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Mar 27, 2008

More on Censoring Wilders.

Flickr Photo by: Marco Wessel.

The caption on this photo in Planc's Constant was: In the photo here we see Dutch idiots apologizing to Muslims for a film no one has yet seen.

In addition to the previous post I recommend an article referred to in Planck’s Constant Which goes on to quote the Brussels Journal about appeasment, “Appeasing the Islamists: Geert Wilders’s Ordeal and the Lessons of the Past,” by Paul Belien.

Adolf Hitler realized the importance of having a good press. In Nazi Germany with its press censorship, it was easy for Hitler to have a good press. However, during the 1930s the Nazis also tried to control the media in the neighboring European countries that Hitler was planning to invade. The Nazis bullied the democratically elected governments in these countries to censor everything that resembled what today might be called “Naziphobia” – criticism of Nazism.

Interestingly, the bullied governments gave in to the Nazi intimidation rather than back the few courageous individuals who spoke out against totalitarianism. In the late 1930s, SS Gen. Karl Gebhardt (a medical doctor who was hanged after the war for conducting “experiments” on humans) frequently paid visits to his friend, King Leopold III of Belgium, to complain about “German unfriendly remarks” in the Belgian press. King Leopold asked Paul-Henri Spaak Belgium’s leading politician at the time, to forbid “anti-German” references in the Belgian media and ban non-Belgian papers that were critical of Hitler and his regime.

Spaak, who after the war became one of the founding fathers of the European Union, urged his colleagues in the government “to consider the possible consequences of the press campaigns against Germany.” The ministers were also under pressure from Viscount Davignon, the Belgian ambassador to Berlin, who looked upon them as “cowards” because they did not “dare to impose censorship.” Belgium gave in to the Nazi demands and banned “anti-German and unpatriotic publications,” including foreign papers such as the British Daily Express.

Belgium’s submission to the Nazi demands, however, did not prevent Hitler from invading the country in May 1940. The only result of the Belgian authorities’ appeasement policies was that many ordinary Belgians, at the behest of their own government, had not been able to read articles critical of Hitler. After the war, guess who blamed the young men who had fallen for the Nazi propaganda and volunteered to fight on the Eastern Front? Spaak and his ilk.

Today, we are witnessing a similar phenomenon. Islamist extremists want a good press. They do not tolerate criticism. Even cartoons are deemed offensive. They warn those who criticize them “to consider the possible consequences.”

Good article, well worth reading.

1 comment:

  1. What do Nazis have to do with this?

    The public Dutch and Belgian TV have shown all the fragments of the film, also most of the newspapers online have the video. Censorship?

    FYI, any TV station would ask to see your film before airing it and Wilders refused to show it to the producers beforehand. Even the Muslim public broadcaster offered to show it on their air time if Wilders was to appear afterwards in a debate and HE REFUSED. Basically they offered him a space to excercise his freedom of speech but he doesn't like Muslims...

    Now, about the film, it is a pamphlet. It tries to associate the deeds of some lunatics (who try to justify themselves with the Q'uran) with ALL the moslims. It is like saying that all Catholic priests abuse kids. I find that far fetched and paranoid.

    It also is poorly done and has some blunders:
    - The use of the Danish cartoon was not authorized by the cartoonist. Kurt Westergaard just called Wilders a thief in an interview on Dutch TV.
    - Wilders changed some words on the verses (soerat 8, vers 60 does not say 'terrorize')
    - The image he uses of Van Gogh's killer is actually a Moroccan raper. Proof that xenophobes think that all Muslims look and act the same?

    Just as a note, I am not a Muslim but the film really insults my intelligence: it is not about the Quran, I mean it is a huge book and the film only shows all the videos we all know from the news! Please... can it get any more lame?

    Andrea, Den Haag, NL