I haven’t watched Fitna and doubt I will. Through the years, I have seen more than my share of “Fitna” type films. Even I have my limits to how much blood shedding and gore I can tolerate - even passively. By this time, I think I have gotten the message – fanatics and extremists will use anything to justify the shedding of blood liberally and there is nothing more horrendous than an alleged holy war. War can be many things but rarely is it holy. For those of you who haven’t had your fill – by all means go and watch. Don’t misunderstand me, the film should be shown, and it should be discussed and understood.
But what concerns me more than the fanatics/whack jobs, which use a religious text to carry out their perceived mission; is how my society internalizes their message and responds. In Canada, we are relatively blessed as far as pluralistic societies go and have acted as a safe haven for those fleeing persecution from all forms of religious extremism. And I am more than okay with that. What I am not so okay with; is those who will watch these films and think that the family down the street, who roll out their prayer mats five times a day have suddenly become a clear, present and growing danger to their families lives. It is just not so. More often than, many of those same pray matt rolling families have ended up at our shores fleeing from those same religious whack jobs. It behooves us all not to forget that as they are one of our allies in this struggle.
The war we are engaged in with Muslim religious whack jobs is not Islam against modern western society but the assertion of modern classical liberal values against stone age tribal barbarism. The jihadi's would like nothing better than for us to frame our response to in terms of ‘Crusader/Jew’ versus ‘Muslim’ as the 7th century is always a kind of glory day for them, but when we do that, we let our enemy control the higher ground by setting the terms of the struggle.
If a Muslim cab driving father kills his rebellious daughter in the West, our first response should not be to call for a boycott of all Muslim cab drivers, but an expression and assertion for the rights of all women not to be treated or disposed of as private chattel. When the mullah’s beat and hang a man for being a homosexual we should stand up and shout loud and clear for the rights of gays not to be tortured and killed by religious whack jobs. This is how we win - by asserting and promoting classic liberal values here at home and aboard.