April 1, 2008
Dutch people eager to dissociate themselves from the anti-Quran film Fitna have taken to the web to apologize for the controversial video.
Hundreds of Dutch citizens have uploaded videos to YouTube showing themselves holding signs with apologies for the film. In other anti-Fitna clips, the subjects simply say the words, “I’m sorry.”
Fitna, a 17-minute film by Dutch politician Geert Wilders, juxtaposes passages from the Islamic holy book with graphic footage of terrorist attacks in the United States and Europe. In one scene, the sound of paper ripping can be seen as a reader pages through the Quran.
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A website called Sorry for the Film encourages users to upload photos of themselves to indicate they do not support the views propagated in Fitna. Mediamatic, a technology collective based in Amsterdam, posted instructions for making “Sorry Fitna” videos.
Fitna, which was posted Thursday to LiveLeak, received more than 3 million views before the video-hosting site removed it Friday. The film subsequently appeared on Google Video and YouTube. LiveLeak restored the video Sunday, with a note reading: “We have decided to once more make this video live on our site. We will not be pressured into censoring material which is legal and within our rules.”
After its release, the film drew condemnation from Arabs and a call for a boycott of the Netherlands. Wilders said Monday he would cut a controversial cartoon by Danish artist Kurt Westergaard from the film to avoid a lawsuit by the Danish Union of Journalists. The cartoon, which depicts the prophet Muhammad with a bomb-shaped turban, sparked protests in 2006.