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Thursday, March 27, 2008


There are fears of a major, violent reaction to the release on the internet of the short film, below, by bouffant blond Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilders.

Nevertheless, it is always wrong to bow to threats of violence.

Therefore, with the aim of supporting freedom of speech, I am reproducing 'Fitna' below.

It's short, and it seeks to examine the influence of Quranic verses on contemporary Islamic terrorism.

In that way, it is simplistic. It is also provocative. But like Richard Dawkins, I believe that religions are not exempt from criticism, nor are religious faiths or teachings immune to critical appraisal.

This is what Wilders has sought to do. For that he can be commended, debated or condemned.

But it is wrong for anyone to be physically harmed or threatened because he has sought to do this, and I hope that does not arise.

I have loved every Arab nation I ever visited. I have spent contemplative time in many mosques. I have no less respect for Islam than any other religion, ie I have none for any of them.

I do feel that the grip of fundamentalist Islam on some people is the single worst aspect of Arab states, never mind places like Iran, Bangladesh, the 'stans.

Muslims need to accept, as increasingly Judaism and Christianity have done, that their religion is not impervious or immune to criticism.

If Muslims can respond to Geert Winders differently to how they responded to the Danish cartoonists and Salman Rushdie, by debating rather than destroying, that would be progress towards alleviating Western fears of Islam.

By their silence, their nonchalance, their refusal to be provoked by Winders, they can prove themselves better human beings.

I give you 'Fitna'.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

apparently they can't respond that way. To date Geert wilders has received over 600 death threats