I have not seen Fitna, the little European anti-Islamic movie, for a simple reason. It’s been banned. Network Solutions refuses to allow people to access the web site that was going to show the film. YouTube has censored the video as well.
Now the United Nations has jumped on the censorship bandwagon. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon released a statement to “condemn, in the strongest terms” the Fitna movie. He said, ” The right of free expression is not at stake here. I acknowledge the efforts of the Government of the Netherlands to stop the broadcast of this film, and appeal for calm to those understandably offended by it. Freedom must always be accompanied by social responsibility.”
Ban Ki Moon’s statement is pure babbling idiocy. How can the right of free expression not be at stake when an Internet movie has been banned because its content offends believers in a particular religion? How can Ban Ki Moon suggest that there remains a right to freely express ideas when the people who made Fitna are not free to express their ideas?
Ban’s statement that “Freedom must always be accompanied by social responsibility” makes sense… until you actually think about what it means. Freedom that is restricted whenever it is judged by people in power to be socially irresponsible is not freedom at all.
Remember some of the freedoms that have been judged socially irresponsible in the past:
- The freedom of women to vote.
- The freedom of slaves to move about without permission papers from their owners.
- The freedom of blacks to marry whites.
- The freedom of scientists to research matters that have already been the subject of church doctrine.
Freedom is not freedom if it must bow to the social sensibilities of the powerful or the merely loud.
Besides that, it’s just plain stupid to try to contain the ideas contained in Fitna by censoring it. If there had been no censorship of Fitna, then I probably never would have heard of Geert Wilder, the Dutch minister who produced the film. Certainly, if Fitna had quietly been allowed to run online, it never would have received the huge attention it now has.
Once again, the tender Islamic ninnies who call for the censorship of anything that hurts their feelings fail to understand that the more they demand that everyone conform to their beliefs, the more freedom-loving people will refuse, and will come to have a negative regard for Islam. The tantrums of Muslims from around the world have given Geert Wilder and the little movie Fitna an international spotlight.
Memo to Muslims, to ministers in Europe, and to managers at Internet service companies: If you get caught trying to censor a message, you’ll only help that message to gain prominence.
Somebody, eventually, is going to host the Fitna movie online, so that people can see it and judge its value for themselves. If I get the chance, I’ll watch it, and make up my own mind about its content.
I may well find it to be a crude, ignorant, ugly film. That doesn’t mean I’ll join calls for its censorship.
What is beautiful and right to me may well be judged as ugly and offensive by someone else. I will not support efforts to reduce public speech to the idiotic level of messages that bother no one at all.