Released on the Internet on Thursday, “Fitna” juxtaposes verses from the Koran with images and speeches from the world of jihad. Heads cut off, bodies blown apart, gays executed, toddlers taught to denounce Jews as “apes and pigs,” imams calling for global domination, protesters holding up signs reading “God Bless Hitler” and “Freedom go to Hell” — these are just some of the powerful images from “Fitna,” an Arabic word that means “ordeal.”
Predictably, various Muslim governments have condemned the film. Half the Jordanian parliament voted to sever ties with the Netherlands. Egypt’s grand imam threatened “severe” consequences if the Dutch government didn’t ban the film.
Where the article gets interesting, though, is when Goldberg relays a story of a man he met in Turkey several years ago:
one of the men came up to me and gave me a worn-out business card. On the back, he’d scribbled an image. It was little more than a curlicue, but he seemed intent on showing it to me (and nobody else). It was, I realized, a Jesus fish.
It was an eye-opening moment for me, though obviously trivial compared with the experiences of others. Here in this cosmopolitan and self-styled European city, this fellow felt the need to surreptitiously clue me in that he was a Christian just like me (or so he thought).
He goes on to compare this to the recent fad of “Darwin Fish” in America:
But the most annoying aspect of the Darwin fish is the false bravado it represents. It’s a courageous pose without consequence. Like so much other Christian-baiting in American popular culture, sporting your Darwin fish is a way to speak truth to power on the cheap.
Whatever the faults of “Fitna,” it ain’t no Darwin fish.
Geert Wilders’ film could very, very easily get him killed. (He’s already guarded around the clock.) It essentially picks up the work of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, who was murdered in 2004 by a jihadi for criticizing Islam.
He then finishes up with a comparison of criticizing Christianity and Islam, and the cowardice of taking easy pot-shots in the former, while strenuously avoiding the latter:
It’s not that secular progressives support Muslim religious fanatics, but they reserve their passion and scorn for religious Christians who are neither fanatical nor inclined to use violence.
The Darwin fish ostensibly symbolizes the superiority of progressive-minded science over backward-looking faith. I think this is a false juxtaposition, but I would have a lot more respect for the folks who believe it if they aimed their brave contempt for religion at those who might behead them for it.
All in all, a good read, and (I’m sure) fodder for calm, reasonable discussion…