Friday, February 29, 2008

The International Film Festival for Children in Cairo boycotts this Dutch children's movie. The reason? A movie ( the word 'video clip' will probably be more appropriate, it is supposed to be 10-15 minutes long ) that until this day has not been more than a mere rumour. For months now Dutch rightwing and anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders has been announcing that he plans to bring out a movie that will "expose the fascist character of Islam". The movie already has a title ( Fitna ) but nobody knows who is making it, what exactly it will be about, or what kind of images it will use. One thing is for certain, if the movie is released it probably will not be very Islam-friendly, given Mr Wilders' political record. Most Dutch Muslims are relatively relaxed with all this, which might be a sign of them becoming more Dutch than the Dutch themselves. The only ones who for some reason take the movie very seriously are foreign Muslim fanatics and the Dutch government and authorities. The latter have been in a panic ever since Wilders started talking about his plans to conquer 'Holy'-wood. They have tried to convince him not to release the film, they already asked imams and other Muslim community leaders to keep the peace and quiet, and they have drawn up emergency plans for Dutch embassies, just in case. Islamist calls for the killing of Geert Wilders have been heard. The man is used to death threats. Since the murder of Theo van Gogh, he has received government protection, being forced to change addresses about as much as you and I change socks ( between you and me, I change socks at least once a day ). While I am not exactly a fan of Mr Wilders - I am convinced his professed love for Israel is mainly a result of his hatred of Muslims, it is sad that Israel needs the support of such 'friends' - I have a certain respect for his outspokenness and - yes - courage, in spite of his blind- and obnoxiousness. And, of course, I think that if he wants to release his little movie he should get the opportunity to do so. Whether or not that movie is insulting or crosses legal boundaries is for a judge to decide, and by the word 'judge' I do not mean a qadi or some mullah. I don't know, when the likes of Ahmadinejad & co. threaten a country with repercussions if one of that country's citizens does this or that ( this or that being something that is entirely legal in that country ), I think that this or that is exactly the thing that should be done. But maybe that is just me ( plus a few Danes, apparently ). Anyway, it seems that the Egyptians - who recently did not allow a wonderful Israeli movie to be shown at a Cairo film festival - prefer this kind of filth to beautiful, lovely, truly valuable and educational works of art such as Where is Winky's Horse?, the sequel to the equally amazing Winky's Horse. Their loss, I would say.

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