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A defaced image of the website promoting the film, which was removed by ISP Network Solutions.  (Source: Klein Verzet)

The current notice appears when visiting fitnathemovie.com.  (Source: DailyTech)

The video and the site sparked a large protest Saturday in Amsterdam.  (Source: Fred Ernst / AP)
Dutch filmmaker Geert Wilders faced with possible removal by his ISP may seek possible alternate distribution means for his radical film

The Netherlands is becoming the surprising center of conflict over the extent of free speech, religion and allegations of racism.  The debate centers around an upcoming film by a local politician, which expresses strong criticism against Islam faith. 

Several Islamic government have sought to ban materials criticizing Islam.  The most recent example of this was when Pakistan blocked the website YouTube for promoting non-Islamic or anti-Islamic materials, inadvertently crippled the country's internet traffic.

Nearby Denmark found itself in the center of a similar controversy when a Danish newspaper aired cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, the most important Islamic historic religious figure, in an embarrassing light.  The cartoon led to protests worldwide outside Dutch embassies, death threats and at least one murder.

Now Holland is back in the limelight.  Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders, head of a reactionary party which controls 9 seats in the 150-seat Dutch Parliament, promoted his new film which portrays Islam in an extremely critical light, only to find his website taken down amid a storm of criticism.  The film was promoted on the site which formerly had a simple title image, the words "Fitna" ("Coming Soon"), and an image of a gilded Qu'ran. 

The website has since been taken down, and a note is posted stating that Network Solutions, the U.S. based service provider, is investigating whether the site violates its terms of service.  The note about Wilder's site states, "Network Solutions has received a number of complaints regarding this site that are under investigation."

Network Solutions hosts the website of Hezbollah, a Lebanon-based organization labeled by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization. 

While the company could not be reached for comment, its terms of service do include a broad provision banning, "objectionable material of any kind or nature."  While the former website gave scant details about the upcoming 15-minute film, to be released on March 31st, it is certain to be found objectionable by some.  Filmmaker Wilders says the film will underscore his belief that the Islamic holy book is "fascist."

Wilders prepared to distribute the video over the internet after being met with refusal from television stations unwilling to grant it airtime.  Wilders, who lives under police protection due to death threats, refuses to be deterred, and was quoted Dutch news agency ANP on Saturday stating, "How many ways are there left for me to be worked against?  If necessary, I'll go hand out DVDs personally on the Dam." The Dam is a colloquial name for Amsterdam's central square.

On Saturday protesters crowded the Dam to voice their distaste for Wilders.  Amid sleet and heavy wind, between 2,000 and 3,000 protesters of mixed ethnicities assembled "Netherlands Shows Its Colors" in an advanced reaction against the film.  Protesters carried signs such as "Standing Together Against the Right-Wing Populist Witch-Hunt." 

One protester, Elisa Trepp, said, "I'm very much against Geert Wilders and racism in general.  I think it's really important to show not only Holland but the rest of the world that there's a lot of people who do not agree with his ideas."

Hassan Iaeti, another demonstrator, traveled for hours to make it.  He states, "The government could really do something. That's in the interest of the country - stop him, just stop him."

Dutch officials fear that the film may spark violent protests worldwide.  Free speech in the U.S. is currently solely limited against making statements that would incite imminent lawless action (riots) as defined by the case Brandeburg v. Ohio.  Similar limits to free speech exist throughout much of Europe, much to the chagrin of free speech advocates.  As the video may spark worldwide lawlessness, the government may see it fit to block the video. 

However the government remains relatively apathetic to the situation by all indications.  No prominent politicians showed up at the protest.  Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has said previously that he did not agree with Wilders views, but supported his right to free speech.  Balkenende did add that the video could threaten Dutch interests worldwide.

In Afghanistan protesters burned effigies of Wilders and demanded the withdraw of NATO-deployed Dutch troops from the country.  A Dutch court will hear complaints against the film lodged by Muslim groups, on March 28th, however Wilders can elect to release the film before then. 


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By hcahwk19 on 3/24/2008 5:33:20 PM , Rating: 2
There was a time when Islam was very powerful and rich and considered very educated. Of course, that was nearly a thousand years ago. As Islam spread from Arabia into Europe, it not only brought some medical and scientific advances to Europe, but it also preserved what it found along the way. The problem during that time was that although Islam had and kept these advances, it was very ruthless in its proliferation into Europe. At one time, Baghdad was a great medical center, in middle ages terms, but still a medical center. You can see the architectural influence all over Europe (and there is still a Muslim province in Spain called the Basque Region). But as Islam spread a thousand years ago, it killed thousands upon thousands of people, both Christian and non-Christian, ruthlessly, just as it does today. When the Muslims made their way into northwestern Europe, northern Spain, Northern France, and England, they finally met resistance from Christians who could actually stand up to the power of Islam. This is what started the Crusades. The Crusades were a retaliation and counterattack to the spread of Islam into northern Europe. The Christians drove the Muslims back to the Middle East out of fear of annihilation. Yeah, it is widely taught that the Christian Crusaders were violent and ruthless, and they probably were, but that was only in response to what they were facing.
Islam is an inherently violent religion, and has been for over a thousand years. Even today, those that are bent on world domination, still look to the West as the Crusaders. The events today are merely a more modern version, kind of a Crusades 2.0, and unfortunately, most in the West do not see it. Israel sees it, because they have had to put up with the crap since 1947. Those Muslims that hate the rest of the world (and there are lots of them) are in a way envious of what We have. When Israel was created in 1947, and the Jews started moving there, that area was all arid desert. As the Jews came in, they began to irrigate the land and, alas, the region became an oasis. At first, the Arabs loved it, but as the area became more and more habitable (and consequently more and more Jews showed up), they became more envious of what the Jews brought to the area. For centuries, the land there was desert and brutal. Yet, in just a few short years, the Israelis had created a very livable environment.
Instead of really looking to the Israelis for help, learning the techniques used to improve the land, the pride of the Muslims have prevented them from progressing with the times, especially in the past 50 years. Instead of embracing what is around them, they have rejected it, and want to destroy those who brought the abundance to the land.
In a way, what we should do is to tell Israel that we are creating a new Israel here in the US (you know, give them a state like Idaho or Vermont or something). Give the current Israel over to the Muslims, along with the all the technologies there, and move all Jews to the new Israeli state. Then we will see just how "peaceful" Islam really is. We will pull all military and economic help from the region, as we won't have the need to protect Israel anymore. That way, both the Little Satan, and the Great Satan can live together, here in the US. I can guarantee 100% that the bullcrap we are going through will not end, but only shift from there to here even more, because the Muslims will have to have something to whine and fight about. It will not end until either all non-Muslims (whether part of a religious group or not) are eliminated from the planet, or all Muslims are gone. That is the only way it will happen. Islam has been trying to take over the world for a millenia, and nothing will change.


By almared on 3/26/2008 6:32:35 PM , Rating: 2
"Islam is an inherently violent religion" I'm sorry for you mate but you are really dumb and I can't say more because you know nothing about history. Anyway, I get one thing from all these comments, you don't know anything and you come making points and arguments. I'm tired of explaining simple things that you fail to know or even understand. You see someone blow himself and you say "hey, he was a Muslim, let's blame it on Islam" You are so Ignorant that you fail to understand anything but what you thing is correct. Go watch at least a documentary or anything that explains what Islam is and that has at least a proper name rather than the word "Anti-islam" or any other ridiculous name. Try to be fair and not base you judgments on bias information or thing you heard or felt true. This is a religion that has been around for hundreds of years and millions follow it. Do you think that 2 billion person would still follow a religion that says what you think it says.

Just try to listen to the other side instead of making judgments from one side and I'm not denying that many "crazy" people are acting in a way that makes everybody hate Islam. But again look at the real cause.


By Stublore on 3/26/2008 9:43:23 PM , Rating: 2
Actually he seems quite right. If you cannot bother to correct someone and merely say they are wrong, it reflects more on you than it does on the person you are criticising.
What does islam mean?
It means submission, even the violence inherent in your religion is spelt out in the name!
If a person blows themselves up, and leaves a video about why he did it, and says it's because he is going to heaven to get 72 virigns, and he is doing it for allah(often also the last words he utters), where does the blame lay? First with the idiot who blew himself up for a fairytale, then with the religion which was inclculcated into him since birth, and told him that would be his reward.


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