[Update] 3/27/08- FITNA has been released, see full 15 minute film here.
What if you could take a look into the driving force of your enemy? What if you could take a glimpse into the motivating, driving factors that make your enemy hate you and want to destroy you? What if you could access that information, but chose to ignore it?
In 1925, there was a book published that, if given more credence and scrutiny, could have been used as an instrument to stop the greatest onset of crimes against humanity that the world has ever seen. Oddly enough, those who could have done something to stop the movement inspired by the book and it's author pretty much ignored it or had no idea of it's existence. In the years following the first publication of this book, and it's second publication a year later in 1926, the world saw the rise of one of the most brutal and oppressive regimes in our history on this planet. The book was called Mein Kampf; the author, Adolf Hitler.
Under the leadership of Hitler, Nazi Germany rose from the ashes of depression in the years following The Great War and became the single most powerful military industrial complex in Europe. The rest, as they say, is history.
But what if, as we step into the realm of infinite possibilities of things that could have happened, someone had taken Mein Kampf seriously from the outset and had made the right moves to stop the rise of Hitler and the National Socialist Party? What if, as we continue to ponder the possibilities of infinite parallels and things that could have been, someone had taken Stalin as a more credible threat and forestalled his rise to power through murder and subterfuge in the Soviet Union?
What if we had the information at our disposal today to stop a growing threat to civilization as it spreads across the face of our planet? What if we could take a look inside what motivates extremists to strap bomb vests to their bodies and detonate them in groups of innocent civilians? To drive vehicles laden with explosives through military checkpoints and the drivers kill themselves as they try to take out the soldiers at those checkpoints? What if we had this information, and ignored it?
Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders is going to release a film in the Netherlands that deals with these issues, by exploring the very passages of the Koran which incite the hatred and violence of extremist Muslim factions, in a film to be released this month. Needless to say, the world of Islam is less than eager for the film to be released, and the Netherlands are on high alert for acts of terrorism.
Less than a year ago, (National Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Tjibbe) Joustra scaled down the threat level to "limited," saying Islamic terror networks in the Netherlands had crumbled in the face of tougher law enforcement and a lack of leadership.
Terrorists from Pakistan and Afghanistan were directing actions in Europe "and in some cases, sending their own attackers," said the coordinator. These attackers "are more professional than the homegrown variety and less visible to the intelligence and security services," he said.
This won't be the first film released by a Dutch film maker critical of Islam. In 2004 director Theo van Gogh was killed after release of his film "Submission," a fictionalization of the abuse and subjugation of women in Islam, prompting the films screenplay writer, Muslim critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali, to flee the country and live in the United States under 24 hour a day security.
It remains to be seen how the film will be received in the Western world. However, one need not peek into a crystal ball to foretell what the reaction of militant Islamic fundamentalist groups will be; hence the elevation of the threat warnings within the Netherlands.
Demonstrators in Afghanistan have burned the Dutch flag to protest Wilders' plan to release the 15-minute film, titled "Fitna." He says it will describe the Muslim holy book as "fascist" because it is used by extremists to incite violence and preaches oppression of women and homosexuals.
The Dutch government has said it is powerless to ban the film because of the country's constitutional right to freedom of expression.
Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has said the government is worried about repercussions from the film and by threats to Dutch nationals abroad.
There are, of course, those who will denounce this comparative of the Koran to Mein Kampf. They will argue that the Koran is a holy book, and the fundamental documents of a religious movement, and that Mein Kampf was, at best, a sort of autobiography and outline of the ideas behind the rise of a Teutonic Empire, at worst a book of political theory. They are more than free to do so. I welcome them to try to make the arguments that the two books have not inspired similar responses from their target audiences. However, I would strongly suggest, and indeed hope, that those who wish to bring forth such arguments and rebuttals have first hand knowledge of the subject matter OF those two books. One need not play one of the three roles portrayed by Jack Nicholson in "Mars Attacks" to see the aliens announcing "We come in peace," all the while walking around with their ray guns and disintegrating any human in sight, to understand that what one says and what one does may not convey the same message.
Once and Always, an American Fighting Man