Ladies and gentlemen, we have a movie.
Geert Wilders has released Fitna on Liveleak. Original Dutch version is here. English version can be viewed here.
And now... we wait.
Geenstijl (NL) is reporting that Wilders has called a last-minute press conference at an undisclosed location. They also have a preliminary review up, calling Fitna a heavy disappointment and much ado about nothing.
Just watched bits of it myself: Nothing new for the counterjihadists among us, but people unfamiliar with islam may be in for a nasty shock.
[UPDATE001 Thursday 27-3] And the reaction of our brave, intrepid government (NL) is in:
We regret that mr. Wilders released this film. We do not see what purpose this film serves, other then to hurt feelings. The problem is not religion, it is the misuse of religion. Let's work together to solve problems, let's build bridges and work on trustWeak-kneed and mindnumbingly bland, all for the price of one. But during question time our brave and interpid PM admitted that the state attorney is studying the film for possible breaches of law. You disgusting dhimmi! (EN reporting here)
Other political reactions (NL) are of the dismissive variety: Old news, adds nothing to the discussion.
Mark Rutte (liberal consevative VVD): 'A missed opportunity. Instead of something constructive he's recycling old imagery or terrorist and criminal acts'
Femke Halsema (GroenLinks or GreenLeft): 'That terrorists refer to the Koran does not prove Wilders' proposition that the whole of islam is a violent ideology that strives for world domination'.
However, muslim organisations in the Netherlands reacted remarkably subdued, almost relieved: The film is not as bad as they had expected.
Yet Fitna was released just in time for Friday prayers... Don't sell the skin, etcetera... Oh, and the court suit is still on for tomorrow. Let's see what our judiciary makes of all this.
[UPDATE002 Thursday 27-3] Alternative links for Fitna (thanks to fdesouche):
Alain Jean-Mairet's blog (dedicated server)
uTorrent(Both NL and EN version)
Download of FLV format
[UPDATE003 Thursday 27-3] Geert Wilders on the release of his Fitna:
In an initial reaction Wilders says he is ‘extremely happy’ that the video has been launched, reports the NRC. ‘I want to show that Islam is a test for us. If we want to maintain our freedom, we need to have less Islam in the Netherlands’, he is quoted by the paper as saying. He also claims he has made a ‘clear distinction between ideology, Islam and Muslims. ‘I have nothing against Muslims’, he said.
ANP news service reports Wilders as saying that he can imagine that Muslims will not be happy with the film but that he has ‘stayed true to the facts’. The PVV leader added that he hopes Fitna will not lead to rioting saying this is not the film’s intention. Wilders says the aim is to show people the dangers of the Koran and Islam, says ANP.
[UPDATE004 Thursday 27-3] Stinging commentary in Elsevier (NL): If tomorrow chaos ensues in the islamic world - or in the Netherlands - then it is the fault of this cabinet.
'Crazy Geert' did not live up to his nickname with his 15 minute film on the Koran, Fitna, that was published on the internet tonight. Fitna is nothing more or less then a reasonably well-made, somewhat predictable, Michael Moore-like selection of islamic violence and terror - and calls for same - in recent years, interspersed with surah's from the Koran.Ouch! So true, oh so true, but... Ouch!
'Stop islamisation. Defend our freedom', is the extent of Wilders' message. Contrary to what many The Hague politicians prematurely knew for a certainty, no pages were torn from the Koran (Wilders thinks muslims should do that themselves) en no religious groups are insulted.
If tomorrow chaos ensues in the islamic world - or in the Netherlands - when mosques go out tomorrow after midday prayers, than it is not the fault of Geert Wilders, but of the premature reactions of frightened panic-mongers in government, lead by CDA politicians Maxime Verhagen and prime-minister Jan Peter Balkenende. Because in Gaza and Damascus the reaction is primarily with regard to the mere existence of this film. They will certainly not watch it.
Geert Wilders, with Fitna, shows considerably more self-restraint then the politicians that are expected to govern this country, in the last weeks. Geert Wilders isn't that crazy after all.
[UPDATE005 Thursday 27-3] Let's here it for LiveLeak!
LiveLeak.com has a strict stance on remaining unbiased and allowing freedom of speech as so far as the law and our rules allow. There was no legal reason to refuse Geert Wilders the right to post his film (Fitna) on LiveLeak.com and it is not our place to censor people based on an emotive response. We in no way endorse Geert Wilders, his views, nor the views expressed within Fitna. To many of us involved in LiveLeak.com some of the messages therein are personally offensive. That being said, our being offended is no reason to deny Mr Wilders the right to have his film seen. Pre-emptive censorship or a discriminatory policy towards freedom of speech are both things we oppose here on LiveLeak.com. A person has a simple, clear choice about whether to view this film. No one is being forced to view it and nor is it being broadcasted on every channel on their television set. If you click on media simply to be annoyed, it is pointless to blame others for your choice.
We do not intend on defending the content of Fitna, only our choice to allow it. Anyone has the full right of reply on LiveLeak.com. Any person or organizations are free to post their opinion and, dependent on said response falling within both the law and our rules, we will afford such responses equal exposure. There are undoubtedly better ways to spark a discussion but this film is now out there and we believe we should all grasp this opportunity to create an open dialogue and discussion on this subject.
[UPDATE006 Friday 28-3] Blogger reactions:
Michelle Malkin: 'I don’t know what “solidarity” is in Dutch, but show it by embedding the video, e-mailing it, and writing about it. Their fight for the right to criticize the Religion of Perpetual Outrage is our fight.'
Jihad Watch: 'The film is accurate. Will Muslims rage against the truth?'
Hot Air: '[W]hat’s interesting is how familiar so many of the people featured will be to blog readers.'
Gateway Pundit: 'Let the seething begin...'
The Belmont Club: 'But the real significance of Wilder's film is to illustrate the growing loss of control by Western governments over the narrative over the nature of the War on Terror. By criticizing Islam itself, a growing number of voices including Geert Wilders and recent convert Magdi Cristiano Allam (who called Islam "inherently evil") have taken one more step towards tearing down the notion, so carefully constructed by George Bush after September 11 of separating terrorism from the "religion of peace".'
Het Vrije Volk: 'Total fall-through of Balkenende' (NL)
Fulham Reactionary: 'It's certainly one in the eye for all those - and there were many - who had hoped to ensure that this film never saw the light of day!'
Western Resistance: 'To deny that these things happen is to deny that Islam is a religion of conquest, a religion that has used violence in the days of the founder and his companions, and a religion used by Islamists today to justify violence.'
Dutch Concerns: 'It'll be very hard for this movie to create as much turmoil as its announcement has done over the past few months'
And friend of KV Dinah Lord is also on top of this one, with extensive reporting.
[UPDATE007 Friday 28-3] And also the first official complaint is in. Els Lucas, who lodged a complaint against Wilders earlier, filed a new one in the wake of the Fitna release:
A lawyer from Lelystad has lodged a police complaint against Dutch MP Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam film which was released on the internet on Thursday evening, reports ANP news service.So, anyone that does not 'contribute to a peaceful society' should go to jail? If she is a real lawyer, then who did she bribe to pass the bar?
Els Lucas made the complaint on Thursday evening, claiming the leader of the anti-immigration PVV party breaks the law by creating a link between the number of Muslims and the increase in violence in society.
She believes the film Fitna incites discrimination and violence, reports ANP. ‘I have lodged a complaint because I do not believe this contributes to a peaceful society,’ she told ANP.
[UPDATE007 Friday 28-3] Esther of Islam in Europe has a good round-up of national and international reactions to the films release.