In light of recent events, Geert Wilders’ 2008 short film, Fitna, returns to relevance.
Fitna (Arabic: فِتْنَة) is a 2008 short film by Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders. Approximately 17 minutes in length, the film attempts to demonstrate that the Qur’an motivates its followers to hate all who violate Islamic teachings. The movie shows selected excerpts from Suras of the Qur’an, interspersed with media clips and newspaper cuttings showing or describing acts of violence and/or hatred by Muslims.
The film argues that Islam encourages—among other things—acts of terrorism, antisemitism, violence against women, violence and subjugation of “infidels” and against homosexuals and Islamic universalism. A large part of the film details the influence of Islam on the Netherlands. The film was published on the internet in 2008. Shortly before its release, its announcement was suspended from its website by the American provider because of the perceived controversy. It stirred a still continuing debate in the Netherlands as well as abroad, and a criminal prosecution for hate speech.
The Arabic title-word “fitna” means “disagreement and division among people” or a “test of faith in times of trial”. Wilders, a prominent critic of Islam, described the film as “a call to shake off the creeping tyranny of Islamization“.
On 27 March 2008, Fitna was released to the Internet on the video sharing website Liveleak in Dutch and English versions. The following day, Liveleak removed the film from their servers, citing serious threats to their staff. On 30 March, Fitna was restored on Liveleak following a security upgrade, only to be removed again shortly afterwards by Wilders himself because of copyright violations. A second edition was released later.