That’s what the Dutch government seems to be saying about the prospect of Geert Wilders’ planned sequel to Fitna. Our Flemish correspondent VH has prepared a summary based on material from the Dutch media:
The Minister of Internal Affairs, Guusje ter Horst (PvdA, Socialists, Labour) commented yesterday: “Before Fitna came out, we had extensive consultations among ourselves [in the cabinet and with the Terrorism Co-ordinator], but there is no reason to do so now.” She also said she would not to be willing to pay “too much attention to it.” Ter Horst also said: “The sequel is often worse than the first. So I’m curious.”
She was pretending not to worry a lot about it (this time). Wilders’ party, the PVV, is the largest party in the polls. And with every move the government parties (CDA, PvdA) make against Wilders, the PVV gains in the polls. So maybe the old guard will retreat a little, waiting for an opportunity to strike.
Afshin Ellian published an interesting theory yesterday to explain that “calmness” about Fitna II:
Now an objective analysis of the facts and circumstances surrounding MP Geert Wilders and his anti-Islam battle:
1) The State of the Netherlands. With the first Fitna, even before there was a film it was seen as a serious threat. The Government called on him to not make the film. The rest you will remember, the crisis atmosphere that was caused by Prime Minister Balkenende himself. But now it is different. The National Terrorism Coordinator (NCTb) finds it yet too premature to respond to the Wilders’ plans for a new film, according to Elsevier. The Balkenende cabinet did consult the NCTb about the possible consequences of the film, however. 2) Fitna owed its fame and impact to a Government in panic. This time the Dutch government will try to emit calmness. The question, however, is how long they can keep up this calmness. In any case, the government and the terrorist co-ordinator are planning not to make the same mistakes again. 3) However, this time a real chance exists that in some Islamic countries disturbances will arise as a result of a new film by Wilders. This can happen if the movie is a substantial provocation. What can be considered a provocation will not be determined by Wilders, but by the Jihadists. Why might the Jihadists become angry? Two reasons. First Wilders nowadays is a well known personality in the Islamic countries, and secondly it appears from Jihadist websites that extremist Muslims have the desire for new, heavy cartoon riots.
What is the provisional conclusion? Possible calmness with the Dutch government, but unrest in the Muslim world.
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Who will benefit from this? Wilders or the government? The Dutch government, of course. Because then the CDA [Christian Democrats, government party] will tell the Dutch people: Wilders is a pyromaniac and the Islamic boycott will leave more people unemployed by the crisis. What then will the message be? Those who vote Wilders are choosing a violent conflict with the Islamic world.
Now it’s still a question whether the Dutch people will follow this possible view of the CDA. Nobody knows the answer, but one should not exclude the possibility that people in an atmosphere of Islam-fatigue and Wilders-fatigue will decide not to vote for Wilders on a massive scale.
With Fitna I, Wilders might have benefited from unrest in the Muslim world. A revolt against Fitna would have served as additional evidence for the truth of the content of Fitna. The CDA would just have lost then.
But now it is exactly the opposite: the CDA, in a time of economic crisis, might benefit from a violent insurgency in the Muslim world in response to Fitna II.
The CDA may present Wilders then as a fanatic who does not care about the welfare of his constituents, but only of his “fanatical battle” against Islam. And the Labour Party [PvdA, the other government party]? In any case, the PvdA will try to stay out of this fight.
Ultimately, the future around Fitna will not be decided by Wilders, nor the CDA. Everything depends on the decision and the power of the Jihadists.
It would not therefore surprise me if the government does very little about Fitna II.
Most parties of the “old politics”, such as the CDA, PvdA, VVD and D66 are trying to adapt their tactics to stop the PVV’s rise in the polls.
The D66 leader Pechtold, for instance, said he will emigrate when Wilders wins the next elections. That helps the D66, being both the party for the appeasers and the party of the bureaucracy and civil servants who want to maintain the status quo (thus their jobs).
The PvdA tries to pretend to be tough every now and then, but fails because they are limited in their options by an increasing part of their electorate who are immigrants.
The VVD tries to come along with Wilders a little, but is not convincing the electorate (who increasingly prefer to support the PVV).
The CDA tries to stay calm, to avoid mistakes and to pretend to be the only solid reliable government candidate. They will wait for a clear and clean opportunity to strike back. Not easy while Wilders is positioning the PVV as a solid and stable common sense party.