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Friday, 28 March 2008

Wilders film: the backlash begins

The Dutch politician Geert Wilders's film Fitna was finally published yesterday – and today the backlash begins.*

Both Iran and Indonesia have condemned the film (it also gets honourable mention in this Philosopedia article), which intersperses footage of 9/11, 7/7, Madrid and other atrocities attributed to Muslim extremists – as well as images of beheading and stoning – with pages from the Koran, the Islamic holy book. It also shows how Islam condemns homosexuals and treats women.

"The film urges Muslims to tear out 'hate-filled' verses from the Koran," says this Reuters story, "and starts and finishes with a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad with a bomb under his turban, originally published in Danish newspapers, accompanied by the sound of ticking." The story continues:

The image ignited violent protests around the world and a boycott of Danish products in 2006. Many Muslims regard any depiction of the Prophet as offensive.

Iran called the film heinous, blasphemous and anti-Islamic and called on European governments to block any further showing.

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation and a former Dutch colony, also condemned the film.

The cartoon of the turban bomb (the so-called "turbomb") was one of several cartoons that appeared in the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten in 2005, and Muslims have created havoc over them ever since, leading to a number of deaths. Flags have been burned, buildings set on fire and Muslims have marched in city streets calling for the death of infidels, as well as the cartoonists.

The turbomb was the one that has been the most controversial. It is used at the beginning and end of Wilders's film, and now its author, Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, is threatening to sue Wilders, because he didn't seek his permission to use the image, and it's been taken out of context.

* The link above now takes you to a part of the LiveLeak site that explains that the film has been taken down. You can see the film by going to our later story, "
Religious threats lead to self-censorship as Wilders film is dropped".

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