Sunday 30 March 2008

Fitna - The irresponsible movie

Hyped beyond significance

Many would have read about some impending film to be released by some Dutch politician that has created more commentary than a serious blockbuster movie that addresses serious issues of the day.

Geert Wilders is by the standards of Dutch politicians a poorly educated rabble-rousing populist whose political ascendancy has served to stoke the embers of discord, reaching to out to remove the rivets of societal cohesion that binds our quality of life to the kinds of objective purpose that allows us to persuade different cultures of our way of life.

Fitna, the movie

I decided to watch Fitna, the “movie”, not so much out of curiosity but for the purposes of highlighting the flawed nature of trying to create a social debate by intemperate and provocative material.

The caricatures of Islam in the film are unnecessary and the montage of trying to push an agenda against Islam by the narrow but emotive pictures of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Madrid and London bombings just appeals to the baser instincts of a more civilised humanity.

Mr. Wilders lack of academic mien shows and it follows the common saying that implies copying from one source is plagiarism but that from many sources is research – this is a collage of tired images glued together without intelligent purpose. He is being sued for breach of copyright for the use of one of the Mohammedan cartoons.

Violence in both books

The Surahs that he selected from the Qu’ran for the film could with adequate theological study have similar verses produced from the Bible or some other religious book – all religions have a temperance element and a fundamental element. I cannot remember the number of Psalms that wanted to strike terror to the heart of my enemies. Fitna analysis.

Anyone who concentrates on just the Old Testament and the book of Revelation could come away thinking that the Bible was quite a bloody book, and that is just in the search for balance in any argument.

To suggest that the Qu’ran is very much like Hilter’s Mein Kampf is a bit rich considering Hitler was using the flawed Christian ideology of holding the Jews accountable for the death of Christ.

Both the Bible and the Qu'ran predate Hitler's tome by well over a millennium and it is unlikely that Hitler was reading the Qu'ran when he was narrating his struggle - legend has it that he thought he had the spear (Spear of Destiny) that pierced the side of Jesus on the cross and hence his obsession with world domination.

The abuse of expression

Beyond this, we have all this talk about the freedom of expression which is fine but no one seems to touch on the responsibility that evolves from being able to express yourself freely without causing offence.

For the kind of rhetoric Geert Wilders spews out, we the taxpayers of the Netherlands have to pay dearly for his security and that in my mind is just as bad as the uncontrolled welfare regime we dole out to the immigrants he is so much against.

If Mr. Wilders had to foot the cost of his irresponsible use of the freedom of expression just as the immigrants should be persuaded to take on a better work ethic, we probably would have a better place for vigorous debate.

Irresponsible to the extreme

This "seminal" work of Mr. Wilders unnecessarily endangers Dutch activities all around the world where people are a lot more emotive about their religious affiliations than the contemporary Dutch are.

This is not about having the balls to talk about issues others are afraid to talk about, it is simply reckless behaviour that takes no account of consequence – many audiences however have been brought low into this diatribe, excited by provocation as they find themselves running into the last refuge of the scoundrel – Patriotism.

We all need to talk

Do not get me wrong – there is a debate to be had, a serious rubbing of minds of intellectuals within our society to address the concerns about the growth of Islam and Islamic cultural views within Western societies that are fast losing their religious heritage for liberal agnostic secularism.

I do not think you can raise a standard of secularism against the force of the passion for religion – either Christianity or Islam – that is the battle that the West is appearing to lose because if there were a stronger religious adherence amongst us, it would be difficult to be labelled as outright infidels.

Muslims and conservative Christians have coalesced on “hot-button” social and religious issues in the United States, so, it is not a case of these people not being able to co-exist.

Bad news for all

The case of Fitna which Mr. Wilders wrote and co-directed with the Scarlett Pimpernell which I think is no doubt an attempt at humour, does not carry the debate forward – the best you can get out of this is a shouting match of extremists and riots in religious hotspots along with a boycott of Dutch products just because one Dutch member of parliament has a big mouth.

It is interesting that only those organisations that align with tugging at the base instincts of humanity have offered to air this tripe – we seek a better and more cohesive Dutch society, Mr. Wilders is definitely not the man to take us there – not by any stretch of the imagination – our leaders in the centre need to speak up for our values better and seize back the agenda and initiative from these trouble makers.

Frankly, I am not impressed, not one bit at all.

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