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Tuesday 21 October  
anti-Islam controversy
Michel Hoebink's picture
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Hilversum, Netherlands
Hilversum, Netherlands

Anti-Islam film continues to make waves around the world

Published on : 20 September 2012 - 2:58pm | By Michel Hoebink ((C) ANP/ CHARLIE HEBDO)
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The speaker of the European parliament has strongly condemned the recent anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims. But he in his turn has been roundly criticised for giving in to extremists. The film continues to provoke fierce reactions in the Western as well as the Arab world.

“I condemn strongly not only the content but also the distribution of such a movie, which is humiliating the feelings of a lot of people all over the world,” said a press statement issued yesterday by Martin Schulz, the speaker of the European parliament, in reaction to the amateur video that has led to sometimes violent protests throughout the Islamic world.

Wrong side
Dutch Euro-parliamentarian Hans van Baalen is unimpressed: “Schulz should be standing up for the freedom of expression”, the centre-right MEP told a Dutch radio station.
“This denunciation puts him on the wrong side of the argument. He’d have been better off saying that while he personally might find it a bad film, it must be possible to make and distribute it”.

According to van Baalen, someone who is on the right side is the Moroccan-Dutch Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Abu Taleb. “He spoke out for freedom of expression and advised Muslims to ignore the film”. Van Baalen emphasised that Abu Taleb is himself a Muslim.

Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders was also quick to condemn Schulz’s statement. Via Twitter, Wilders called him a ‘coward’ who had ‘sentenced freedom of speech to death’.

Wilders ‘not wanted’
Meanwhile, Wilders himself has become the focus of heated discussion on the other side of the world. In Australia, the anti-Islam Q-Society is complaining that the government is trying to prevent a planned visit. The group has invited Wilders to give a series of lectures, but while visas were issued immediately to the people who would accompany him to Australia, the politician himself is still waiting, three weeks after applying. “We don´t want to see Geert Wilders in this country”, said one Australian politician. “This country has a great story when it comes to multiculturalism. It is something we should all be proud of. And here we have a man who is the antithesis of multiculturalism.” The minister responsible says a final decision has not yet been made but the government may be concerned that Wilders’ presence could stir up trouble in the current tense climate. A recent demonstration in Sydney against the anti-Islam film ended in riots.

‘Hateful’ film
In the US, a suit has been brought against Nakoula Bassily Nakoula the man believed to be the director of Innocence of Muslims. One of the actors in the video, Cindy Lee Garcia, told American website TMZ that Nakoula had duped her into a “hateful” film. She claims she had no idea the film would be about Islam and was led to believe it was a desert adventure movie. According to Garcia, the dialogue was changed during post-production to suggest she made insulting remarks about the prophet Mohammed. Garcia has now gone into hiding, saying she has received death threats since the film was released.

Provocative solidarity
France is also in an uproar after satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo it was the right moment to show solidarity with freedom of expression by publishing cartoons ridiculing Mohammed. The magazine’s Editor in Chief said the drawings “will shock those who want to be shocked.” Muslims both within and outside France have called on the French government to take action but Foreign Minister Manuel Valls argues that the French law guarantees freedom of expression. France is braced for protest and has closed its embassies, consulates and schools in Muslim countries as a precaution.

Discussion

user avatar
knirb 21 September 2012 - 4:43am

Speaking of hateful:
Qur'an 3:118 "O you who believe! Take not into your intimacy those outside your religion (pagans, Jews, and Christians). They will not fail to corrupt you. They only desire your ruin. Rank hatred has already appeared from their mouths. What their hearts conceal is far worse. When they are alone, they bite off the very tips of their fingers at you in their rage. Say unto them: 'Perish in your rage.'"

user avatar
Awesome Ted 21 September 2012 - 4:04pm

These old texts are all full of hate and murder. Would you demonize Christians for words written in the Bible?
It promotes killing gays:
"If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives." (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)
It suggests death for being a non-virgin bride:
"A priest's daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death. (Leviticus 21:9 NAB)
Death for blasphemy, death for heresy, for being a false prophet too. That crap goes on and on.

Sensible people know that these texts are not to be taken literally. Both the Christian and Muslim countries I've visited seem to have plenty of these people.
But you, knerd, seem to be quite full of the hate you pretend to despise. What's up? Girlfriend left you for a Muslim dude?

DJ (thats all I want to give for now) 2 February 2013 - 7:58pm

A simple Bible lesson here for you all. The Old Testament (covenant) is old, superseded; redundant etc. Read Hebrews 8:13 (In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old.
Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away).
The Old Covenant has been replaced by a new superior covenant that was clearly promised in the Old Covenant time (read Jeremiah 31:31-34). That is why Christians do not kill homosexuals (gays); adulterers today etc. etc. Christians are living under the new covenant under which they call for sinners to repent and leave any judgement required to God. Read John 8:3-11 (He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. Read the whole passage).

user avatar
knirb 22 September 2012 - 7:11am

Dear Awesome Terd.
(You make rebuttals so easy, like shooting floaters in a toilet. Did you know that catty barbs and insults often indicate a lack of wit?)
*
I would certainly demonize Christians who act upon those words. Unfortunately, your comparisons are as weak as your aspersions. It is hard to find Christians, even insensible literalists, who would carry out calls for death from the old testament, largely because there is such a strong call for non violence in the new testament.
This is not the case with the Koran. It repeatedly vilifies and recommends death to non Muslims and non conforming Muslims. These texts are considered to be current and valid. In no way does it indicate that Christians or any other groups are inherently better than Muslims, but it does explain why we see so much killing and overt prejudice in the name of Allah.
Muslims who do not participate in violence are demonized in their own holy book:
Qur'an 48:11 "The desert Arabs who lagged behind [in fighting] will say to you (Muhammad): 'We were engaged in (looking after) our flocks and our families.' We have prepared for them a Blazing Fire!"
Qur'an 48:17 "There is no blame for the blind, nor is it a sin for the lame, nor on one ill if he joins not in the fighting. But he who retreats, (Allah) will punish him with a painful doom."

user avatar
Awesome Ted 23 September 2012 - 12:44pm

Great at rebuttals are you? Still waiting to see one from you worth reading. Both texts are contain descriptions of punishments for non-believers and heretics. We already established that.
How about explaining why Muslims but not Christians should be vilified for the contents of deeply flawed texts. Or how Islam is a greater threat to Christianity than the reverse. And try to phrase it in such a way that makes you appear sensible, and non-racist. That would impress me.

user avatar
knirb 24 September 2012 - 3:05am

You don’t find my comments worth reading, yet you do, and even reply. Bit of a contradiction, isn’t it?

Anonymous 20 September 2012 - 11:00pm / Netherlands
Vera Gottlieb 20 September 2012 - 5:46pm

I am sick and tired of hearing this bullshit about 'freedom of expression'. Freedom to insult and ridicule another religion? Freedom has its limits too, otherwise we descend into anarchy.

Franklin Smith 9 January 2013 - 10:13am / United States of America

Just who should decide who has the right to speak what is on their mind. More people should ignore what they find "offensive", because everyone should have the right to speak their mind on any subject or issue.

It comes down to, everyone has a right to live their lives the way they see fit, so long as you living your life the way you see fit doesn't prevent other from living their life the way they see fit. Notice the word prevent, meaning physically restricting a person from exercising their rights.

If you want to be Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, Liberal, Conservative, Christian, Atheist, Islamic, Communist, Socialist, or anything else you could think to add that's great. I applaud your right to chose. But once someone like you says, "Freedom has limits", then it's time for someone like me to pickup the keyboard and call "bullshit". Just as you should have the freedom to say, "Freedom has its limits.", I should have the freedom to ignore your remark, or as I have so plainly done, I exercised my right to respond to your incredibly ignorant, socially corrupt ideal that you have the right to limit someone else from expressing themselves.

user avatar
knirb 21 September 2012 - 4:42am

Some limits on going on a killing rampage each time one feels insulted and ridiculed would be totally unreasonable, I suppose.

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