I’m listening to PM, Radio 4’s drive-time news programme, as I write this, becoming more irate by the second.
They’re discussing the Wilders scandal. Geert Wilders has been banned by our joke of a Home Secretary after a peer, Lord Ahmed of Rotherham, moaned – as Muslims do – because this right-wing Dutch politician and filmmaker wanted to show his film Fitna to peers in the House of Lords.
The film was screened this afternoon, but Wilders was barred from the UK, and, when he tried to enter the country anyway, was stopped at Heathrow Airport. Thus, he was unable to present the film himself and answer questions.
Ahmed is speaking as I write. He’s full of non sequitur in some attempt of a defence of his Islamofascist view that Islam ought not to be criticised. He’s hiding behind security concerns when he knows damned well that it’s his fellow religionists who are the bigger threat to security, not a few peers and a politician from Holland. He also knows full well that the shit he’s stirred up will do far more harm to the Muslim cause than just letting things take their course.
It’s sickening. But the silver lining in this particular cloud is that Fitna – which Ahmed conveniently reminded listeners was available on the Internet – will now get more viewers than it might have done without this publicity.
That, however, does not let our politicians off the hook. Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, was praised by the Foreign Secretary, an equally politically correct appeasing nutcase, David Miliband, who claimed Wilders was breaking the law because there are laws against religious hatred and Fitna stirred up hatred.
Anything has the potential to stir up hatred. Muslim bleating has the potential to stir up the hatred of otherwise rather nice people who pat dogs and help old ladies across the road, who give to charity, say good morning to their neighbours and keep cats.
In the Wilders case, it’s not the film but the Koran that is more likely to stir up hatred. It’s a hate manual, much like parts of the Old Testament. Now, thanks to the moans of whingeing Muslims, it’s more likely to do just that.
Fitna uses startling imagery – the 9/11 attacks, a beheading, Muslims shouting hatred, the aftermath of suicide bombings, that sort of thing – to make a point. It does this by juxtaposing these images with appropriate passages in the Koran. That’s what artistic expression is about.
Whether you find Fitna a work of cinematic art is another matter. However, it makes its case in this way because that is what it is: a film, using images to put forward an argument.
Intelligent people viewing it will make up their own minds as to how effectively it does this. They’re not going to go out into the street and kill the nearest Muslim, because this is not – as Miliband fatuously claimed – like someone shouting fire in a crowded theatre when there isn’t a puff of smoke in sight.
Were Wilders addressing a meeting and stirring people to action with hateful speech – inciting violence, in other words – that would be a different matter. But people viewing a film on the Internet, as most people have done with Fitna, have done it at home or at work on their computer screens, and are hardly likely to arm themselves with torches and pitchforks and go on the rampage.
As well as the link above, see the rest of our most recent coverage here, here, here and here.
And, once again, we give you a one-click viewing of the film below.