Whenever somebody publicly offends Muslims, the media starts to hanker for reports of violent Islamist retribution. Four days have passed since Geert Wilders’ anti-Islamic film “Fitna” was posted on line, and so far—fingers crossed—no bloodshed. The much-hyped film, a montage of gruesome terror images interspersed with Koranic readings, is an effective attack on Islamic extremism. Yet it is also a nasty, gratuitous attempt to provoke the monster of Jihad under the pretense of exercising free speech.
There have been angry protests and loony banners waved, but as yet no reports of infidels beaten or killed in revenge for the Dutchman’s artistic efforts. One wonders, perhaps uncharitably, if Wilders—a populist politician, whose own life is protected by security guards—is a little disappointed. A killing or two would help make his point that Islam is inherently incompatible with the west.
Of course this could all change. The Islamic anger machine can be slow to wind up. Within a week or so, Wilders may have the outrage he obviously craves. Yet the hope should be that Muslims have become less sensitive to childish western publicity stunts.