Director of 'insulting' Islamic film gets protection

30th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

30 August 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was given police protection on Monday following the screening of a controversial and "insulting" film about the abuse suffered by women in Islamic societies.

30 August 2004

AMSTERDAM — Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was given police protection on Monday following the screening of a controversial and "insulting" film about the abuse suffered by women in Islamic societies.

The writer of the film, Liberal VVD politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali, is already under police protection following earlier threats to her life.

Van Gogh said despite the shocking content of the film — which casts an accusing eye on the treatment of women in the Islamic faith — no threats were made against him, news agency ANP reported.

The English-language film Submission features four abused women in see through clothing who tell of their mistreatment by male members of their families. They say the abuse they suffer is sanctioned by the Koran. The women's' breasts are visible and anti-women texts from the Koran are written on their bodies.

The 10-minute film was broadcast for the first time on the VPRO programme Zomergasten on Sunday night.

The idea for the film originated with Hirsi Ali, who has been strident in her criticism of the way in which the Koran sanctions physical violence against women. The MP has previously been forced into hiding after receiving death threats and is accompanied everywhere by armed bodyguards.

The film is a fierce condemnation of the abuses of women in the Islamic faith, allegedly incited by verses in the Koran. Hirsi Ali said she wanted to demonstrate that the Koran itself advocates the beating of women and other abuses.

The outspoken Somali-born Dutch MP also said in the VPRO programme that she did not want to provoke anyone. Instead, she wished to stimulate thought and discussion.

The chairman of the Islam and Citizenship foundation, M. Sini., said he respected the right of the filmmakers to express their opinion, but he also said the film was an offensive provocation that was insulting for Muslims.

"You must place the equality of men and women up for discussion, but not in this manner," he said.

Amsterdam University academic, Thijl Sunier — who has done research on the Muslim community — also claimed that Hirsi Ali had missed her target.

The academic said most Muslims will react in a resigned manner to the film, asserting that the discussion about the position of women has been taking place among the Dutch Islamic community for years.

"It is pure nonsense to suggest that a majority of Muslims don't want that discussion," Sunier said.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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