Monday, February 9, 2009

Netherlands may sentence filmmaker for "insulting" Islam (for short film "Fitna")


Unbelievable! Geert Wilders, producer of the short film “Fitna” about radical Islam, faces two years in prison in the Netherlands for insulting Muslims, if convicted and then sentenced according to Dutch law. Nat Hentoff has an op-ed on p. A19 of The Washington Times, called “The cost of criticizing jihadists: U.N. resolution is part of Islamic muzzle,” in his “Sweet Land of Liberty” column, link here.

Hentoff goes into a discussion of the influence of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which he says was instrumental on Dec. 18, 2008 in getting a “defamation of religion” resolution passed in the United Nations, which may become international law. If it did, it’s not immediately clear what would happen in the United States with, say, websites that show "Fitna". But apparently the Netherlands already has a similar law which its increasingly strong Muslim population is able to use in its political system. Bruce Bawer was right: Europe is sleeping.

Hentoff also explains how the OIC was involved in inflaming the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy in Denmark. Remember also, that filmmaker Theo Van Gogh for a similarly spirited short film “Submission.”

There are other important accounts of the Wilders trial, such as Ryan Mauro’s “World Threats: Investigating your national security,” here which in turn links to a London Times story (Jan. 22, 2009) by David Childers, which reports that the film had been called “offensively anti-Islamic” by Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary-General.

There is also a “Defend Geert Wilders” blog on Wordpress, here and the extract from the Dutch Penal Code is worth presenting here:
The Dutch Penal Code; Article 137c ["Wetboek van Strafrecht (Sr); Artikel 137c | Sr, Boek 2, Titel 5"]
"1. He who publicly, verbally or in writing or image, deliberately expresses himself in an way insulting of a group of people because of their race, their religion or belief, or their hetero- or homosexual nature or their physical, mental, or intellectual disabilities, will be punished with a prison sentence of at the most one year or a fine of third category.
"2. If the offence is committed by a person who makes it his profession or habit, or by two or more people in association, a prison sentence of at the most two years or a fine of fourth category will be imposed."
The Dutch Penal Code; Article 137d ["Wetboek van Strafrecht (Sr); Artikel 137d | Sr, Boek 2, Titel 5"]
"1. He who publicly, verbally or in writing or in an image, incites hatred against or discrimination of people or violent behavior against person or property of people because of their race, their religion or belief, their gender or hetero- or homosexual nature or their physical, mental, or intellectual disabilities, will be punished with a prison sentence of at the most one year or a fine of third category.
"2. If the offense is committed by a person who makes it his profession or habit, or by two or more people in association, a prison sentence of at the most two years or a fine of fourth category will be imposed."

It’s easy to see how “good intentions” go wrong quickly, even in liberal Europe.

There is a review of “Fitna” on my movies blog March 28, 2008, and there is a link on that entry to another blog (not mine) that plays the film, and that secondary link was still working today.

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