[W]ilders' hate-filled tirades and disrespectful statements have reverberated throughout the Netherlands for more than four years. His rhetoric is directed against the political establishment, leftist intellectuals and Eurocrats. But Wilders' chief criticism is reserved for Muslims at home and abroad. Even his opponents admire him for his determination.
They grudgingly admit that this man, with his wig-like, bleached-blonde hair, is currently setting the tone as the most rhetorically adept figure in the Dutch parliamentary business. Dutch journalists voted him politician of the year in 2007, and foreign reporters jostle for interviews with this supposedly unwavering man.
The 45-year-old Wilders' pushy behavior is exasperating to Dutch security officials and politicians alike. In the parliament, where he holds a seat with other members of his opposition group, the Partij voor de Vrijheid (PVV or Party for Freedom), he comes across as self-confident and defiant, dogmatic and unaffected. For months, various cabinet ministers, intelligence officials and police officers have urged him to abstain from his plan to release his film "Fitna" (Arabic for "strife") (more...), in which he hopes to settle scores (more...) with what he calls the "fascist Koran."
But the more he comes under public pressure, the calmer the man seems to become, as he lounges in his purple chair in the Dutch parliament, twisting his stout, angular face into a mischievous grimace. He behaves with the infallibility of a missionary convinced that he has been chosen to disseminate his dark visions. "Fitna is the last warning to the West. We can choose to pass freedom on to our children or allow our freedom to sink into a multicultural swamp," he says forebodingly.
Wilders is depriving himself of a personal life with his obsessive hatred of Islam. His bodyguards move him to a different location every night. He sees his wife once every week or two. In his windowless office in the Dutch parliament building in The Hague, the Binnenhof, he smiles derisively as he shows films depicting his image, underscored with the rattle of machine guns and the snarling voice of a hate-mongering imam calling for his death.
He derives obvious enjoyment from forcing his political foes into a dilemma. On the one hand, the elite in the Netherlands despise him for his demagogic manner, with which he indiscriminately associates all Muslims with terrorism. But banning his film? That would violate the unassailable value of freedom of expression. This conflict has led the Green Party's leader in the Dutch parliament to grudgingly support the notion that the government should pay the cost of security for the public performance of his film.
He is only too pleased to watch intellectuals -- the people he routinely castigates as do-gooders and cultural relativists -- squirm. Nevertheless, his poll ratings are climbing. If the country were to hold elections next Sunday, his PVV, which currently holds nine seats in the Second Chamber, or lower house of parliament, would likely double its standing. His tirades against Moroccan adolescents jostling through pedestrian zones strike a chord with ordinary Dutch voters.
But political scientists also pay tribute to him occasionally, as they did a year ago when he pertly asked two newly sworn-in state ministers which state they actually served. Was it the Dutch state, he wanted to know, or the Turkish or Moroccan state, of which they were also citizens?
In February 2006, he posted the controversial Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed on his website (more...). This prompted visits and warnings from the Dutch domestic intelligence agency. Wilders responded in his own way, announcing his plan to shoot his own film about the Koran. It was a coolly calculated provocation, a propagandist trap for both government politicians and radical Muslims. It prompted Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende to mobilize the police, intelligence agencies and even his colleagues within the European Union. Meanwhile, Islamists in Afghanistan and Pakistan were only too willing to set Dutch flags on fire, turning Wilders' prophecies into reality....
Der Spiegel: http://wildersnews.blogspot
According to the NRC the English version of the film was viewed by 200,000 visitors within an hour.
Islamic experts say the film can hardly be described as as insulting the Muslim faith, the paper says.
Geert Wilders publishes Fitna The Movie on LiveLeak.com
"The film is accurate. Will Muslims rage against the truth?"
Robert Spencer: http://www.jihadwatch.org
Liveleak seems down (after one and a half million viewers). Posted by: FransG at March 27, 2008 4:27 PM
Geert Wilder's anti-Koran film Fitna is within the boundaries of the law, Brahim Bourzik, spokesman for the national council of Moroccans, LBM, told news agency ANP on Thursday shortly after it was released on the internet.
All Dutch mosques will be open to the public on Friday, says ANP.
With nerves of steel, Michael van der Galien of PoliGazette writes:
Geert Wilders has put his movie "Fitna" online. You can watch it here at this blog, but before you can watch it I want to make something very clear. That we publish this movie at this site does not, in any way whatsoever, mean that we endorse Wilders' views. In fact, many of us - including myself - disagree very strongly with him. However, since Wilders and "Fitna" have been in the news for months, and since his film is part of a bigger debate about Islam and the integration of Muslims in Western European countries, we consider it justified to publish the film nonetheless.
Our intention is not to insult anyone.http://poligazette.com/2008/03
LiveLeak.com has a strict stance on remaining unbiased and allowing freedom of speech as so far as the law and our rules allow. There was no legal reason to refuse Geert Wilders the right to post his film (Fitna) on LiveLeak.com and it is not our place to censor people based on an emotive response. We in no way endorse Geert Wilders, his views, nor the views expressed within Fitna. To many of us involved in LiveLeak.com some of the messages therein are personally offensive. That being said, our being offended is no reason to deny Mr Wilders the right to have his film seen. Pre-emptive censorship or a discriminatory policy towards freedom of speech are both things we oppose here on LiveLeak.com. A person has a simple, clear choice about whether to view this film. No one is being forced to view it and nor is it being broadcasted on every channel on their television set. If you click on media simply to be annoyed, it is pointless to blame others for your choice.
We do not intend on defending the content of Fitna, only our choice to allow it. Anyone has the full right of reply on LiveLeak.com. Any person or organizations are free to post their opinion and, dependent on said response falling within both the law and our rules, we will afford such responses equal exposure. There are undoubtedly better ways to spark a discussion but this film is now out there and we believe we should all grasp this opportunity to create an open dialogue and discussion on this subject.