2,000-3,000 out to protest against Geert Wilders’s Qur’an film, which no one has yet seen, in the Netherlands.
“Dutch protest against Islam critic’s Koran film: Officials fear movie could spark violence in Muslim countries,” from AP (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
AMSTERDAM – Thousands of demonstrators crowded Amsterdam’s central square Saturday, braving wind and sleet to show their opposition to anti-immigration lawmaker Geert Wilders.
The protest, called “Netherlands Shows Its Colors,” is primarily a reaction in advance to the short film Wilders said he will release later this month criticizing the Koran as a “fascist” book.
One protester carried a sign saying “standing together against the right wing populist witch-hunt.”
“I’m very much against Geert Wilders and racism in general, but I think it’s really important to show not only Holland but the rest of the world that there’s a lot of people who do not agree with his ideas,” Elisa Trepp said.
Wilders, who said he is not racist, heads a reactionary party with nine seats in the 150-member Dutch parliament, elected on an anti-immigration platform.
Gee, do you think AP believes that Wilders is not racist, with his “reactionary” party and its anti-immigration platform?
In any case, AP fails to explain why criticizing a book that is believed in by people of all races is a “racist” endeavor. From the evidence of his public statements so far, Wilders is focusing on the ideology of the Islamic jihadists and pointing out that it is derived from the Qur’an. This is an issue that has been clouded by questions of race, such that many Europeans and Americans cannot see past the fact that this ideology is held by many people of one race and those who do not hold it in Europe and America are of another.
But do you think that Geert Wilders would have no problem with the violent and supremacist aspects of the Qur’an if the only people who believed in it were blonde and blue-eyed?
While the exact contents of his 15-minute movie, due to be released by March 31, remain unknown, Wilders has said it will underscore his view that Islam’s holy book is fascist.
Dutch officials fear the movie could spark violent protests in Muslim countries, similar to those two years ago after the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper.
But no prominent politicians were among the 2,000-3,000 people who police estimated turned up for the demonstration, to the frustration of some attendees.
“The government could really do something. That’s in the interest of the country “” stop him, just stop him,” said Hassan Iaeti, who traveled hours from the far south of the country to attend.
Someone should explain to Hassan Iaeti that while it may be in the short-term interests of the country to stop Wilders, in the long term the shielding of one group and one ideology from criticism will establish it as a protected class in the Netherlands at precisely the time when that country is vulnerable, as are many other countries, to violence perpetrated by those who hold to that ideology, and to non-violent actions also perpetrated for the advancement of the same supremacist agenda held by those committing violence. Thus the one group that needs to be scrutinized the most, as a matter of national survival, will be shielded from that scrutiny. The only winners will be the Islamic jihadists.
And that’s quite apart from the question of whether free Dutch society can survive the limiting of free inquiry that Hassan Iaeti would like to see.
He said he believed Wilders is abusing the right of freedom of speech, which he said has limits.
“You can criticize Muslims themselves, but not their religion and not our prophet “” that’s our belief.”
But what about when Muslims themselves point to their religion and prophet in order to justify violence and supremacism? Does it then become off-limits for non-believers to resist that violence and supremacism, because to do so would be to speak against the Muslim religion and prophet?
Echoes of van Gogh
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has said that while he rejects Wilders’ views, he supports his freedom of speech “” but warns him the film may put Dutch national interests at risk. Protesters in Afghanistan burnt Wilders in effigy on Friday and demanded Dutch troops withdraw from the NATO mission there.
In November 2004, a Muslim radical killed Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh for perceived insults to Islam. Wilders, under constant police protection, said it is his duty to speak out against what he sees as a threat to Dutch culture posed by Islam.
Dutch anti-terrorism authorities have said the risk of an attack are “substantial” and requested all national politicians inform them of their upcoming travel plans due to security concerns.
A Dutch court will hear a complaint lodged by Muslim groups seeking to bar Wilders from releasing the film and punish him for earlier anti-Islam remarks under hate crime laws.
The case filed by the Dutch Islamic Federation will be heard March 28, but there is no legal barrier preventing Wilders from releasing his film before then….