Fitna Released Online

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The same day I recommended that all free speech advocates stand foursquare behind Dutch anti-Islam activist Geert Wilders, the pompadoured parliamentarian released his film Fitna online. It isn't nearly as bad as I suspected; Wilders mostly highlights violent verses in the Koran, intercut with blood-thirsty sermons from PA and Saudi television, images of terror attacks, public hangings and executions, beheadings, etc.

Rather than ignoring Wilders, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Balkenende went into crisis mode, meeting with Dutch Muslims and saying that he "regretted" the film's release. The European Union blasted Wilders, blubbering that freedom of speech "should be exercised in a spirit of respect for religious and other beliefs and convictions."

I'm not sure if there's some fatwa against embedding videos, but watch and decide for yourself:

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  1. I said this before, but with a few tweaks, this is something I wouldn’t be surprised to see on Fox News.

  2. blubbering that freedom of speech “should be exercised in a spirit of respect for religious and other beliefs and convictions

    Blubbering?

    Nicely disrespectful of other’s beliefs.

    Rights, of course, never imply responsibilities.

  3. A film denouncing imperialism, theocracy, homophobia, violence against women … this extreme right-wing propaganda must be stopped!

  4. movie doesnt work for me!

  5. Rights, of course, never imply responsibilities.

    Do you even know where you are right now, NM?

    It isn’t nearly as bad as I suspected; Wilders mostly highlights violent verses in the Koran, intercut with blood-thirsty sermons from PA and Saudi television, images of terror attacks, public hangings and executions, beheadings, etc.

    Um…please tell us. What were you expecting?

  6. LMNOP,

    Do you even know where you are right now, NM?

    Why yes, yes I do.
    But thanks for the concern.

    Did you have a point?

  7. “It isn’t nearly as bad as I suspected”

    The other day you wrote it was “reductive and puerile”. Does that mean when you wrote those words you hadn’t actually seen it yet? If so, what evidence convinced you? Why did you attack it?

    I’m just wondering because it seems to have a lot to do with the issues of free speech being discussed. Indeed many people are attacking the movie, some in Europe calling for it to be banned, and I bet 99% of them haven’t seen it either. Though I’m sure many have different motivations. Some are angry, some are probably just trying to be sensitive.

    I haven’t watched it so I have no opinion. (I have to wait till I get home.)

    thanks

  8. Who would have watched this film if the controversy, the hair pulling, breast beating, whiny, threatening condemnation by certain Muslims was absent?

    Tens of millions of people are going to view this who never would have noticed or given a rat’s ass without all of the brouhaha. The riots will occur, I expect they’ve started already, confirming in many minds that Islam is indeed a violent, intolerant faith.

    Some people just don’t get it. Geert Wilders is using the Islamic fringe like marionettes.

  9. JsubD,

    Geert Wilders is using the Islamic fringe like marionettes.

    He learned this from watching Osama bin Ladin perhaps?

    Both in the way he pulls the strings of the Islamic fringe and the way he pulls the strings of western leaders, of course.

  10. Let’s try this:

    Wilders mostly highlights violent teachings of Buddha, intercut with blood-thirsty sermons from the Dalai Lama and Chinese television, images of terror attacks, public hangings and executions, beheadings, etc

    No, no. Maybe…

    Wilders mostly highlights violent teachings of Jesus, intercut with blood-thirsty sermons from American and Italian television, images of terror attacks, public hangings and executions, beheadings, etc

    Hmmm. No, doesn’t work either.

  11. The other day you wrote it was “reductive and puerile”. Does that mean when you wrote those words you hadn’t actually seen it yet? If so, what evidence convinced you? Why did you attack it?

    Out of curiosity I looked up the article from which chrisb quoted and here’s the full sentence:

    “That Wilders possesses extremist views, that his interpretation of Islam is both reductive and puerile, is of no particular relevance in this case, unless one subscribes to the view that there exists an arbitrary boundary between right to free speech and freedom from offense” (emphasis in original).

    Seems to me that his statement was referring to Wilders’ opinions in general, and not specifically his video. I mention this not to defend Moynihan (as I’m sure he can do that himself) but just to save others who share my curiosity the trouble of looking up the full quote.

  12. Thanks, ClubMedSux

  13. It is a very limited, almost unfair view of Islam in this video, but as J sub D alluded to, there is a “fringe” that is depicted very unflinchingly here.

    Plus: I can’t believe ‘homo’ is the actual Dutch word for ‘gay’.

  14. He learned this from watching Osama bin Ladin perhaps?

    Both in the way he pulls the strings of the Islamic fringe and the way he pulls the strings of western leaders, of course.

    In that they both seek to exacerbate violence and cutural clashes, that their pronouncements are best ignored, yes.

  15. Plus: I can’t believe ‘homo’ is the actual Dutch word for ‘gay’.

    Uhh, homosexual is the English term for gay, and according to the ol’ free translator, gay translates to “De homoseksueel.”

    From the little I’ve seen of Dutch, however, it seems like Dutch is the closest language to English. Any more cunning linguists care to elaborate?

  16. It’s unfortunate the film doesn’t discuss the best verse in the Koran — the one that says that women must be chaste outside of marriage, with the exception that all women may freely give themselves to Mohammed.

    It’s good to be a prophet.

  17. The European Union blasted Wilders, blubbering that freedom of speech “should be exercised in a spirit of respect for religious and other beliefs and convictions unfreedom.”

    There, fixed it.

  18. Scary stuff … very enlightening. I personally do not care if this is representative of 10, 20, or 50 percent of all Muslims … it is well established that their numbers are large enough, coupled with an insidious motivation to establish a murderous tyranny over Planet Earth. They must be stopped …

  19. Spanish Inquisition, Salem Witch Trials . .

    Islam is only a few hundred years behind Christianity. Given that Christianity had a huge head start, they seem to be making up ground quickly.

  20. Nicely disrespectful of other’s beliefs.

    Whatever.

    The EU thinks that that freedom of speech “should be exercised in a spirit of respect for religious and other beliefs and convictions,” which is to say freedom of speech only when it doesn’t offend someone.

    And religous speech, particularly the islamic sort, is totally respectful of other religious convictions, or lack thereof.

    Riiiiight….

  21. Any more cunning linguists care to elaborate?

    “cunning linguists”: Is that an embedded pun?

  22. From the little I’ve seen of Dutch, however, it seems like Dutch is the closest language to English.

    I’ve heard that German is actually the closest to English, but then again German is very close to Dutch, so I’d say you’re close enough for government work.

    On a side note, when I visited the Netherlands I was told to NEVER tell anybody there that their language is very similar to German (I was studying in Germany at the time). You could tell them German was very similar to Dutch, but not the other way around.

  23. From the little I’ve seen of Dutch, however, it seems like Dutch is the closest language to English. Any more cunning linguists care to elaborate?

    Cunning…linguist…

    I believe Frisian is the closest language, Scots being debated as to whether it is a dialect or a separate language. Frisian is spoken mostly in the Netherlands.

  24. Uhh, homosexual is the English term for gay, and according to the ol’ free translator, gay translates to “De homoseksueel.”

    I understand the roots of the word ‘homosexual’, I just thought it was funny that they’d abbreviate it to ‘homo’ in newspaper headlines because that would obviously never fly in English.

  25. Mohammed was the L. Ron Hubbard of the 6th century

  26. short fat bastard … you have it all wrong. The examples that you gave were of Christianity warring against it’s own people … which the Islamists are certainly doing. The defining difference between the two religions is that Christianity has left the Crusades behind … it has evolved. Islam is still stuck in the Crusade mentality, the witch-trial mentality, the Inquisition mentality … with no sign of evolving out of all of it.

  27. Taktix(r),

    Yes, Dutch and English are very close, since they both evolved from Old Low German.

    The words homosexual and homoseksueel are not purely germanic words, but come from the Greek root homo (“same”) added to the local word for “sexual.”

    The classics, lads, never forget the classics.

  28. Agree with Moynihan. Not that bad. A pure piece of cherrypicking propaganda, but given the material available, more selective than unfair. Not likely to convert or inspire anyone save the fatwa set.
    One thing that occured to me, there seems to be an absence of similar warnings about free speech and not giving offense when certain Imams preach this hatred in Europe. I have no dog in this fight, but European leaders need to brandish the argument that free speech entails respect a bit more consistently. That’s all I have.

  29. Rights, of course, never imply responsibilities.

    Ahem, Neu Mejican, to whom am I responsible when I exercise my rights?

  30. It is interesting that some people like J Sub D think this guy is a bad guy for making the film and in fact on at least some levels equal to Bin Ladin in that he just does things for effect and to cause cultural conflict. What is the alternative? There really are radicals out there who do things like cut off heads and the like and the sermons in the film are real sermons. Are we just supposed to ignore this stuff and pretend it doesn’t exist? Stiring up cultural conflict would be making things up or filming false sermons in order to make people think that this stuff exists when it really doesn’t. That doesn’t seem to be happneing here at all. If Muslims don’t like this stuff being publicized, perhaps they should tell the people who are doing it to stop rather than killing the messenger.

  31. From the little I’ve seen of Dutch, however, it seems like Dutch is the closest language to English.

    Anecdotal, but of all the immigrants I have met, I have found the Dutch tend to master English the quickest and to speak it practically accent-free. Danes come in second. Which is rather strange because I find the written form of both languages utterly strange.

    Today practically everyone in the Netherlands speak fluent unaccented English. It is the only European country that I’ve been to where you can get around with absolutely zero local language skills.

    I believe Episiarch is correct that Frisian is the closest language to English and I believe it is in fact from the same root as Anglo-Saxon.

    Frisian is spoken in the northeast of Holland, the northwest of Germany and the south of Denmark, IIANM. This is also where the Angles, Saxons and Jutes came from.

  32. “Agree with Moynihan. Not that bad. A pure piece of cherrypicking propaganda,”

    How so? Is any of this false? Are the people in the video really nice guys who are taken out of context? Do they deserve the “Reverend Wright defense” in that they are just misunderstood and do a lot of great things to? Are there more moderate variations of Islam? Of course. But, this film isn’t dealing with those. It is dealing with the worst strains and seems to be portraying those things for what they are. You could certainly make a film showing only the moderate and tolerent sides of Islam. Both films would be equally true.

  33. some people like J Sub D think this guy is a …in fact on at least some levels equal to Bin Ladin

    He said they’re similar in type, John, not similar in degree.

    But you knew that already. Else you’d have to be one of the less discerning people I’ve ever met, and I don’t think you’re that dumb.

    And it shouldn’t just be Muslims, John…all civilized people should denounce this stuff. All the calls for “Muslims need to clean up their house!” is bigoted, tribalistic blather.

    But you KNEW THAT too!

  34. Else you’d have to be one of the less discerning people I’ve ever met, and I don’t think you’re that dumb.

    And that is your first mistake.

  35. It is a film for ostraches keeping their heads in the sand and for dummies, or are these the same?

  36. The examples that you gave were of Christianity warring against it’s own people …

    The inqusition featured a wide variety of coercive methods for converting Jews to Christianity.

    The defining difference between the two religions is that Christianity has left the Crusades behind

    Only because the Europeans replaced religion with nationality and ethnicity as a good reasons for killing each other.

  37. Read the rest of the sentence Ayn Randian. It says it is equal to Bin Ladin in that it they both stir up cultural conflict. I never said he equated them in every way. At least try to read the post before you put up some bullshit smug retort.

    Further, no one is calling on Muslims to do anything other than quit complaining about people telling the truth. Again, this stuff exists. What should be done? Should it just be ignored? If this film disturbs you as a Muslim, it should be because what is going on, not because someone had the gall to criticize you.

  38. “And it shouldn’t just be Muslims, John…all civilized people should denounce this stuff. All the calls for “Muslims need to clean up their house!” is bigoted, tribalistic blather.”

    Are calls for Christians to clean up their house bigoted to? If someone made a movie about the various Christian slaughters that went on during the Crusades would that be bigoted?

  39. Anecdotal, but of all the immigrants I have met, I have found the Dutch tend to master English the quickest and to speak it practically accent-free. Danes come in second. Which is rather strange because I find the written form of both languages utterly strange.

    Really? I speak no Dutch, but always found I could blunder through a Dutch newspaper without a great deal of difficulty, something I can’t say for any other language I’ve left unstudied.

  40. The angry Muslims and the provocative filmmakers seem to be enmeshed in a symbiotic media-sucking relationship. Is there a coherent political philosophy behind my reaction of “shut up, the lot of you”?

  41. I believe Frisian is the closest language, Scots being debated as to whether it is a dialect or a separate language. Frisian is spoken mostly in the Netherlands.

    Exactly right. Anglo-Frisian is a branch of West Germanic, and the Dutch-German branch is the other. Dutch and German are the same language, in essence; there’s not some magic line at the border where they speak Dutch on one side and German on the other. Low German (the dialects spoken in northern Germany) blends seamlessly into Dutch as you get closer to the Netherlands. Low German blends into Central German as you move south (and into the mountains), and then into High German in the south. I was pretty fluent in German in high school, and when I heard Swiss German (one of the highest of the High German dialects) being spoken I couldn’t understand a word. Speaking English helps to understand the Low German dialects a bit (English originated in the same area as the Low German dialects, so it shares some of the sound changes even though it’s from a different branch), but High German has so many consonant shifts that you just have to get used to hearing it.

  42. Ayn R,

    Rights, of course, never imply responsibilities.

    Ahem, Neu Mejican, to whom am I responsible when I exercise my rights?

    Re-read that sentence again.

  43. I believe Episiarch is correct that Frisian is the closest language to English and I believe it is in fact from the same root as Anglo-Saxon.

    True, but the fact that up to 40% of English words come from French messes that up a bit. Otherwise, it would be very easy to learn Frisian.

    And yes, going to the Netherlands is (linguistically) like going to some Twilight Zone midwestern state where people speak near perfect, if accented, English while all the signs are in a different language.

  44. Bosnia-Herzegovina: 1992-1995 – 200,000 Deaths

    Rwanda: 1994 – 800,000 Deaths

    Pol Pot in Cambodia: 1975-1979 – 2,000,000 Deaths

    Nazi Holocaust: 1938-1945 – 6,000,000 Deaths

    Rape of Nanking: 1937-1938 – 300,000 Deaths

    Stalin’s Forced Famine: 1932-1933 – 7,000,000 Deaths

    Armenians in Turkey: 1915-1918 – 1,500,000 Deaths

    Plus the Chinese killed off a million or so Tibets in last century.

    Not to diminish the threat that virulent muslim philosphy represents to the modern world, but you need to keep things in perspective.

  45. Islam is at the same bloodthirsty senseless point as Christianity was in the “dark ages”. They need a few more hundred years of pointless bloodshed before they have their Renaissance.

  46. John, I read the post. You know what you’re doing; I don’t need to treat you like a child.

    Are calls for Christians to clean up their house bigoted to? If someone made a movie about the various Christian slaughters that went on during the Crusades would that be bigoted?

    WTF are you talking about?

    My point was that it seems funny to me that you always call on Muslims to generate some outrage, as if that’s not already happening and as if that would somehow make you happy.

    This manufactured sense of “muslims aren’t doing enough” is a just a convenient way for you to be bigoted about Muslims. My point is that ALL civilized folks should be called on to get angry about stuff like this, and it’s very convenient that you ONLY ever pick on moderate Muslims.

  47. True enough fat bastard. To use a cliche it is what it is. It is certainly not communism or Nazism yet, but it does exist and it is very nasty. I don’t see how this guy is bad for pointing that out. If it needs to be put in context with the hundreds of millions of Muslims who don’t cut off people’s heads, then by all means do so. But there is nothing racist or bad about exposing this stuff to the light of day.

  48. Re-read that sentence again.

    I don’t think my sarcasm meter is that broken, Neu.

  49. “This manufactured sense of “muslims aren’t doing enough” is a just a convenient way for you to be bigoted about Muslims. My point is that ALL civilized folks should be called on to get angry about stuff like this, and it’s very convenient that you ONLY ever pick on moderate Muslims.”

    Again. I am not calling on Muslims to do anything. The point is that this stuff exists and bringing its existence to the light of day is not a bad thing. Doing so does not put the onus on moderate Muslims to do anything except not shoot the messenger. My objection is the idea that there is something wrong with a film that shows actual events and people as they are.

  50. Randian until you can show how this film isn’t true or shows things that people didn’t really say or do, you need to shut the fuck up and quit whining racism. There is nothing racist about the truth.

  51. John,
    Try to avoid cutting off money clauses from key sentences, and you have the answer to the “how so” question you were seeking. I said nothing about falsity. It’s not that difficult. The film was not designed to really inform anyone, it was a pretty well-edited “preaching to the choir” sort of piece. Since I really detest all appeals to religious authority in any context, it’s not the type of film that moves me. That’s all. Aside from the chickenshit handwringing going on, I could wake up tomorrow and never recall seeing it in the first place.

  52. Moreover,

    What the hell have you ever done about extremist violence? When are you ever on here condeming anything that doesn’t effect your right to read poorly written novels? Give me a break. I have never seen you do anything but call anyone who does bother to notice violence a racist for doing so.

  53. If it needs to be put in context with the hundreds of millions of Muslims who don’t cut off people’s heads, then by all means do so.

    My point is that Islam is not the problem. The problem is inherent in humanity. Poverty and ignorance brings the problem to the surface. Technology makes it easier to commit atrocities. Group-think of any kind can be sufficient to start the bloodshed.

  54. you need to shut the fuck up and quit whining racism.

    Oh dear. Never said racism, John.

    You wrote:

    If Muslims don’t like this stuff being publicized, perhaps they should tell the people who are doing it to stop rather than killing the messenger.

    Now, I am going to ask you again: don’t you find it strange that you said that MUSLIMS should be the ones to tell these people to stop?

    Like I said, you know what you’re doing. You’re only looking to Islam to clean this up when it’s a problem for all of us. Why? So you can have your Two-Minutes Hate on Muslims, like all the little inflammatory righties told you to.

  55. Oh and John, that silence you hear from “moderate” Muslims…it might have something to do with the fact that many of them are scared shitless. I guarantee you they would be in more danger than any of us if they were to speak out about the crimes that are being committed in the name of Islam. Nice try though.

  56. “The film was not designed to really inform anyone, it was a pretty well-edited “preaching to the choir” sort of piece.”

    It is designed to make a point. So what? There is nothing that says that everything has to be perfectly in context or not make a point. Moreover, nothing ever is. Everything is done from one perspective or another. Is there a moderate response to this? Of course there is. The answer is that while these types of things go on, they are not typical of the Muslim attitude or experience in the world. Muslims ought to be making that point in response to this film. But, the fact is that what is portrayed in the film does exist and is a part, albeit a small one, of the Muslim world. There is nothing wrong with pointing that out.

  57. “Now, I am going to ask you again: don’t you find it strange that you said that MUSLIMS should be the ones to tell these people to stop?”

    Read the sentence again. I said “if Muslims have a problem with the film”. I never said Muslims have a duty to do anything anyone else does, but they can’t complain about a film that shows things that actually exist.

  58. “Oh and John, that silence you hear from “moderate” Muslims…it might have something to do with the fact that many of them are scared shitless. I guarantee you they would be in more danger than any of us if they were to speak out about the crimes that are being committed in the name of Islam. Nice try though.”

    If that is true, the I would say the film is pretty acurate.

  59. John,

    Here is the precious point you are looking for:

    “I am Geert Wilders, and I approved this message.”

    If you really got something else out of this film, well then you are part of that choir I was speaking about before. Carry on.

  60. This is one guy’s opinion of Islam. Is it the ultimate truth? Hell no. There are a million things you could say in response to this film. I think someone who is Muslim ought to make a response showing how whacked out the radicals’ interpretation of Islam is and how the vast majority of Muslims don’t buy that crap.

    Regardless, the things that are depicted in this film exist. They have to be explained and delt with. This film ought to be the starting point of a debate. Instead of that, we get horseshit, PC, Sanctimonous crap like Randian put out dismissing it as racist without ever dealing with the film on its own terms.

  61. I guarantee you they would be in more danger than any of us if they were to speak out about the crimes that are being committed in the name of Islam.

    Probably similar to the danger people face when they convert from Islam like that guy who converted on Easter and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

    The point is that this stuff exists and bringing its existence to the light of day is not a bad thing. Doing so does not put the onus on moderate Muslims to do anything except not shoot the messenger. My objection is the idea that there is something wrong with a film that shows actual events and people as they are.

    Oh please. First, is there a person on Earth who doesn’t know Muslim extremist terrorists exists? It’s a bit late to simply ‘bring it to the light of day.’ That was not the intention of this film.

    The intention was to set up Islam as inherently violent, then towards the end, they showed how Muslim populations were growing and civilization and the Netherlands itself was at risk. I think it’s pretty obvious what Wilders’ intention was.

    Obviously, any extremists are a problem, but when Wilders equates extremists with general populations, it goes beyond “showing events and people as they are.” Wilders could have stopped at the extremists, but he brought in general the general population of Muslims and that’s where he goes wrong.

  62. Ayn Randian,

    I don’t think my sarcasm meter is that broken, Neu.

    Get it checked by an expert.

  63. I honestly don’t know how you got so worked up over this John. It is such low-hanging fruit to edit together atrocity exhibitions (apologies to Joy Division) from any religion. It is generally not a point of departure for a meaningful debate of any kind. The real debate here is over free speech. In this case, I am fully in Wilders corner. The film itself, to recap, meh.

  64. It is designed to make a point. So what? There is nothing that says that everything has to be perfectly in context or not make a point.

    Just like Michael Moore movies right John? You never have a problem with them for selectively picking and choosing things taken out of context even though it’s technically “true” ?

    Oh I get it…context doesn’t matter when the point being made is one you agree with.

  65. “First, is there a person on Earth who doesn’t know Muslim extremist terrorists exists?”

    There isn’t really Adamness, don’t take the histrionics seriously.

  66. Here’s the real reason why the Dutch and the Scandinavians speak English much much better than the Germans and others…

    In the Netherlands and in Scandinavian countries, British and American television shows are aired with subtitles. In Germany, they are dubbed into german.

  67. Ayn Randian,

    Just to be clear.

    Rights and responsibilities are not necessarily logically linked. Particularly when the term “right” is defined as it is around here.

    That, of course, doesn’t mean that people in a society don’t have both rights and responsibilities.

    This fact, of course, does not mean that rights (as in “negative rights”) ever imply responsibilities.

    Of course the concept that only negative rights exist, requires a restriction on the word’s semantics that goes well beyond that of everyday usage.

    I was making fun only of the concept that people around here would argue that they have not responsibility to anyone but themselves.

  68. urgh,

    no responsibility, that is.

  69. At the risk of being branded an anti-Muslim bigot or a Europhile, I believe he is not trying so much to make a point about Islam in the whole world. He is trying to point out that the swelling Muslim population of the Netherlands includes folks who REALLY don’t share the values traditionally associated with the Netherlands and held by the majority of its people.

    When Americans think “Muslim”, they think of the inhabitants of the middle east. When Europeans think “Muslim”, they can think more of the inhabitants of their suburbs who seem to hold really scary ideas.

    I think it reasonable for the Mainstream Dutch to ask, “Could we have a show of hands of those of you who don’t intend to slaughter us once you become a majority?” They might want to adjust immigration policy accordingly.

    For reasons I don’t entirely understand, Muslims in America seem to want to be American. For this I’m thankful.

    I can’t believe ‘homo’ is the actual Dutch word for ‘gay’.

    Nit dat es is irgendz vrangt med det…

    (Sorry, that was purely made-up Dutch; I’m too lazy to look it up or consult a friend…)

  70. Meu Mejican,

    I initially thought you were being sarcastic as well. Perhaps your phrasing, perhaps my reading. Either way, I’ll take you at your word. Rights never imply responsibilities.

  71. lol, people will always find excuses for killing each other

    but it does make it easier if your prophet demands you to kill each other

  72. JsubD,

    My writing, I am sure.

    The first line was sarcastic or, at least dismissive of MM.

    This seems to have given the sheen of sarcasm to the following line.

  73. So Ayn Randian & JsubD,

    Now that we are, perhaps, on the same page.

    Do individuals in a society also have responsibilities of any kind?

  74. Do individuals in a society also have responsibilities of any kind?

    Well, the first question is “To whom?”

    Since we’re all born into society, I’d hate to think that the yoke of responsibility attaches right in the crib, like some kind of perverse leftist version of Original Sin.

  75. Ayn Randian,

    I was leaving the “to whom” open to your opinion…part of the question, as it were.

  76. Do individuals in a society also have responsibilities of any kind?

    I do. Many. The difference is that I insist, even demand, others have rights. I am less comfortable doing so regarding responsibilities. All citizens have responsibilities to dependent minors. all citizens have the resposibilty to respect others rights. Other than those, I’m hard pressed to name any other responsibilities.

  77. IOW, other than self imposed, you have NO responsibility for your neighbors three year old. You have NO responsibility to report a crime. You have NO responsibility to participate in the community whatsoever.

  78. i’d love to watch and judge for myself. any links where it hasn’t been censored?

  79. JsubD,

    all citizens have the resposibilty to respect others rights.

    Not being churlish, but that sounds very similar to what Jan Balkenende said (i.e., “should be exercised in a spirit of respect for religious and other beliefs and convictions.”)

    I am not equating the two, but both use the terms “respect,” and Balkenende uses “should” while avoiding any term indicating that it is mandatory.

  80. You have NO responsibility to participate in the community whatsoever.

    I am having difficulty imagining how one would pull this off.

  81. Neu – I mean, without an applicable party to whom I should/should not be responsible, I have difficulty answering.

    well, all responsiblities other than those are that are enforced by law are self-imposed,. I’m virulently opposed to mandating morality and responsibility.

    However, I do think it’s the right thing to do to report a crime, or help a lost or sick child. But I think that one should want to do it on his own.

    I suppose I could say that I think it’s OK for people around you in a given society to expect certain things of you and to even peer-pressure you into becoming a more responsible citizen. But force is never an appropriate tool to convince people to do the right thing.

    Does that help any?

  82. Ayn Randian,

    I think I assumed as much, but your answer seems to, if not beg the question, avoid an answer.

    Clearly if force is carefully defined, no one should have the right to force others, but the line between forcing, expecting, and persuading is blurrier than that isn’t it?

  83. Clearly if force is carefully defined, no one should have the right to force others, but the line between forcing, expecting, and persuading is blurrier than that isn’t it?

    Maybe. But we’ll have to muddle through somehow…

    Like I said, I think that ocmmon citizenship principles are crucial to maintaining a liberty-loving and free civilization. The irony is that the liberty-loving society we generate using those principles would instantly undo itself if it forced them on people.

    Briefer answer: Yes, you have responsibilities in society, provided that being free is high on your list of priorities (as it should be).

  84. Not being churlish, but that sounds very similar to what Jan Balkenende said (i.e., “should be exercised in a spirit of respect for religious and other beliefs and convictions.”)

    Hardly. Neither I, nor any other has a right to have my superstitions/convictions respected.

  85. I am having difficulty imagining how one would pull this off.

    With difficulty.

  86. We stood for what we believe in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high.

    The West’s famous last words?

  87. Also keep in mind it’s generally in one’s self-interest to participate to some degree in a community.

    Responsibility to each other, just person to person relations, is also different than government requiring it in some fashion.

  88. Ayn_Randian, Neu Mejican,

    Are we possibly stumbling over the differences with responsibilities and duties?

  89. JsubD,

    The claim wasn’t that anyone had a right to have their beliefs respected.

    You said there was a responsibility to “respect other’s rights.”

    This is, actually, a stronger statement than the Prime Ministers…who said, essentially, “the right thing to do is to respect other’s beliefs.”

    No one claimed you had a responsibility to respect other’s beliefs.

    Your statement seems to imply that I do have a responsibility (which is exactly equal to duty imho) to others…and that duty is to respect their rights. Meaning, I guess (to stay Randian) that you see the rights of others as a limit on your own rights.

    Is that accurate?

  90. The film has been pulled due to threats against LiveLeak’s staff.

    First rule of political theatre: GET A REACTION.

  91. The film has been pulled due to threats against LiveLeak’s staff.

    Sounds like it needs to be aired on public television or hosted by a government server then.

    [ducks]

  92. The film has been pulled due to threats against LiveLeak’s staff.

    If any of you are familiar with what happened after Scientology got their videos pulled, should we expect Anon to hack the Muslim extremists?


  93. I’m virulently opposed to mandating morality and responsibility.

    But all of law is the mandating of morality and responsibility, from forcing people from wife-beating cultures to stop beating their wives, to forcing people who think they’re allowed to beat their children to do otherwise. All of law is the imposition of a particular set of moral choices, by force, over another.

  94. But all of law is the mandating of morality and responsibility

    Damn, the fatal flaw.

    I don’t quite have an answer for this other than we can semi-scientifically use history as a guide to show us what laws are most useful, rather than the most moral, provided our metric is “human happiness”.

    That is, if liberty is necessary to man’s happiness, let’s look at what it takes to produce a liberty-oriented society.

    Of course, that’s circular in that if human happiness is the proper metric, is it the most moral position an individual can take?

    I have no answers other than “Liberty works”.


  95. I don’t quite have an answer for this other than we can semi-scientifically use history as a guide to show us what laws are most useful, rather than the most moral, provided our metric is “human happiness”.

    I basically agree with all of this. But isn’t it possible that things like minimal forced taxation, forced social programs for abused children and assistance to the mentally retarded are better at achieving human happiness? After all, most successful societies have some element of this.

    I’m not sure if the above is true, but I do know that it’s an empirical question which is undermined by an assertion that de re liberty = happiness.

  96. Linky works, but film has been removed.

  97. I do know that it’s an empirical question which is undermined by an assertion that de re liberty = happiness.

    well, maybe, but at some point you have to stop analyzing the data and actually pick a side, don’t you?

  98. The European Union blasted Wilders, blubbering that freedom of speech “should be exercised in a spirit of respect for religious and other beliefs and convictions.”

    Why?

    If we don’t respect someone’s religion, it might hurt their feelers? Does the EU really care about a large number of people with hurt feelers? Or, perhaps they’re worried that something might happen. Something physical. A reaction of some kind?

  99. You said there was a responsibility to “respect other’s rights.”

    This is, actually, a stronger statement than the Prime Ministers…who said, essentially, “the right thing to do is to respect other’s beliefs.”

    I am rtesponsible to respect their right to hold beliefs. I’m have no resposibility to respect the beliefs themselves. To me, that is a big difference. You can be a flat earther. I can call you a fool for it.

  100. NM,

    Yes, blubbering. And no, I don’t “respect” everyone elses beliefs. Or more accurately, I don’t respect every belief other people(s) hold. I have a right to denounce them, sometimes disrepectfully.

    Or again, do I bite my tongue because I fear a non-verbal reaction of some kind? You bet I do.

    Someone in a recent thread on this subject made a comment about someone wearing a “Jesus is a cunt” tee-shirt.

    I spent some time thinking about it. Really thinking about it. Then, I imagined a scenario. Two tee-shirts– pretend you have to wear one of them, publicly. One says “Jesus is a cunt”, the other says “Muhammed is a cunt”. Which one do you do you wear?

  101. In fact, If I asy I respect the Islamic or Christan religions, it would be a white lie. Most theists feel the same way about my lack of religious beliefs. I can live with that, just respect my right to hold and express my beliefs, as I respect yours.

  102. Probably similar to the danger people face when they convert from Islam like that guy who converted on Easter and Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

    This reminds me of a justifiable threadjack that I’ve been planning.

    A few months ago I asked there was a voluntary fundraising effort to pay for Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s protective detail.

    https://www.reason.com/blog/show/122965.html

    It turns out there is one. If anyone is interested in donating or finding out the details the information is here:

    http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/frequently-asked-questions-about-the-ayaan-hirsi-ali-security-trust-answere/

    It remains to be seen whether or not this announcement will somehow be merged into the debate starting on this thread about responsibilities in society, state pooling of resources to address common problems, voluntary interaction and its effectiveness, etc.

  103. Plus: I can’t believe ‘homo’ is the actual Dutch word for ‘gay’.

    It’s “jomo”.

    I’m here all week.

  104. Paul – I’d wear the Mohammed one, just ’cause I like Islam less and it’d get more of a reaction.

  105. I spent some time thinking about it. Really thinking about it. Then, I imagined a scenario. Two tee-shirts– pretend you have to wear one of them, publicly. One says “Jesus is a cunt”, the other says “Muhammed is a cunt”. Which one do you do you wear?

    In America, it would depend on who I was more pissed at that day. In the Middle East, bare chested for sure.

  106. Jsub,

    I don’t yet have my concealed-carry permit (queue comment from LarryA) so I choose the “Jesus” tee-shirt. Just sayin’. I’m sorry if that makes me seem ‘culturally insensitive’ and disrespectful, but I feel I’m just playing the odds.

  107. respect every belief other people(s) hold. I have a right to denounce them, sometimes disrepectfully.

    There is, in my view, a meaningful difference between agreeing with and respecting someone else’s beliefs.

    If you want to call that respect for their right to hold the belief, we can go with that vocabulary.

    Of course now we get into the question of whether you can separate a person from their beliefs in a meaningful fashion…

  108. Paul,

    There is a nifty song I have hear recently.

    Afrofunk from the 70’s…don’t know the band or the country, but the chorus is…

    “Leave me my Hate/Got to have my Hate” and the lyrics talk about the importance of hate in defining one’s identity.

    Something about the “X is a cunt” T-shirt thought experiment reminded me of it.

  109. Reason should put the film on their servers.

    Here’s a chance to take a stand in the cause of freedom where there actually could be some consequences.

  110. Here’s a link to the film on youtube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TxP-SOA0_0&feature=related

    Watch it while you can.

  111. On rights and responsibilities:
    Don’t we need to separate society and state here? Rights are about what you can and cannot do legally. Responsibilities are about social maxims, what many people think a good person should do without being legally required to do them.

    Or in other words, if someone’s “right” to do something automatically negates another’s corresponding right of free action than the former can’t actually be called a right. So, Muslims don’t have a right to restrict your criticism of them. But it might be good manners, and show some wisdom and thoughtfulness, at the very least, to at least try to not always go around conflating radical Muslim terror with all of Islam, of which there are many liberal and moderate varieties.

  112. I thought it was a well-made movie, at least as good as a Michael Moore documentary (which I’ve been known to enjoy as well).

  113. Effective propaganda but nothing new, especially on YouTube. This back-and-forth between extremists on both sides has been taking place in video form for years now. Good for YT for not pulling it. By the way, if you stand for freedom of speech then pull your “speech” after being threatened, you’re a pussy. Why bother if you’re going to back down at the first whif of danger?

  114. I’m sure Neu Mejican gets all touchy-feely whenever someone denounces or mocks Christiantity.

  115. Podge,

    Seems a relevant quote

    In a democracy you own the government – it doesn’t own you. Along with this comes a responsibility to ensure that individual actions, in the pursuit of a personal destiny, do not threaten the well-being of others while the pursuit is in progress.”
    ~Frank Zappa

    the fez,
    Your certainty is comforting I am sure.

    http://fezdispenser.com/

  116. On moderate Muslims:

    Moderate Muslims DO need to speak out louder than the rest of the world to combat the Muslim extremists. Why? Because the extremists view everyone who isn’t a Muslim as a kuffir. Therefore anyone outside of Islam who makes an effort to speak out (and they are legion) against radical Islam are largely ignored, branded as bigots and/or mislabeled as racist by radical Muslims. It will take the multitudes of moderates raising their voices directly against the radicals in order to reach, and hopefully change, the radicals.

  117. well, maybe, but at some point you have to stop analyzing the data and actually pick a side, don’t you?

    I see it as a spectrum, not an all or nothing choice. In the same way most objectivists allow for minimal government, I want government to be “minimal plus” – addressing market failures and some social problems, even if it requires flat out forcing people on occasion – through paying taxes and operating social programs which are minimally redistributive. Because I conclude that human happiness is better served through a “minimal plus” government, than a merely minimal one, I can’t embrace the non-aggression axiom.

  118. The film is embedded at Nobody’s Business. I just watched it.

    http://www.bakelblog.com/nobodys_business/

    If anyone is curious, this link shows the size of the Muslim population by country in Europe. They are about 5.8% in The Netherlands

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4385768.stm

  119. Neu,
    Zappa seems to be using the word ‘responsibility’ in the way I am using rights, especially negative rights. But I think there’s some reason to not blur the distinction too much given that in the common vernacular people use ‘responsibilities’ to lasso in all sorts of things that would be problematic as rights, given that many would automatically negate other people’s rights for the same or similar things. “Society has the responsibility to provide jobs for minority peoples.” If we substitute “right” that would read as “minority people have the right to a job.” That would suggest then that people not classified as minorities would not have equal opportunity to a job under the law. Also, an employer would not have the right to hire and fire someone of his own choosing.

  120. Can we hurry up and vaporize Tehran

  121. thanks clubmedsux I read that sentence wrong earlier.

    I was just particularly struck by the things people say about Wilder and his movie while defending free speech. I am certainly guilty of doing that in the interests of not making waves or offending people. But wonder if it ultimately harms free speech when we surround our arguments supporting it with so many caveats of “but I disagree with this person’s message”

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