Here is Ibn Warraq's remarks on FITNA.
BTW, if you missed my radio show with Ibn Warraq, the pre-eminent academic authority on Islam, please listen here.
FITNA – The Movie; A Just Cause For Celebration / By Ibn Warraq (hat tip Dr History)
Fitna [Arabic for discord, civil strife] a film by Geert Wilders, a Dutch Parliamentarian and leader of the Party for Freedom, was finally aired on Liveleak on March 27. It is a terse, but quite powerful film that juxtaposes images of certain verses from the Koran that preach intolerance and violence, and archive footage of Islamic terrorism and Muslim preachers invoking the same verses to call Muslims to arms and world domination.
Fitna will and has already caused offense to Muslims, though the street reactions have been, so far (Monday, March 31), rather restrained. Why are the sensibilities of Muslims so much more important that anyone else's? There is no such right as "the right not to be offended"; indeed, I am deeply offended by the contents of the Koran, with its overt hatred of Christians, Jews, apostates, non-believers, homosexuals but cannot demand its suppression. All Christians, and they are still a majority in the West, are offended by the Koran since it denies the central tenets of their religion, but they do not go into paroxysms of childish rage that demands assuaging at all costs.
One hopes it will reach a wider audience in the West where the majority still do not realize that the cost of the freedoms they take for granted is constant vigilance, and who do not realize that their apolitical regard on life is irresponsible and that they have to fight to keep their freedoms which are threatened daily by those who wish to impose a totalitarian ideology on all of us. If, and only if, we in the West, stand firm then can we show the Islamic world that certain principles are not negotiable.
Though fear for the safety of its employees forced LiveLeak to withdraw the film, Fitna was reposted almost immediately on a dozen other websites. While the mainstream media continues its shameful, disgraceful policy of capitulation to the barbarians, it is heartening to see so many independent minded bloggers and web-sites taking up the cause. For me, it is one of the most hopeful signs of the last few years that some of us are out there ready to take the fight to the enemy, and many more are beginning to understand the full implication of the political, legal and social demands of Muslims in their midst.
I can already anticipate the kind of criticisms that will be directed at Fitna. Wilders is "quoting out of context", it will be alleged. But such meretricious arguments will not stand up to scrutiny. The verses that Wilders quotes advocating killing of unbelievers were taken by Muslims themselves to develop the theory of jihad, which was endorsed by thinkers such as Averroes and Ibn Khaldun. And of course, the entire Islamic doctrine of dhimmitude whereby non-Muslims are second-rate citizens and subject to harassment and persecution was also derived form the intolerant Koranic verses preaching hatred of Christians and Jews.
Dutch business and diplomatic interests may suffer in the Islamic world, and some Dutch nationals' life may be put in danger but exports and the threat of violence from Islamic terrorists-in other words, terrorist blackmail- cannot override our basic principles which define who we are. Do we sacrifice our cultural identity to appease gangsters in holy garb? Freedom of expression must be defended at all costs otherwise our democracies will fall, and totalitarian systems of thought such as Islam will triumph extinguishing our hardwon freedoms.
The mainstream media-television and radio, newspapers and journals- publishers, and intellectuals, with a few noble exceptions have failed in their duties- to tell the truth. Instead of submitting Islam to scrutiny, newspapers such as The New York Times have helped create an atmosphere of fear, have always defended the "hurt sensibilities" of Muslims rather than an author's free exercise of his right- a right enshrined in the Western constitutions- to criticize, to mock, and even ridicule. The apologetic stance adopted by The New York Times, who scandalously asked the Pope to apologize to Muslims, and other Western media will legitimize not only the violence of the Islamic terrorists, but will also embolden putatively "moderate Muslims" to demand the ever greater introduction of Sharia in the West, in other words the ever greater Islamization of the Western world.
To repeat what I once said seven years ago, Democracy depends on freedom of thought and free discussion. The notion of infallibility of a book or a system of ideas is profoundly undemocratic and unscientific. It is perverse for the western media to lament the lack of an Islamic reformation and willfully ignore works such as Wilders film, Fitna. How do they think reformation will come about if not with criticism?
Any new legislation proposed by various Western governments and the UN to protect Muslims, while well-intentioned, is woefully misguided. It will mean publishers will be even more reluctant to take on works critical of Islam. If we stifle rational discussion of Islam, what will emerge will be the very thing that political correctness and the government seek to avoid: virulent, racist populism. If there are further terrorist acts then irrational xenophobia will be the only means of expression available. We also cannot allow Muslims subjectively to decide what constitutes "incitement to religious hatred", since any legitimate criticism of Islam will then be shouted down as religious hatred. Only in a democracy where freedom of inquiry is protected will science progress. Hastily conceived laws risk smothering the golden thread of rationalism running through western civilization.
Apparently, there is distinct possibility that Geert Wilders will be prosecuted by the Dutch government, prosecuted for exercising his constitutional right to freedom of expression. If Wilders is indeed taken to court, I hope that the Dutch people will take to the streets in their thousands to protest against such blatant appeasement and betrayal of the very foundations of Western institutions that are its chief glories and the reason for its success. Wilders should be feted as a courageous individual- a hero of our times- who dared to stand up to Islamofascism, and tried to uproot the creeping totalitarian weeds that threaten to stifle our freedoms.