Reuters is reporting that the Taliban has claimed responsibility for two attacks on Dutch forces in Afghanistan. The reason? Retaliation for “Fitna,” the inflammatory short film from Dutch politician Geert Wilders that suggests the Qur’an incites violence.
In a communique posted on Web sites used by militants dated April 1, the Taliban said its Shura Council Leadership announced reprisal operations against Dutch forces because “one of the members of the Dutch parliament produced a film that hurts Islam, and he published it with bad intentions”.
Barely published it no Dutch television station would touch it due to security concerns. It was posted on the video site Liveleak, then removed after threats (and a copyright infringement claim) for re-editing. You can still find it on YouTube here, though according to Information Week, Indonesia has threatening to block the site if the video is not removed.
Wilders is anti-immigration, critical of Islam and a proponent of free speech, much like Theo van Gogh, the Dutch filmmaker who was murdered in 2004 after creating his own incendiary anti-Islam short, “Submission,” and who’s a prominent figure in “Fitna.”
Irshad Manji, writing at the Washington Post‘s “On Faith” site, suggests that the problem with “Fitna” is not its subject matter, it’s the fact that it’s just not very well done:
By stitching together one inflammatory visual after another, Wilders has achieved little more than a garden-variety harangue. This makes “Fitna” not only dull but, worse, easily dismissed by those who deserve to be held accountable for their silences about violence and human rights abuses committed under the banner of Islam.
A more engaging approach would have been to pepper the film with positive verses from the Qur’an, thereby revealing that Muslims who expound hostility are actively choosing to ignore the better angels of Islam.
[Photo: “Fitna,” Geert Wilders, 2008]
+ Afghan Taliban say attack Dutch over anti-Islam film (Reuters)
+ Fitna (YouTube)
+ Indonesia Threatens To Block YouTube Over Anti-Islamic Film (Information Week)
+ Anti-Muslim Film Boorish and Boring (Washington Post)