Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Dutch publisher to lawyer of Muslims filing suit against Danish T.V. for showing Van Gogh film:"We must side with the victim- not the legalists"
Dutch publisher to lawyer of Muslims filing suit against Danish T.V. for showing Van Gogh film:"We must side with the victim- not the legalists"
Blasphemy laws as an excuse to stifle free debate-" no time for arguments but for choosing the course...and nature... of Europe"
December 6, 2004
MIM: This is an open letter by a Dutch publisher to the lawyer who is representing Muslims filing a lawsuit against Danish Radio (and television) for broadcasting Theo van Gogh's film Submission. The letter was written by Mr.Shrover in english and this is the original text.
'The enemy of surbversive thought is not supression,but publication; truth has no need to fear the light of day;fallacies wither under it...' Sir Stanley Unwin, publisher.
DR- (Danish Radio broadcasting) has recently shown the short movie Submission, by the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, shot after a script by Mrs. Ayaan Hirshi Ali, an apostate of Islam. Anonymous muslims have now threatened DR with a lawsuit. They want DR (Danish Radio) to stop the transmission of clips,as they are offensive to Islam.
Their appointed lawyer, Mr. Laue Traberg Schmidt, has told reporters he thinks the debate is one-sided, hotheaded, and prejudiced. I think Mr.Laue Traberg Schmidt is blurring the case,he forgets one crucial element, van Gogh was slain and his death pinpointed to fallacies besetting the debate about the existent minorities in Europe and their demographic nature.
The facts about Submission are relatively simple:
Van Gogh, who was a distant relative of the famous Dutch painter, Vincent, has been murdered five weeks ago because he made a controversial film. The nature of this film is artistic, its imagery is rather languid, and offensive because of its message about the Islamic abuse of women. And that should suprise none who knows the statistics, and none who knows anything about Theo van Gogh's work. Theo van Gogh was particularly known for his offensive and abrasive language and the provocative projects he liked to entertain. Already twenty years ago his first real film Luger sparkled controversy, because of van Gogh's cruelty to animals. A cat was shown in a tumbling washing machine.
Mr. Theo van Gogh was always fond to shock his viewers and probe the fringes of vulgarity. Last year he told an interviewer that his offensiveness was really a reaction to dubious hypocrisy. He was, he contested a gentle man, and proud of his family. But did not boast of them. His father held a high post in Dutch intelligence, and his uncle and namesake Theo van Gogh was shot as member of the Dutch resistance by the Germans during the IInd World War. As an artist Theo van Gogh has persistently offended and fought others (verbally that is). He targeted Christians and Jews alike, and started, because of one of his sick Auschwitz-jokes, a long and arduous battle in and out of the court with mr. Leon de Winter, a Dutch-Jewish filmmaker/writer. Mr. van Gogh was acquitted by the Dutch courts.
A number of years ago Theo van Gogh started targeting Islam and Dutch Islamic fundementalists, he called them all sorts of insulting names. Politically,Theo van Gogh was a liberal(libertarian). He was a staunch supporter of the murdered politician Mr. Pim Fortuyn, by many denounced as an exteme right-winger. Even the BBC depicted Fortuyn as nothing less than a tiny replica of that French monster Le Pen. Because of this Mr. Fortuyn had a sharp-tongued altercation with BBC-reporter Simpson, whom he dismissed and denounced as the man who single-handedly took Kabul.
In the wake of the Fortuyn murder, van Gogh started an offensive against reactionary religious forces that, he felt, threatened the streets of Europe. These are, he felt, deliberately upsetting the demographic balance in Europe. The ethnic minorities, he repeated Fortuyn's warning, will be considerable majorities within five decades, and Europe will then be.. Islamist?
Van Gogh sought a debate and he formulated his viewpoints not in a very moderate and intellectual manner, like the former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who has analyzed the large scale settlement of Turkish and Moroccan immigrants in Europe as a serious political mistake of former governments. No Theo van Gogh was rightout, confronting, insulting.
And we were used to that.
Then Theo van Gogh was killed, and now we must side with the victim, we must, and not with the so-called legalists and the one-sidedness of Mr. Laue Traberg Schmidt. This is no time for seeking arguments but for choosing the course of Europe and its nature. Will this remain a culture of modernity or lapse into a Byzantium, the empire about which Turkish grey wolves and islamists still dream?
The details of the van Gogh killing are gruesome. Van Gogh was not murdered in a murky alley, in some undiscovered hinterland, no he was butchered in broad daylight, with cyclists going by, and passersby looking on; one stupefied haphazard crowd, fleeing, someone even shouting: 'do not do it, do not do it. You'll regret that later.' It was to no avail.
On a wet and windy november morning, a morning on the edge of winter where people were doing what they normally do on mondays and have their thoughts on the smallness of their lives or the largeness of their problems, they saw someone being murdered in cold blood. No sign, no warning was given in advance. It was a cowardly attack.
Theo van Gogh had left his house at the usual time, and went to buy his newspaper, at the usual address. He cycled, at his usual speed, to the offices of the Kommune Amsterdam, and then left, to pursue his journey to his usual destination, his studio. And then he was, unusually, approached by Mr. Mohammed Bouyeri.
Mr. Bouyeri, a 26 year old man of Maroccan descent, went up to him. He wore a black cap and a long brownish coat and drew a pistol. He fired calmly, his arm stretched, at close range. This was an execution, prepared for. The filmmaker van Gogh tried to fend off his attacker, he stumbled and then fled. Just a few steps. The assassin followed him hurriedly across the street, firing. Nine shots in all. Van Gogh fell, and mumbled, bleeding. Then mr.Bouyeri looking down on his helpless victim took his long knife and gorged the filmmaker. Calmly, as if he was performing a ritual slaughter, he could be killing a sheep or a goat.
He certified himself that Mr.van Gogh was dead and then pinned a 5 page leaflet with his knife in the middle of the chest of the filmmaker. This paper contained philippics against blasphemy and unbelievers such as the co-author of the film, Mrs. Ayaan Hirshi Ali, and promises about the destruction of Europe. And then the assassin walked away slowly. He strolled across a park, passed the gate and was then stopped by alarmed police-officers. He pulled his gun and sprayed bullets, and was then gunned down and taken to hospital with a legwound.
On the other side of the park officers found Van Gogh dead. He had been shot, gorged, and stabbed several times. A victim beyond help.
And then a storm broke loose. A Turkish Islamic school in Uden was set ablaze. Some newspapers all too quickly, condemned the act as racially motivated and compared the action with fascist attacks on synagogues in 1938 during the Reichkristallnacht. A small bomb went off, a mosque burnt down, a wooden baracs-like structure in Limburg; and numerous incendary devices were thrown at mosques and several christian churches.
Police started raiding the hide-outs of alleged terrorists, and arrested a number of them, among them two young Dutch-american citizens living in the Hagueóboth converts to Islam. The primeminister invited the pupils of the torched Bedirschool to the Hague and allowed them to pray in parliamentófor anyone who knows something of Turkey a rightout provocation of Turkish secularists.
Next, Abdul-Jabbar van de Ven gave cause for controversy. He was the cyber-iman counselling the young terrorists in the Hague, those who were preparing the murder of MP's Mrs. Ayaan Hirshi Ali and Mr. Geert Wilders. Abdul-Jabbar told Mr.Andries Knevel on Dutch TV that he felt joy at the death of Mr.Theo van Gogh and had really wanted him death. Outcries followed, rage, Abdul-Jabbar went to hide on a secret location.
But, but: Adbdul-Jabbar is not an immigrant, he was born Mr. Jilles van de Ven, and trained for teacher and converted to Islam during the First Guld War. In the nineties he studied Koran in Saudi Arabia, and currently attends the course Middle East studies at the university of Nijmegen. Abdul-Jabbar van de Ven is anti-American, anti-Jewish and incites to violence. Not because he is Dutch, but because he is a follower of Islam..
The material damage in the wake of the van Gogh killing might not seem very large, but the wounds cannot be easily overlooked. There is cause to speak about major psychological damage to the Dutch soul. And this damage will not disappear quickly through the Polder-style negotiations the Netherlands have become used to.
A definite blow has been struck at the pretended tolerance and peaceful co-existence, the past has melted away. Suddenly the educational system no longer seems an endless road to paradise and multicultural happiness and integration abruptly halts at the steel doors of an excited religion. The Islamists do not waver their religious rights and have bolted their door, carrying a plate, modernity, no admission granted.. No discussion about religion tolerated.
And the chilling facts are such Mr. Laue Traberg Schmidt: Mr. Mohammed Bouyeri, the killer was a second-generation immigrant. He didn't seem predestined to act in such a violent manner. Moreover, he held a college degree and during recent Parliamentary elections he led the political debates in his neighbourhood. Local politicians and communal workers marked him as potentially promising.
Someone who lived here and worked here and knew the mores of the Netherlands struck at the heart of tolerance. That is the most stunning aspect of this murder, not an ignorant barbarian from the Berbermountains, from a nomadic village without sanitary conveniences, and many electrical appliances, not someone from a stagnant backwater has killed van Gogh, but someone who grew up and studied here. An educated Islamist.
What is wrong with that and what is next?
Obviously the lawsuits are next. Skilfully manipulated by Islamists who threaten opponents, and want to condemn each and every vociferous critic of Islam, posing as moderates. But they show, through Mr. Laue Traberg Schmidt that their holy book knows of no boundaries. But the question is now: do we?
A heated debate has erupted in the Netherlands, in Germany and in Denmark. Germany is debating without fear. A large demonstration was held at KŲln, but this was obviously organized by an Turkish Islamist who fears tougher immigration-laws. And last week the German High court upheld the decision to ban the Al Aksa organisation in Aachen, as it collected funds for Hamas; and German police raided the offices of the organisation. In the media even German politicians such as the social-democrat Schilly and the christian-democrat Stoiber acknowledge the growth of a islamic parallel-society within their country. They call for stricter immigration-laws and tougher integration-policies. The Dutch government is seeking the moral lessons and advocates new values to stop moral decay.
The Dutch prime-minister Mr. Jan-Peter Balkenende has hedged his bets on a new code of ethics. His justice minister Mr. Hein Donner gave a preview of what is meant, by reminding the Dutch there was still a blasphemy law in the Dutch Penal Code. Subsequently people started lawsuits. Suddenly we are talking about blasphemy and about lawsuits, and insults.
What has gone wrong?
This might seem an appropriate route to Mr. Laue Traberg Schmidt, but it is really a reckless escape to avoid facing the real debate and questions such as: 'what place can we attribute to freedom of religion in our society? What nature shall Europe have? Are we entitled to our national identities, to a particular ancestry, and if not, if multicultural, how then do we deal with the fascist and Islamo-fascists within our community? Where does the God reside that can be offended by mortals, in an age which is, even for Islamists, only a short sigh on the wings of eternal winds. Where does the God live that can be mocked?
No, Mr. Laue Traberg Schmidt has introduced a fallacy to the debaters, a red herring, that simplifies the problem.
MIM: Oscar Laurens Schrover is a writer, author and publisher who lives in s'Hertogenbosch, Holland. His website is : www.ansgarboek.nl
MIM: * Mr. Shrover explained that Nemo is the name of 'Nobody" and was the answer that the one eyed giant Polyphemus gave to Odyesseus.
Nescio, literally translated means, "I don't know" and is the name of the writer Nescio, who began one of his books with the immortal line; " We were boys, but nice boys, if I have to say so myself ..' http://www.nescio.info/
"While the debate continues in Danmark politicians are pointing to the rise of extremism. One of the Islamist groups that advocate extremism, they say, is Hizb-ut-Tahrir, as it seeks to establish a strict Islamic state in Danmark. The Danish Prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen told a reporter of Jyllands Posten: 'Their is a great similarity with nazism, I believe they have an antidemocratic disposition.' And Mr. Fogh Rasmussen added: 'Extremism is basically authoritarian, democracy must be cancelled and a dictatorship installedóin this case a religious leader.' We must, the Danish Prime minister stressed, treat these groups as we have treated the Nazis. "
COPENHAGEN, Dec 5 (AFP) - A group of Muslims has reported a Danish broadcaster to the police for repeatedly airing a controversial film about Muslim oppression of women, Danish media reported on Sunday.
Some 20 Muslims are pressing charges against Danish public broadcaster Danmarks Radio (DR) for airing recently murdered Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh`s film "Submission" in its entirety, as well as for repeatedly showing clips from the film in newscasts.
"My clients feel deeply offended," Laue Traberg Smidt, the lawyer representing the group, told DR on Sunday, adding that both Muslim clerics and members of the general public were among his clients.
"They have all come to me independently of each other because they feel that Danmarks Radio has gone too far, and that it is ignoring that the film is seen as an extraordinarily serious and manipulative insult against their religion," he added.
Van Gogh was brutally murdered on November 2 by a suspected Islamic radical apparently angered by his portrayal of Islam in the film, which shows women talking about abuse dressed in see-through robes with texts from the Koran painted on their bodies.
DR news director Lisbeth Knudsen rejected that the broadcaster`s decision to air the film and clips from the film constituted incitement to religious hatred.
"We are not airing clips from the film to feed on sensationalism or to offend those who have been offended by it (the film). We show these clips to put the debate over limited or unlimited freedom of speech into perspective," she said.
12/05/2004 16:08 GMT - AFP
Controversy in Denmark over Van Gogh film
translated by Beila Rabinowitz- director MIM
A controversy has erupted after the film Submission made by the murdered film maker Theo van Gogh. A group of Danish Muslims has submitted a complaint to the police against the public broadcasting network DR -Danish Radio which showed the film about the abuse of women in Islam.
The plaintiffs feel themselves to be "deeply insulted", according to the complaint which was served against the broadcasting station Danish Radio. The station recently broadcast the film in it's entirety. They also repeatedly showed parts of it in their news broadcasts.
DR has according to the plaintiffs "gone too far". The station ignores the fact that the film is seen as " an extreme and manipulative insult to their religion:" According to the lawyer her plaintiffs include Muslim spiritual leaders and individuals believers.
Danish Radio has refused to acknowledge the criticism.The showing of the film stills has nothing to do with sensationalism or calculated insult, according to the broadcasting company. The station showed the clips "to put the debate between limited and unlimited freedom of speach in perspective." according to a declaration.
Information on the lawyer Laue Traberg Schmidt
by Oscar Laurens Shrover
Translated by Beila Rabinowitz director MIM
On December 6th the Dutch papers took over without question the news that Laue Traberg Schmidt the lawyer and former parliamentarian , has filed a lawsuit against the broadcast of the film Submission . In the name of about 20 Muslims he filed a complaint against the television station Danish Radio for blasphemy
What the newspapers did not report was that LaueTraberg Schmidt , lawyer and former parliamentarian, was on the diplomatic list of the honorary consul of Tunesia,and that prior to that he was invited by the Danish branch of the Al Aqsa organisation to defend their interests after the organistion had been put on an American 'blacklist' for supporting international terrorism.
The Danish intelligence services PET had designated a different lawyer for the organization.
Laue Traberg Schmidt defended as lawyer a variety of different cases . As general secretary of the Rode Barnet (The Red Child) ,he campaigned against pedofilia and aided the Danish porno king Zile with his advice. His client Zile wanted to be the candidate for a local list in Odense , and had on his agenda the legalization of prostitiution and combating of pedofilia, as well as founding a'mutli cultural house'. Zile had wanted to become a parliamentarian in Kopenhagen www.babeline.dk . He declared to the newspaper Fynse Stifstidende, My lawyer,Laue Traberg Schmidt ,who is himself a member of the Danish parliament,is in complete agreement with me that his is the way to do it.'
Op 6 december namen de Nederlandse kranten integraal het bericht over dat Laue Traberg Schmidt, advocaat en voormalig parlementslid, een aanklacht heeft ingediend tegen uitzending van de film Submission. Namens ongeveer twintig moslims heeft hij de Deense TV zender DR aangeklaagd wegens discrimatie en blasfemie. Wat de kranten er niet bij vermeldden was dat Laue Traberg Schmidt voorkomt op de diplomatieke lijst als honorair consul van TunesiŽ (http://www.ambassade.dk/memberscon-da.php3), en dat hij eerder door de vereniging Al Aksa in NÝrrebro Kopenhagen werd uitgenodigd om hun belangen te verdedigen, nadat de vereniging op een Amerikaanse zwarte lijst was terechtgekomen wegens financiŽle ondersteuning van het internationaal terrorisme (www.berlingske.dk). De Deense politie inlichtingendienst PET wees de vereniging toen een andere advocaat toe. Laure Traberg Schmidt verdedigde als advocaat uiteenlopende zaken en belangen. Als generaal-secretaris van de vereniging RÝde Barnet (Het Rode kind) bestreed hij pedofilie en staat de Fynse pornokoning Zile bij met zijn advies. Zijn cliŽnt Zile wil in 2005 lijsttrekker zijn van een lokale lijst in Odense, en heeft tot agendapunten de legalisatie van prostitutie verheven en de bestrijding van pedofilie, alsook de oprichting van een 'multicultuurhuis'. Zile wil tenslotte eindigen als parlementariŽr in Kopenhagen (www.babesline.dk). 'Mijn advocaat Laue Traberg Schmidt,' verklaarde Zile tegenover de Fynse Stifstidende, 'die zelf lid is geweest van de Folketing, is het volledig het mij eens, dit is de manier om het te doen.'
KOPENHAGEN - In Denemarken is opschudding ontstaan over de vertoning van de film Submission van de vermoorde cineast Theo van Gogh. Een groep Deense moslims heeft bij de politie aangifte gedaan tegen een televisiezender die de controversiŽle film over vrouwenmishandeling heeft vertoond.
De klagers voelen zich "diep beledigd", aldus de advocaat van de circa twintig moslims die klachten hebben ingediend tegen de publieke Deense zender Danmarks Radio (DR). De omroep heeft Submission onlangs in zijn geheel uitgezonden. Ook vertoonde het in nieuwsuitzendingen herhaaldelijk delen van de film.
DR is volgens de klagers "te ver gegaan". De zender negeert volgens de advocaat dat de film wordt gezien "als een buitengewoon ernstig en manipulatieve belediging van hun religie". Volgens de strafpleiter zijn onder haar cliŽnten zowel moslimgeestelijken als gewone gelovigen.
DR wil in een reactie niets weten van de kritiek. Het uitzenden van de filmbeelden heeft volgens de omroep niets te maken met sensatiezucht of bewuste belediging. De zender liet de clips zien "om het debat over gelimiteerde of ongelimiteerde vrijheid van meningsuiting in perspectief te zetten", aldus een verklaring.
Images From The Film Submission, For This van Gogh Was Killed?
Following a previous Hyscience post entitled "Update To The Film That Cost van Gogh His Life," numerous readers have emailed asking why Muslims would find the film so offensive. In that above-linked post a link to the film was provided along with the following disclaimer: "Hyscience does not take a position on the truth or validity of the depiction of Islam in the film, but is simply advising it's readers where the film may be viewed. "Submission" is not a documentary, but a metaphorical look at the harsh realities of the lives of some Muslim women. (In English with Dutch subtitles.)"
Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was killed November 2, 2004, by a 26-year-old extremist Muslim of Dutch-Moroccan descent. The current theory is that he was taken down for his critical look at the treatment of Muslim women. (In English with Dutch subtitles.)
The film's screenwriter, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, grew up an upper-class Muslim in Somalia. In '92 she escaped to the Netherlands, mastered the language and attended university to study political science. Now a politician, she has received death threats for numerous stances she's taken and activities she's undertaken. But as a self-proclaimed ex-Muslim, she has taken it upon herself to make the plight of oppressed Muslim women known to the West--and to hopefully end their suffering.
A few Muslim readers have commented via email that a Muslim woman wearing revealing attire with verses of the Koran on her body is essentialy to a Muslim, anathema (my word not theirs). In order that non-Muslims may have a better understanding what the Muslims find so offensive about the film without having to see the film in it's entirety, a view representative images from the film are presented here for viewing. If you are a Muslim or if you think you will find the images offensive, simply don't look or enlarge the images. There is no intent to offend anyone's religion, merely to aid non-Muslims in understanding what some may find offensive. The images do not appear to be pornographic. The images are provided for educational purposes only.
(Click on images to enlarge - provided by a Dutch Reader )
Regardless of how offensive one may find the images or the film to be, there is absolutely no excuse whatsoever to commit violence against another human being in the name of religion or intollerance. There was no excuse for van Gogh's murder. His killing is true anathema to all civilized human beings. Muslims and non-Muslims alike must see the van Gogh murder for what it was, a threat to humanity, the work of a deranged mind, aberant behavior, and the result of an agenda that must not be allowed to prosper anywhere. Viewer comments are invited, as usual. Intelligent and well-written comments will occasionally be provided guest authorship in posts.