Monday, March 31, 2008

Fitna and Death Threats

Update (03/31):
Apparently some ideas are above critique.
The top U.N. rights body on Thursday passed a resolution proposed by Islamic countries saying it is deeply concerned about the defamation of religions and urging governments to prohibit it. "Islam is one of the most obvious victims of aggressions under the pretext of freedom of expression," the Saudi delegation told the council.

So, LiveLeak hosted Fitna the Anti-islam movie by Geert Wilders. I won't go over the ridiculous blasphemy arguments or the fundamental question of why an All Powerful god needs the pious to defend it from the sinful or even the freedom of speech arguments.

Although this comment caught my eye;
"I am well aware of people's constitutional right regarding freedom of speech, but Wilders's pronouncements about wanting the Koran forbidden and his likening of Mohammed to Hitler go too far," Hans van den Broek, a former Dutch minister for foreign affairs and a government adviser, insists.

This is political cowardice at it's worse. No matter how artisitically poor or factually incorrect a movie or book is the way to defeat a viewpoint is not through violence (note in my previous post I didn't recommend strangling Ben Stein for the ignorant Expelled movie) it is through debate, critique and rebuttal. So, anyone who really claims to support post-Enlightenment values should be defending Fitna and Wilders as Michael Moynihan does in this article for Reason.

I will say one bad thing about this is it allows the leaders of repressive islamic nations to get away with blaming all their countries problems on western "islamophobia" and not on their policies and the theft of billions from their own people.

Anyway, this is just another case were religious authorities can use their undeserved influence to incite their ignorant followers into a frenzy. No belief system is above ridicule or criticism.

Here is the movie and the comments form the LiveLeak staff:
** 30/3/2008: Liveleak Update **

On the 28th of March was left with no other choice but to remove the film "fitna" from our servers following serious threats to our staff and their families. Since that time we have worked constantly on upgrading all security measures thus offering better protection for our staff and families. With these measures in place we have decided to once more make this video live on our site. We will not be pressured into censoring material which is legal and within our rules. We apologise for the removal and the delay in getting it back, but when you run a website you don't consider that some people would be insecure enough to threaten our lives simply because they do not like the content of a video we neither produced nor endorsed but merely hosted.

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