Thursday, 6 May 2010

Fitna

Fitna Fitna
Fitna, a short film made by Geert Wilders last year, was screened on 5th March at the House of Lords in London. (It has also been shown in Jerusalem, on 14th December 2008; and in Rome, on 13th February 2009.) Wilders had previously attempted to screen it on Dutch television, without success. There have been demonstrations against the film in Islamic countries.

Fitna begins as an attack on the Koran. Passages from the book, which seem to incite violence, are followed by images of Islamic terrorism. Wilders presents Islam as a violent, intolerant religion; what he does not acknowledge, of course, is that there are some equally blood-thirsty passages in the Bible. Kurt Westergaard's Mohammed cartoon (reprinted in February) was originally featured as Fitna's first image, though it was later replaced by a new caricature of Mohammed carrying a bomb.

The second half of the film, however, degenerates into a racist anti-immigration polemic. Wilders directly condemns the rising Muslim population in Europe in general and Holland in particular, and is clearly resentful of the influences immigrant Muslims have in Dutch society. Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has criticised the film, saying that "it serves no purpose other than to cause offence".

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