I watched this earlier today. (There is nothing in this short film that I have not seen, read or heard about before. It also mirrors the recruitment videos put out by Al-Qaeda or whoever, showing the exact same images by way of whipping up religious zealotry and violence. Actually, it is quite a bomb, in the Hollywood meaning of the word. The real story is about the reactions to it...)
And I watched this just now.
The New Centrist alerted me to the fact that the Fitna movie was removed.
Here are some reactions I collected on the Internet:
Wilders has a warped idea of Muslim ideology. His film contains only preachers and perpetrators of violence in the name of Islam, acts of violence and the victims of violence. It deals selectively with the Koran. It's very slick and very scarey. It challenges us to "defeat" the "Islamic ideology" as Nazism was defeated. It turns Islam into an uncontested, homogenous monolith of jihad. There are no moderate Muslims in this film because they don't suit its purposes (Engage)
Geert Wilders' film is out (in case you didn't know by now). ... "Subtle" is not the word that comes to mind.
Update: The New York Times says the film "...matches graphic images of terrorist attacks and death threats against Jews..." Talk about not getting it.
Richard Landes called me to alert me to the fact that LiveLeak had pulled the video citing threats. That tells you much. Play the video above to see LiveLeak's statement -- they cite "ill informed reports from certain corners of the British media" among other things. Earlier, Richard had commented that through some eyes, the video could actually be seen as an effective Jihadi recruiting video. (Solomonia)
In a review, a film critic for the Dutch paper NRC Handesblad says the message of Geert Wilders' film is straightforward: the Koran calls for violence and Muslims are receptive to that call. The style of rhetoric recalls "An Inconvenient Truth" and "Harry Potter: Witchcraft Repackaged."
People who make films to prove a point -- that president Bush is an idiot, that the world is on the verge of an environmental disaster or that the Koran is a fascist book -- are not so much concerned with aesthetics as with making a convincing argument. The maker is part of a long tradition in films -- from agit-prop to advertising. But in a tradition that runs roughly from Sergei Eisenstein to Michael Moore, where should we place débutante Geert Wilders? (Spiegel on line)
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said Friday that she joins in the condemnation, as expressed by the Secretary-General and the three UN Special Rapporteurs, of the tone and content of the film 'Fitna' by Dutch Geert Wilders.Arbour urged all those who understandably feel profoundly offended by its provocative message to restrict themselves to denouncing its hateful content by peaceful means. (Kuwait News Agency)
"Fitna" is a let down, writes Tobias Kaufmann about the video by Dutch provocateur and anti-Islamic filmmaker Geert Wilders. "'Fitna' was at its most effective as long as no one had seen it. As long as it had people quarrelling about a theoretical provocation, as long as debate centred simply around the possibility that an anti-Koran film could be released in the Netherlands, as long as people played out danger scenarios and evoked looming threats, Wilders' film was a wonderful example of the frenzy in which the threat of Islam has plunged even the most contemplative of countries like the Netherlands. And as long as that was the case, it was useful. Wilders could have taken this to extremes. Instead of putting the film online, he could have called a press conference and said: 'All I did was edit together a few clips from the Internet that I didn't show to anyone, and look how you've all wet your pants in fear.'" ( Kölner Stadtanzeiger )
Verily, our religion will stay the same till the Day of Judgment. We are happy that there are people like you to expose themselves to the wrath of Allah. We are also happy because it makes us comfortable knowing that there are true enemies of Islaam as Allah has mentioned in the Qur’aan.
We are not interested in condemning this or condemning that, but we are interested in letting you know that Islaam will dominate all of Europe, including your hometown, and the Jizyah will be established upon your Country, leaving all of the disbelievers in humiliation until they come to Islaam. Let us remind that there are thousands of Muslims living near you; so always expect the unexpected. (Letter to Geert, here)