I have followed the publication of the Dutch movie “Fitna” with some interest. I still haven’t seen the film, and I’m sure it is possible to find somewhere online even though LiveLeak removed it on Friday. However, it seems to be the kind of film that is made just in order to provoke, not to add anything meaningful to the discussion about Islam and the lack of free speech (and a bunch of other related issues). Something I find noticeable, is that there have been a growing number of protests by people whose work features in the film, according to this blog:
“Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard says he wants his prominently featured cartoon of Mohammad to be removed from the film and says Geert Wilders never asked his permission to use it. Broadcaster Robbie Muntz says he is considering taking legal action because the film includes an excerpt of him interviewing murdered film director Theo van Gogh. Rapper Salah Edin also plans to take Geert Wilders to court because the film features a photograph of him dressed as Theo van Gogh’s killer, Mohammed Bouyeri.”
A much more interesting project when it comes to freedom of speech, is this project: A theatre in Potsdam, Germany is preparing to stage The Satanic Verses, based on Salman Rushdie’s famous book from 1988. This is going to the the world premier, and the German theatre is breaking a taboo by staging it.
I think its amazing that a play or a novel can create so much controversy in 2008, and its really sad to read that the Turkish actor Oktay Khan, who was supposed to take part in the play, “withdrew his consent after receiving threats that he would be attacked if he took part.”
Regarding the reason for staging The Satanic Verses, director Uwe Laufenberg says that “he wanted to expose more people to the book, which was well-known as a controversial novel but not for its contents. “Almost everyone has heard of the book, but hardly anyone has read it, which is why I wanted to bring it to the stage. It’s quite self-explanatory,” he said.”
Including myself. Time to learn more about those satanic verses written by the author that is still in hiding.