The one question which nobody seems to be asking in the build-up to the release of Geert Wilders’ short anti-Koran film is what he actually hopes it will achieve.
It is all very well exercising your right to freedom of expression – as Wilders is determined to do – but what’s its point?
Does the anti-Islam MP really think his 15-minutes of propaganda is going to make Muslims go ‘oh gosh, Wilders is right’ and convert to Christianity on the spot? Does he relish the international notoriety?
Or does he think it will further reinforce anti-Muslim sentiment in Holland and boost the fortunes of his far-right political party?
Meanwhile the Dutch government has stepped up its damage limitation exercise and now appears to be pulling out all the stops – even considering a legal ban on the grounds that the film will endanger national security and public safety.
Judging by the international reactions so far, Wilders appears to be doing a great job if he intends to generate anti-Dutch sentiment throughout the Muslim world, damage the country’s economy and even put lives at risk.
And then, of course, once the dust and the demonstrations have died down, he can say ‘I told you so’.
In the meantime, isn’t it about time people stopped harping on about his right to freedom of speech and ask exactly what Wilders is trying to prove?
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