Monday, March 31, 2008

What happened next...

White and pink, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

The train is full of papers which are still full of Fitna, the new Arab-Dutch word, meaning ‘Strife’, the name given to Geert Wilders’ ‘film’, or rather video-clip. We also have another new word in Dutch, ‘Hiwar’, meaning dialogue, which is what was supposed to happen after this rather ridiculous man brought his film out. Dialogue with the Muslims in the Netherlands. Well, the first meeting was planned yesterday in West Amsterdam, Slotervaart, attended by the mayor Job Cohen and our dear friend Ahmed Marcouch, council leader in Slotervaart, and many others. Only, there was one empty chair, that reserved for Geert Wilders, who was ‘too tired’ to attend.

So far, a few parliamentarians in Jordan have petitioned the government there to boycott Dutch products, although I can’t think what Holland actually exports over there apart from red balls of Gouda cheese (he writes as the train pulls into Gouda). The Iranian government made some noises, but we have not seen any Dutch flags being set alight. The backlash, which Wilders had so hoped for has not happened and he, himself, is tired.

The only bit of naughtiness that we have heard about is that threats have been made to the employees of the web-hosting site in England, which ‘showed’the ‘film’, with the result that it ahs been removed, although I shouldn’t wonder that it is available to be seen somewhere else on the net. Wilders, of course, was not tired enough to say how scandalous it was that these employees had been threatened, although he was not man enough to take any responsibility for what might happen to Dutch people around the world should things go wrong as a result of his insulting film.

I am happy enough for him to make such a film and firmly believe that it should be shown, all in the cause of freedom of speech. I don’t think it is a particularly sensible thing to do, and the way he did it was crude in the extreme, showing him up for his deficiencies, more than that of the Islam.

We went fo a little walk yesterday afternoon, a short one as Fred still has bronchitis and I was still tired from too much drink the previous evening and because it was cold, damp and grey. Our walk took us through Oost, where we noticed that the Dappermarket was open (no idea why it should be open on a Sunday, but open it was). Most of the shoppers and stall keepers were from non-Dutch ethnic backgrounds, the large majority probably Muslims. One had to wonder what they were thinking about the hospitality of their hosts, where a man of such a low level as Wilders can attract so much attention and support by using his position as politician to attack Islam and Muslims.

As with all these things, I tend myself not to think in terms of either Islam, Judaism or Christianity, but as dated monotheistic religions which encourages people to be intolerant of each other, but I have been through this discussion on here before. There is enough nonsense in all their major books and enough examples of people who have taken this nonsense to extremes and committed crimes against humanity in the name of their religion.


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