Throwing a fit over “Fitna”

The European movie Fitna is currently unavailable anywhere. American bloggers are having fits because they can’t see it in order to determine whether it is offensive or not. According to the April 1, 2008 (!) Jordan Times:

The 15-minute film entitled “Fitna”, an Arabic word for sedition or disturbance, portrays Islam as a threat to the Western world. It shows images of violent acts and holds Islam and the Koran responsible for them.

Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende released a statement on behalf of the Dutch government on the day the odious film was posted on the Internet.

The Dutch government banned the movie from being displayed on cinema screens.

“The film equates Islam with violence. We reject this interpretation. The vast majority of Muslims reject extremism and violence. In fact, the victims are often also Muslims,” the statement reads.

“We, therefore, regret that Mr Wilders has released this film. We believe it serves no purpose other than to cause offence. But feeling offended must never be used as an excuse for aggression and threats. The government is heartened by the initial restrained reactions of Dutch Muslim organisations,” Balkenende said.

Judeh said that the government valued the Dutch government’s condemnation of the film.

Geert Wilders, the far-right Dutch MP who produced the film, heads the Freedom Party that has nine seats in the Dutch parliament.

The Dutch government, however, remains on alert for delayed responses to Wilders’ film.

“Sometimes it can take months before the true repercussions are felt,” AFP reported Balkenende as saying.

Meanwhile, Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen sought to dampen anger through diplomacy and met with 26 ambassadors from the member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, including Jordan’s envoy.

After the meeting, Verhagen issued a statement saying: “I am happy with the moderate reactions we have been getting from the Muslim world.” He added, “the rhetoric in some countries shows that we must be alert.”

Alert? Anger? Agression? Threats? Repercussions?

Well, all I can say is it’s a good thing all these diplomats aren’t “portraying Islam as a threat to the Western world.”

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