Geert Wilders is a Dutch politician perhaps best known for his criticisms of Islam. He made a short film called Fitna in 2008, has equated the Qur’an to Mein Kampf, suggested banning the Qur’an, and called for a tax on Muslim women who wanted to wear a hijab, and wants a halt on Muslim immigrants into his country. Unlike many critics of Islam who focus solely on bad ideas, Wilders wants to enact policies to make life worse for peaceful Muslims, since they’re perpetuating a faith he thinks must be stopped.
Yesterday, in his latest attempt to stick it to Islam, Wilders was going to broadcast cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad on Dutch TV — during Ramadan. (How was this even possible? Because his nation’s laws allow “anything to be shown during a party political broadcast” and he’s an elected official.)
The three-minute video was based on images shown at last month’s Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas, which eventually turned deadly.
The controversial cartoons were shown at an event in the US last month that was attacked by two gunmen who were shot dead by security guards.
Mr Wilders was a speaker at that event.
The airing of the cartoons was supposed to be a key moment for Mr Wilders in what some Muslims have described as his crusade against Islam, according to the BBC’s Anna Holligan in The Hague.
Geert Wilders said a “misunderstanding” with the network meant they were not broadcast on a slot on national TV allocated to political parties.
Mr Wilders initially accused the TV station of sabotage but has since retracted that statement, saying there was a mix-up and that the cartoons will be shown next week.
“I have just spoken to [Dutch broadcaster] NPO boss [Henk] Hagoort. It seems to have been a misunderstanding,” he tweeted.
He added that Mr Hagoort “assured me the video will now be broadcast at 15:55 GMT on Wednesday.”
Barry Duke at the Freethinker also points out:
Incidentally, had the broadcast gone ahead… it would have coincided with Lars Vilks‘ 69th birthday. Vilks… is the Swedish artist, Doctor of Philosophy, and activist who garnered fame and notoriety for his drawings of Mohammed, which resulted in at least two failed attempts by Islamic extremists to murder him.
So how bad is this video? Well, you can watch it for yourself.
Wilders basically lays out the situation and says that if terrorists are willing to kill over images of Muhammad, then we have a responsibility to share those images as often and as widely as possible.
I don’t disagree.
I would have an easier time promoting this video, though, if it wasn’t Wilders’ creation. Having crossed the line before, he’s hardly an ideal messenger.