How the Indonesian Government should treat Geert Wilders and YouTube

When you get down to the bottom of it, ironically, Geert Wilders wants the same thing as the most extreme of the Muslims he attacks in the film Fitna – the terrorists.

The terrorist, according to Louise Richardson in her book What Terrorists Want, is motivated by the 3Rs- Reaction, Revenge, Reknown. The terrorist commits acts of terrorism precisely because he knows they will cause a reaction, they help him seek revenge for perceived slights and they would bring him reknown.

What Geert Wilders wants – and got – with his act of creative “terrorism” in releasing Fitna are

Revenge – This is not very clear but presumably Geert at some stage felt he and his ilk had been insulted by or been deprived of something important by Muslims and Fitna was his act of vengence.

Reknown -Before this episode Geert Wilders was just a third rate extremist politician with bad hair tucked away in a small country. Now he is known throughout the world.

Reaction – The game for terrorists is to provoke a harsh reaction on the part of governments and others to their act of terrorism. These reactions usually result in alienating them from their constituents.

So what do you do with the Geert Wilders of the world?

If you, like some Muslim groups, stage angry demonstrations and mount death threats against him, then you’ve played right into his hands by giving him the reaction he wants.

If you’re like the Indonesian Government and react by blocking sites like YouTube and the social networks because of Fitna then you’ve also played into his hands. What he wants is for you to react with an action that is not feasible, unreasonable and alienates you from all or part of your constituents. You’ve done just that.

In this day and age it is almost impossible to block anything from the net, unless you are like China who is willing to wield and deploy dictatorial-like powers to deny access to certain sites. But China is China and, if push comes to shove, the government would not hesitate to use the barrels of guns, from which all political power derives from.

In Indonesia this move has already begun to reap criticism form bloggers and some opinion leaders and is likely to escalate with time if the government keeps this up.

Blocking Gert from YouTube and the social network also gives Geert the other reaction he yearns for – reknown. Right now even the geekiest nerd in Indonesia who can’t care less for the world of humans has herd of Geert Wilders.

So what should the Indonesian government do? The best course of action is studied nonchalance. Just say that we think Fitna is a badly done film in bad taste not worthy of our reaction. Why? Because Indonesians are mature enough to make up their own minds on hat gert has to say.

The critics will say, “But it insults islam, how can you allow it to be broadcast on the Net?” At which case the appropriate answer would remain that we have faity in the maturity and the level-headedness of our people. And then find some appropriate religious reference to back that up.

It is not like there has been no precedence of this sort in Indonesia.Remember The Da Vinci Code, the movie? The Pope in Rome got all hot and flustered about it and ordered catholics not to watch it. The result, Unspun bets, was that Catholics flocked to the cinemas to emulate Adam getting a bi of the low hanging Forbidden Fruit.

Compare that to the reaction of the Bishops Conference of Indonesia (KWI) who said they would not ask that the film be banned in Indonesia because Catholics in Indonesia are mature enough and that forbidding them to watch the movie would only increase their desire.

Result? The film Da Vinci Code came and left Indonesia without fuss and without causing even an ioata of outrage.

Unspun‘s been told that Information and Communications Minister Muhammad Nuh has called for a second dialoge with bloggers at 2pm today. Unspun hopes that some of them will point this out to Nuh and convince him of the folly of continued blocking of YouTube and other social networks.

44 thoughts on “How the Indonesian Government should treat Geert Wilders and YouTube

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  1. Good point Unspun, it’s like adding fuel on a fire, it’s only making it worse. Furthermore, similar things like Fitna has been around the internet for ages, and blocking things in the internet is getting more and more difficult as I always experience it in my daily office duty.


  2. I think you’re correct about the revenge thing.

    back in 2004(or 2005?) wilders, together with ayaan hirsi ali, a feminist, and theo van gogh were the targets of an assasination plot.

    All three of them were members of VVD party, which wants a stricter regulation on immigration.

    The plot itself was a reaction to van gogh’s movie, “submission”, which was narrated by ayaan hirsi ali(ironically an immigrant herself, possibly illegal).

    The submission movie itself was actually ali’s personal protest about treatment towards women in moslem countries.

    Theo van gogh was assasinated, hirsi ali exiled herself to US,working at some open society think tank, and wilders went into hiding.

    In one of his interviews, he said that this “fitna” was his promise to van gogh’s mother at his funeral. (however i cannot back this up, currently i cannot access youtube)
    He also said he is making another movie about another religion (probably to show the difference of the reactions).

    This is just some perspective, im yet to decide about the right or wrong of his actions.

    Somebody please enlighten me.


  3. Unspun I agree with your point of view, and I don’t agree to Indonesian government who blocks Youtube and the websites alike, I think muslim people here should know the movie and let them think and react on the movie, and if they don’t agree with the movie, let them not to justify what the movie presents, and I think that the moslem fundamentalist in that movie is more dangerous than Geert Wilder.


  4. Good points. I think what Indonesian Govt did by banning Youtube (and several other sites alike) is a free effective ads for the film and Wilder his self. In addition, regarding that internet access is impossible to be blocked, unless Indonesia Govt bans the internet itself, the reaction is called, in Indonesian, “membakar lumbung untuk membunuh seekor tikus”. Indonesian Govt chose to burn down the whole granary only to kill a mouse that stole the rice from. It’s surely not a proper act since the granary serves thousands lifes, and .. absolutely there is another much much more appropriate way to punish the one naughty mouse.

    Nowadays, internet is an effective way of product/service marketing channel. Just imagine if you had a home industry, or you run a small scale service company. To have a big space web hosting for promoting your product is inefficient way compared to your business scale. As a result, this kind of businesses are likely to heavily depend on free internet services provided by, such as Youtube. They’ll upload their ads movie or other promotional stuffs to and link it to their sites/blogs. Similarly, I also read a comment from an Indonesian lecture saying his regret because he often uses Youtube as source of his subject material. To sum up, without disregarding the bad impact of Youtube and other sites alike, these sites also offer abundant positive things. Please kill the mouse, but don’t burn the granary down.


  5. When the truth hurts you people, why is it that you always:
    1. attack the person (3rd rate pol, bad hair etc.); and
    2. pick some negative ulterior motive — of your choosing (in this case, the 3 Rs — and lambaste the messenger based on that?

    I have no idea, BUT what if this Gert actually does not like terrorist psychos simply because they murder people in the name of some stone-age death cult? What if he simply felt the need to use the tools and skills he possesses to tell/warn/enlighten other people in this world? And what if all the stuff in that film is true?

    People like you need to grow some huevos and understand that yes, he’s metaphorically hemorrhaging to make others bleed (much like a GreenPeace activist who ties himself to a bridge to get regular folks tuned into environmental issues), and yes, the truth does sting your little sensibility, and so, the message is that you and YOUR ILK need to stand up to psycho murderers and not kowtow to them.


  6. @josef: a bit rich of you to complain about ad hominem attacks and labeling when you are doing it yourself, isn’t it?

    To wit: “you people”, “stone-age death cult”, “people like you”.

    I suggest you sharpen your tools and skills if you want to defend Gert.

    To begin with, Unspun is not Muslim and deplore extremism and noisy mob behavior like the protests against Gert by muslim wallahs, as he does against Catholic wallahs or any wallahs who substitute noise for reason.

    Gert metaphorically hemorrhaging to make others bleed? Puhlese. You’ll be enacting an image of Gert next to the saints next.

    The truth is that Gert is a third rate politician who preys on the anxieties of cultural discord because that is the only way he can get noticed.

    The Muslim terrorists that Gert focuses on are no different from the Irish, Peruvian or Basque terrorist. Please do yourself a favor and read Louise Richardson’s What do Terrorists Want and then come back here for an informed debate.

    One more thing: Gert does have bad hair.


  7. Unspun…

    Maybe Mr. Wilders has done enough that I am going to have to jump ship from blogspot to wordpress!

    I had a short period of access on Saturday to my blog and posted a few things but since then I cannot get into my own blog or open other sites…pretty sad really!

    I am trying to work out the proxy thing but not being a techno wizard or genius…I will end up being one of those clowns who uses a proxy server that is not so anonymous and then lose all my data and identity to some techno wizard or genius!

    Nah, question…have you heard anything about blogspot being blocked? I did read somewhere on the Internet that first media might be blocking blogspot (although I am with telkom — so don’t know on that front yet)…



  8. @Rob: Like most Indonesian government initiatives the execution of this directive leaves much to be desired. Yes, I think blockspot was blocked for a while but it also seems to have been up to the ISP. This look like they are on the mend though.

    To be fair to Geert Wilders, he may have provoked things but it was not hs decision to block sites. The responsibility here lies with the Indonesian Government.


  9. Unspun, you are welcome to your point of view but I would challenge you on the apparent moral equivalence underlying this statement:

    “To begin with, Unspun is not Muslim and deplore extremism and noisy mob behavior like the protests against Gert by muslim wallahs, as he does against Catholic wallahs or any wallahs who substitute noise for reason.”

    It’s been quite a few centuries since Catholic ‘wallahs’ undertook to inspire their followers to acts of violence. For someone to speak out against the Catholic heirarchy today is a risk free enterprise; speaking out against Islamic extremism can be downright dangerous – for muslims as well as non-muslims.


  10. @Fidens: Tell that to the Muslim victims of Catholic extremists in Poso. There are also Muslim extremists in Poso that do likewise to their Catholic brethren. The point her is not so much to criticize any group but to criticize extremism.


  11. As is often attributed to Edmund Burke an English Philosopher…

    ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing.’

    If for no other reason we must oppose extremism in whatever form or guise that it comes to us in, for not to oppose extremism will allow for the triumph of evil!

    Evil must simly not triumph!


  12. uh-huh…the dreaded typo…for the technologically challenged like me, is there a spell-checker in the comments part that I can use?


  13. Unspun…

    You misread my point or more likely I phrased it poorly 🙂

    I was simply suggesting that Wilders’ Film had done enough in terms of convincing some to block sites. To the contrary, it would be in Wilders’ interest not to block sites in order to have the broadest possible audience…


  14. your laws in your country are wrong your goverment is krupt your drug control is dum i will never come to your 3rd world country only to lead my army to take control of your uneducated judges and put them in prison your country will never get beter no matter who you put in jail it will always be 3rd world and should be overthrown by the people for the people


  15. @zoe: perhaps before you invade us poor unfortunate folk in the Third World you might want to polish up your spelling? Does not become the righteous head of an avenging army not to be able to spell.


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