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.