Friday, January 25, 2008

Holland on Alert

Robert Spencer

Abigail Esman details the tense situation in the Netherlands as Geert Wilders prepares to release his film on the Qur'an. "Breaking News: Holland on Alert," in World Defense Review: Holland is on high alert in anticipation of the upcoming release of yet another anti-Islam film, this one created by far right Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders, who has been living under high security since the death of Theo van Gogh in 2004 (van Gogh was murdered on the streets of Amsterdam by a radical Muslim in retaliation for a film that he directed, Ayaan Hirsi Ali's "Submission"). The government has recommended the evacuation of all its embassies "in sensitive areas," and has been engaging for weeks now in discussions with police officials as to the best way to handle the riots and violence they expect will erupt when the film is aired. And even Hirsi Ali, creator of "Submission," when interviewed in the Dutch press, ironically called the film "too provocative," suggesting that violent responses are indeed likely.

Hirsi Ali? The Hirsi Ali who helped produce a film that featured nude women with Qur'an verses written on their bodies? It's hard to beat that for provocative, but then again, I haven't seen the Wilders film.
It's a lot of activity for a film that no one has even seen, and for which no release date has yet been set. It is, however, expected that the film will air on Dutch television in late January or early February - and most likely on Friday, January 25th, just days from now. To date, however, he has not been able to find a television station willing to broadcast the project; if he hasn't secured on by Friday, he has said he will air the film on the Internet. [...]

And so Holland waits. Pundits blog half-jokingly about the start of World War III. Iran issues a warning to the parliament in the Hague. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, reciting cliches about Holland's tradition of "tolerance and respect" and expressing concern that the film could cause "hurt feelings," has called it "a crisis situation," though insists "there is no reason for panic."

Is he right? Or is it, as some skeptics argue, but a tempest in a teapot? Wilders insists that his film will prove once and for all that the Koran is a fascist book filthy with violence and incitements to kill. In many ways, the outcome of the film, far more than the film itself, will tell us if this is true.

Indeed it will.

Anyway, I was quite surprised yesterday to discover that I may be in this film. Jihad Watch reader Ulrike sent me this purported trailer from the movie, consisting of interviews with Wilders and clips from the film Islam: What the West Needs to Know, in which I appear. Is this the actual trailer? The actual film? I have no idea (and no, Wilders would not have had to contact me to get rights, as I am not the producer or owner of the film). But I'll be watching the reaction to this film closely myself.

UPDATE: I've been informed that that is not the actual trailer for the Wilders film, and that no such trailer yet exists.

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