti-Christian. It would condemn those twisting Scripture for their own fatal machinations; and it would condemn those executing violence, a proportion of Christians so small as to make laughable any conflation of them or their ideas with the faith itself. A film such as this would be anti-abortion-bomber not anti-Christian.

But Ban didn’t say Wilders’ film attacks those taking the Qur’an out of context or that it condemns those tiny numbers of Muslims embracing v iolence. He didn’t say it was anti-violence as its hypothetical, Christian analog might be categorized. Instead he labeled it anti-Islamic, accidentally acknowledging that perhaps the only circumstance under which this film could be anti-Islamic is if it accurately portrays some sect whose size and interpretation of the Qur’an makes conflation with the whole anything but laughable.

This is precisely why both fundamentalist and moderate Muslims have denounced the film: They’ve been left no choice but to conclude, much like Secretary-General Ban, that Wilders’ attack on Islamists specifically is also an attack on broader Islam; and if that is their conclusion, then perhaps such an attack is not without reason.

In another manifestation of Islam’s peaceful nature, Muslims have threatened the website that hosted Geert Wilders’ Fitna, a movie linking fundamentalist Muslims to violence. Nothing says “we object to being called violent” quite like threatening to harm those who call you violent. And it would appear those threats have done their job. LiveLeak, in a video occupying Fitna’s former address, says it had to choose between freedom of speech and the safety of its employees. The internet organization pulled the film after fewer than forty-eight hours.

A statement on LiveLeak’s site says:

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 [sic] culture.


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

The Watchmen, however, will continue to push this film, and this author in particular would welcome the opportunity to face these faith-fueled fiends. In the spirit of freedom of speech, we repost here the youtube clips. In the post just above this one, you will also find instructions for legally downloading your own copy of Fitna. Wilders has released the film into the public, so downloading will not be a legal concern for anyone.

Resolutely,

Custos


Directly below are both parts of Geert Wilders’ long-anticipated, short film, Fitna which links Qur’anic passages to Wahabistic violence (original video here–be patient, they are getting a lot of traffic). The film has caused no shortage of controversy and buzz, culminating so far in a crisis meeting of Holland’s cabinet and the formation of a police cordon around the Dutch Parliament building. According to the Hollywood Reporter,

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said Thursday night that the Department of Justice will investigate whether Wilders has broken Dutch law with his attack on the Quran. Balkenende condemned the film as “out to hurt” the Dutch people.

Welcome, dear friends, to life in paradisaical, post-Kantian Europe, where politicians and the enlightened excoriate those documenting murderous fanatics’ religiously motivated atrocities. That such documentation should result in muzzling the masses both viscerally and intellectually offends our undeniable desire for liberty.

We have already seen moral equivalence arguments being used as defenses for Islamist actions. But many a documentary and history has been made concerning the Crusades and the Inquisition. Vatican inspired violence doesn’t pour into the streets to greet these publications, though the Church may express its dismay or disagreement over the subject’s treatment. But when Dutch Cartoonists published works of satire; Islamists lauded murder, burned buildings, and stormed embassies. And now we see another reactionary storm on the horizon as Geert Wilders, a member of Holland’s House of Representatives, releases a film publicizing Islamist racism and violence along with some Qur’anic verses (or ayats) extolling murder and death. Intrinsically dishonest as moral equivalence arguments are, situations such as this demonstrate their utter uselessness and the complete intellectual dishonesty of those who deploy them.

Also bearing mention is the fact that Network Solutions refused to host the film online. This is certainly acceptable given Network Solutions’ status as a private firm. What disgusts is the fact that Network Solutions, while refusing to host what is actually a documentary exploration of those who would just as soon kill NS’ CEO as change turbans, contentedly hosts vile pornography (articles here and here). Somehow in the world of Network Solutions, objectifying and degrading women equates to protected speech while exploring Wahabism’s link to the Qur’an may violate the company’s own “guidelines on hate language.” The world is truly turned on its head.


Quote of the Week

"To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it." -- Thomas Jefferson