Hanging's Too Good for This OneThat's a rather familiar line from America's westerns of a few decades back. My preference that Geert Wilders not be killed isn't based on any sympathy I have for him, or his views. I value human life. And, in this case, I see no reason why Geert Wilders life should be any more pleasant than necessary.
The producer of Fitna, that rabidly anti-Islamic film, will face charges "for inciting religious hatred in speeches and a film he made about Islam last year," if the plans of Amsterdam's prosecutor go through.
I'm not holding my breath: Dutch authorities have decided not to prosecute Geert Wilders before, and may do so again.
Just the same, I think that a good drag through court might, possibly, do the fellow some good. Or not. He does seem to have sunk rather deep into hatred.
Death Threats and Geert WildersDutch authorities have, it seems, been taking a little extra care to make sure that their Geert Wilders stays alive. There have been cautious reports of death threats against him in the news from time to time, and Theo Van Gogh's murder gave weight to the idea that when people of a particular persuasion say 'death to...', their threat should be taken seriously.
Fitna Protests a High Point for Global IslamWith exceptions, Muslims around the world listened to Al Arabiya News Channel and other voices which urged restraint and good sense.
Malay Muslims, for example, called for a boycott of Dutch products. Whether or not one approves of boycotts, I think its arguable that boycotting is a more civil way of expressing disapproval, than cutting of somebody's head.
Fitna: A Truly Bad MovieLast year, researching Fitna, I tried to find someone with a good word to say about the movie (aside from Wilders, his followers, and those who voted for him).
I did, finally, find one reviewer who liked a few seconds of the film: a visual trick in the ending credits. Aside from that, though, I got the impression that dedicated patrons of cinema might have been willing to charge Geert Wilders with making a painfully bad movie.
In short, Fitna was a bomb.
- "'By Jove, I Think They've Got it!' Muslims Urged to Boycott, not Bomb: The Fitna Follies Continue "
(March 30, 2008)
- "Fitna Gone Again: Someone had a Chat With the Host"
(March 29, 2008)
- "Freedom of Speech: It's Protected in America"
(March 27, 2008)
- "Fitna Fizzles: Online Today, No Fires"
(March 27, 2008)
- "Muslims and "Fitna" - an Appeal from Al Arabiya News Channel"
(March 24, 2008)
- "Freedom of Speech for "Fitna" and Hezbollah, and a Prediction"
(March 23, 2008)
- About that prediction? I was wrong, and very pleased that I was.
- "Dutch politician faces charges over anti-Islam film"
CNN (January 21, 2009)
- "Islam film Dutch MP to be charged"
BBC (January 21, 2009)
- "Dutch critic of Islam launches anti-Koran film"
Reuters (March 27, 2008)
- "Afghans chant death to Danish, Dutch in protest"
Reuters (Mar 21, 2008)
- "Danish Police Say Muhammad-Cartoons Death Plot Foiled (Update2) "
Bloomberg (February 12, 2008)