Friday, February 13, 2009

A walk on the Wilders side

I have just looked at Fitna, Geert Wilders' movie. It shows 9/11, Madrid, and London bombings, interspersed with texts for the Quran, and interspersed with bloodthirsty sermons from fundamental mullahs expounding those texts.

Then as a kind of antidote, I looked at Schism, based on Bible texts, and showing western violence.

It is all a kind of leap back into the Middle Ages.

It is possible that by banning Wilders, who calls for the Quran to be banned, Government has averted demonstrations, clashes and a further cohort of redicalised Muslim youth. By banning him, they have resiled just a bit further from free speech. Free speech or riots? Irreconcilable question - a Koan.

I have debated with Islamophobes on openDemocracy. They are individualist fundamentalists themselves, mirrors of the Islamists, a paired couple of forces who are doomed to waste their lives in total struggle against their polar opposite. That is a matter for them.

For the rest of us, the way should be to defend ourselves against Islamist attacks with intelligence services and the police, and by banning hate speakers from both sides from our country. We should also avoid making things worse by invading Islamic countries, and by avoiding provocation.

Persecution strengthened the early Christian church. Wilders and the Islamophobes will strengthen the Islamists if we give them undue attention.

A wise friend said "Leave fundamentalists alone. They will end up boring themselves to death"

Jimjay has a helpful blog on this.


Anonymous said...

I heard somewhere that "Schism" is a spoof, don't know if that's true or not. Anyway, one telling point is that it's unlikely to get many people angry against the makers. Can you imagine anyone even contemplating making an Islamic equivalent of Mony Python's Life of Brian now?

Thinking back to the Danish cartoons. Someone discussing the Rushdie affair said that it was quite a long time in between the cartoons first being published and "spontaneous" demonstrations breaking out in places where spontaneous demonstrations just don't happen (repressive governments, you see) and that they were whipped up by interested parties adding in extra, fake cartoons that were more inflammable than the originals. Weren't around a 100 people killed in the whipped up riots? Mostly poor and uneducated Muslim people were the ones to suffer then.

Once again, I have to say that your friend's easygoing attitude seems rather too complacent. Far from boring themselves to death, fundies usually appear to work themselves up, and anyone else who's a bit susceptible to their demagoguery, into ever more frothing and outbreaks of violence.

DocRichard said...

DonaQ, I take your point about fundamentalists, and yet...
They are essentially schismatic. Small closed societies, dominated by an autocrat who is subject to the Law that says anyone whose opinion is unopposed for more than a few years, goes loopy. Think Wilson, Thatcher, Blair, Said Barre, any president-for-life.

Since fundamentalism is based on obsessive study of a single text, it is likely that someone will come up with a different interpretation, and will then fall out with the Leader, leading to a schism. Osama bin Laden is a Wahabist, and regards his fellow Muslims, both Shia and Sunnis, as apostate heretics. Al-Qaeda has killed many Muslims.

If we attack them physically, it strengthens their sense of identity, their paranoia, and boosts their membership. The War on Terror has undoubtedly been the best recruiting sergeant for Islamist extremists that they could dare hope for.

The effective defence against terror is intellgence and police. The military are counter-productive.

Having said that, I have to confess that having tried to ignore climate change denialists (who are a species of individualist fundamentalist), I am now trying to engage with their ideas. But I'm not trying to bomb their hidey holes with TNT...