Thus it was that van der Vlies judged Geert Wilders' Fitna purely on its merits and came away with a moderately positive impression. That is all fine and good, but van der Vlies had the temerity to air his non-disparaging views in public, which earned him a rebuke from Wouter Bos, currently minister of Finance and vice-PM, as well as being the leader of Dutch Labour (PvdA).
In a letter to the SGP leader, Wouter Bos writes (mirror; NL):
Today I read your reaction to Fitna. I was dumbfouned. You think that Wilders had been careful, you think that the film was a stimulating input for the discussion and you say that he did not deliberately try to cause offense.He then proceed to first praise van der Vlies as the nestor of Dutch parliament and the wisdom he has displayed over his many years serving as MP. Then he rather backhandedly suggests van der Vlies represents a minority himself, but he is now approving the deliberate marginalization of another minority.
What would your reaction be of this film had been about christianity and the Bible?
What first springs to mind is the fact that MPs are elected to hold government to account, and not the other way around. A minister has no business telling an MP what he should or should not say in public. But as events of the last months have shown us, that fundamental principle of Dutch democratic governance has been severely eroded, so this letter should not come as a surprise.
Wouter Bos, who likes to claim a strong affinity to christianity, with this letter shows he doesn't even begin to understand religious convinctions. He treats all religions as basically interchangable: all of them offering the solace of knowing a higher being, but none of them having to say anything of consequence in our modern age. Which immediately points out that Bos hasn't understood Fitna either.
Bas van der Vlies took the time to answer the epistle of Bos (mirror; NL). And it is a grand example of the difference between bedrock principles, calmly and deliberately explained, and fashionable PC convictions, huffing and puffing with indignation. Van der Vlies writes:
The film conformed to expectations: edited together scenes of atrocities commited by muslim terrorists. With that Wilders has put the full spotlights on the dark sides that are (possibly) part of islam.But the sting of the scorpion is in its tail. Referring to Bos' question posed early on in the latters letter, van der Vlies writes:
The general opinion, also in Dutch muslim circles, is that the film is not that offensive. This is underlined by the unique and rather pleasant fact that today both Geert Wilders and the PM complimented Dutch Mulsims elaborately. I am taking the liberty, in hindsight, to conclude that Dutch mulims are that that offended. They are apparently able to deal with this, which is a good thing.
As I said yesterday, wich has been broadcast on the radio news, is that I as SGP'er would not have made a film in this fashion.
Finally, your question of how I would like it if such a film were to be made about christianity and the Bible. I don't know how to answer that question. Simply because it is impossible to make such a film.The MSM, being what it is these day, needed van der Vlies to explain those final lines: There simply aren't any christians who fly airliners into tall buildings.
One wonders if mr. van der Vlies is familiar with the modern internet expression 'PWNED!'. On the other hand: Wouter Bos must be feeling what that is like.
(h/t Willem de Zwijger)