ABC Condemns Defender of Western Civilization

Who is responsible for Muslim violence?  Muslims, or non-Muslims who complain about it?

In a story called “Fanning the Flames,” ABC identified the complainer as the villain.  World News Saturday anchor David Muir said Dutch Member of Parliament Geert Wilders, “threatens to ignite a fresh round of violence” for releasing a short movie that criticizes Muslim violence.

Reporter Nick Watt sharply criticized Wilders, Chairman of the Dutch Freedom Party, for his film Fitna, which compares radical Islam to Nazism, fascism and communism. Fitna alternates Koran verses that preach hatred and violence with images of Muslim bombings and beheadings.  

“Wilders calls this 'free speech,'” said Watt, voice dripping with sarcasm.  Watt emphasized that Muslims have not responded to Fitna with violence – “so far.”

Wilders considers Western culture to be superior to Islamic culture, and wants to suspend Muslim immigration to Holland.  Watt appeared to be angrier with Wilders for violating the tenets of political correctness than with Europe's Muslim immigrants for striking fear into the hearts of the general population with the threat of rioting, arson and murder.      

In a confrontational interview with Wilders, Watt appeared to take deep offense when the lawmaker preferred Western culture to Islamic:

Wilders: I believe that our culture is far better than the Islamic culture.

Watt:  What do you mean “better?”

Wilder: Well, we have a separation of church and state. We treat women equally.

In another exchange, Watt called the politician a “racist”:

Watt: You believe the Western Judeo-Christian culture is superior. You believe immigration should be stopped. I mean, you are a racist, no?

Wilders:  Once again, I'm not a racist because I have nothing against any race. It's not racist, it's common sense.

Note to Watt: Christianity and Islam are both religions with followers drawn from every race on earth.  Racism is not the issue here.  The issue is what the faiths teach, and how their followers carry out the teachings. 

Watt inadvertently built a strong case for Wilders' position by making a series of references to Muslim violence or threats of violence:

·        The Web site hosting the movie has now taken it down following serious threats to the staff.

·        For now, Dutch Muslims are urging restraint.

·        So far, there has been anger, some people in the Muslim community are offended by the movie, but no violence.

·        However, here in Holland and across Europe, there is a fear. People are waiting for the other shoe to drop.

·        Referring to the rioting in Denmark following the 2005 publication of cartoons mocking Muhammad, “Worldwide protests. More than 100 people were killed in the violence.”

Brian Fitzpatrick is senior editor at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.