After a long series of postponements Geert Wilders -the infamous Dutch member of parliament- has now finally issued his anti-qur’an movie Fitna. A few weeks ago I predicted he would win, no matter what. I was convinced his approach was as fail safe as it was loathsome. Well, I was wrong. He screwed up big time.
First he used Kurt Westergaard‘s ‘Muhammad with bomb in his turban’-cartoon without permission. He’s being sued about it by the Danish Union of Journalists. Then he erroneously used the portrait of a Dutch rapper from Moroccan descent in lieu of the portrait of Theo van Gogh’s murderer Muhammad B. The rapper is going to sue him too. And finally Dutch television-maker Rob Muntz is going to take him to court over the unauthorised use of one of his interviews. Wilders is getting into trouble for lots of things, but not because of Muslims reacting violently.
As planned Moroccan mosques in the Netherlands opened their doors to visitors. No church was burned, no window even smashed. Muslims all over the Netherlands expressed their relief: Fitna was old news, badly done cut-and-paste work, not at all shocking. Nevertheless, some Muslims filed complaints. That’s something you do without bricks or Molotov cocktails.
To top it all off, Wilders -who has consistently refused to discuss his views with Muslims over the past years- has now announced he wants to open discussions with them. It seems Muslims -at least in the Netherlands- are now totally uninterested in discussing anything with him.
Rightly so, if you ask me. If you manage to screw up even this -pardon my French- why should anyone take you seriously?