You are responsible for our reactions

syrian muftiFar-right Dutch politician Gert Wilders is due to release his controversial film about the Koran this month. He wants to show that it is a “terrible fascist book” which inspires people to murder, and he regards the film as a follow-up to Ayaan Hirsi-Ali’s Submission (although Hirsi-Ali has condemned Wilder’s film as “provocative”).

She could be right. In a speech to MEPs on Tuesday on the subject of intercultural dialogue, the Grand Mufti of Syria, Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun gave a warning to the Netherlands that if Wilders tears up or burns a Koran in his film,

this will simply mean he is inciting wars and bloodshed. And he will be responsible.

He goes on to say that he thinks it in “the responsibility of the Dutch people to stop Wilders”.

Perhaps more disturbing than the threats themselves in the fact that the European Parliament report on the mufti’s speech was too fawning to mention them. That was left up to the rather right-wing but well established magazine Elsevier.

UPDATE: (20th Jan) The Observer reports that the Dutch government is already in a tizzy, holding crisis meetings, drawing up security plans, warning overseas nationals to register with their embassies. They even wheeled out Foreign minister Maxime Verhagen to repeat the old falsehood:

It is difficult to anticipate the content of the film, but freedom of expression doesn’t mean the right to offend.

Oh yes it does!

4 Responses to “You are responsible for our reactions”

  1. marc says:

    That’s like the argument that watching smut movies turns men into rapists… well, there’s a lot shitload of porno on the net and it’s widely available but hey, rape is (thankfully) a comparatively rare crime.

    Compare this to Muslim shit stirring which is widespread, while deliberate anti-islamic offence is unfortunately restricted by governmental PC.

    By the way Ahmad, you use your middle pinkie (not the index) when you’re giving us the bird, dumb-ass.

  2. The Revolution says:

    Hirsi-Ali does make a good point though; I suspect the this film isn’t so much about about exposing the Koran; more about provoking a reaction and raising Gert Wilders profile. I get the impression that Gert Wilders is the more important to Wilders than the issues in the film. He’s always struck me as a poor mans Pim Fortuyn.

    Having said that it should be an interesting film – Wilders political ambitions aside it should hopefully raise important issues. I’m looking forward to it and awaiting the inevitable hysterial backlash from the Religion of Peace.

  3. Paul says:

    I think Hirsi-Ali is right in that Wilders is more interested in provoking a reaction than saying anything meaningful about the Koran (which he would like to ban – so there is a bit of selectiveness in the speech that he’d like to see free). That said, it’s not too clever of the Mufti to rise to the rather obvious bait.

  4. gary says:

    In western cultures it is a right for people to critize whatever they want without fear of being killed. But as usual radical muslims beleive they have every right to kill womever they see fit. Who are the barbarians? If Muslims want to live in western countries then they must live by the laws of that country.
    But as usual the laws do not pertain to the Muslims. They justify the barbaric actions in the name of religion, which we all
    know is bullshit. Radical muslims are hell bent on spreading there twisted brand of faith by any means neccessary, and if you do
    not agree or you are an infidal then it is there “duty” to kill. What a great and peaceful religion??!! Frankly, that is why
    Muslim countries have not given anything of value to the world in a long time. There sick, twisted brand of faith is disturbing
    and somethign to be feared…and why..becasue they wnat you to fear them. I applaud Gert Wilders and his courage, but sadly he will
    most likely be killed by some sick freak hell bent on showing us how accepting the Muslim religion is.