Permit me to tell you a tale of two movies that are really one. A European politician made a movie about a certain unfortunate religious minority. In the movie, it is claimed that the religion of this minority teaches them to be violent and bloodthirsty and to start wars. The politician wants to expel this minority from Europe.
If the minority are Muslims, and the politician is Geert Wilders, what is your position on this film? OK, now, if the minority are Jew
s, and the politician is Adolf Hitler, what is your position on this film?
I should not have to ask these questions. The answers should be the same in each case. Such films were really made about the Jews at one time, and one could make a film about Jews not very different from Geert Wilders' film. One could show the bloody aftermath of the Baruch Goldstein massacre and the massacre committed by the berserk soldier in Shefaram, and the Ami Popper massacre, as well as Yigal Amir. One could quote extremist rabbis who call for revenge and killing of Arabs. One could cite blood curdling passages from the old testament about "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" and Talmudic passages that some rabbis use to justify discriminating between Jewish and non-Jewish lives. One could, and one does. If there are no such films yet, there are many on Youtube that come fairly close, and there are certainly Web sites that claim that the Talmud and the Old Testament teach Jews to kill and steal.
It is therefore appalling to see that some Jews are justifying the Wilders film. Certainly there are Islamist extremists who say and do terrible things, and everyone - Jews, Christians and Muslims, Arabs, Israelis, Dutch, British and Americans has to speak out against them. But when a demagogue exploits Muslim extremism to foment race hate, no decent person should have any part of it. Wilders' film helps Wilders. It sets back the cause of Muslim moderation 50 years, because it allows the Mullahs to say that "All Infidels" hate "all Muslims" and that any criticism of Islamist extremism is a threat to all Muslims.
Consistency must apply equally to all sides. All such expressions of racism and religious hate should either be allowed or banned consistently on the Internet, whether they are directed at Jews, Africans or Muslims. If the anti-Semites can have their say, then Geert Wilders should be allowed to have his say. The Muslims who rail against Wilders don't seem to have any problem supporting Holocaust denial conferences, films about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and reprints of Mein Kampf. Muslims are livid about this film, and understandably so. According to Arab News
The World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) has denounced Thursdayís screening of an anti-Qurían film by a rightwing MP in the Netherlands and called on international bodies to prevent people from insulting religions.
ďThese kinds of attacks by so-called sane European politicians and scholars will lead to very serious repercussions, pushing mankind to a situation of chaos and conflict,Ē said Dr. Saleh S. Al-Wohaibi, secretary-general of WAMY.
That is quite true Dr. Al-Wohaibi. And what in your opinion, is the effect of sermons that call down curses on Jewish sons of dogs and apes, and Christian sons of dogs and pigs? If you object to them, then why have you kept silent about this matter?
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Replies: 4 Comments
Your point about we Jews once being attacked by such films and otherwise in Europe is well taken. But I do have a hard time defending the rights of those who not only oppose Israel but, if they they had the power, would drive Jews out of Israel and/or kill them, and even we diaspora Jews.
Zachary, Monday, March 31st
Muslim's, that believe in peace, are afraid to stand up and say anything against the terrorists. It reminds me of pre-WWII Europeans. They gave up their beliefs , fearing the Nazi's, then had the nerve to say, the Jews, who stuck to their befiefs, were deserving of death. It's the same fear spreading all over again. Even the Internet is afraid to show Fitna on their web for fear of the threats against their people. They gave up their "freedom of speech" rather than stand together against the terrorists. Sounds to me like the terrorists have already won. People better get some backbone, stand up and fight against it or....
Kandie Rosales, Monday, March 31st
How dare you suggest an equivalence between pre-Holocaust European Jews and contemporary Muslims. Islamic terrorists have carried out more than 10,000 deadly terror attacks just since 9/11. Exactly how is that comparable to Jews... anywhere in time or space?
Anne Lieberman, Monday, March 31st
Ami, for a person who has given evidence of writing intelligenty, sensitively and Zionistically, your equating of Wilders vs Muslims to Hitler vs Jews is howlingly stupid! Clearly you have not seen the film.
"Fitna" shows a number of sections from the Koran and Muslims acting out its barbaric massages. Whatever Hitler might have said of Jews, or depicted on film was a lie. Jews simply did not then nor do we not act in a manner laid down in the Bible. We do not wipe out anyone we designate as an Amelekite. We do not stone adulterers of disobedient sons. I could go on, but the point is that Wilders shows Mohammedans responding to Koranic injunctions in a manner that Jews had eschewed centuries before Mohammed started dreaming of Gabriel. What Mohammedans do and what Jews were falsely accused of doing are vastly different and you know that. Your comparison only aids the enemies of Jews and of Israel. Let Mohammedans answer Wilders not with a whine, but by preaching that those verses no longer apply and by condemning via fatwas, those of their faith who butcher in the name of their god.
Paul Winter, Monday, March 31st
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