Diana West

Any day now, a short film connecting the Koran to Islamic violence is expected to be released.

The film is by Geert Wilders, a Dutch member of parliament who wants to reverse the Islamization of Europe and believes the Koran should be banned along with Hitler's "Mein Kampf" for inciting hatred and violence. The film is called "Fitna," Arabic for upheaval. And just the thought of "Fitna" has Europe in an upheaval, anticipating Islamic outrage expected to range from diplomatic huff, to economic boycott, to rioting, even bloodshed over this still unseen, 10-minute film.

Similar mass psychosis has erupted before -- Satanic Verses Rage, Koran Rage, Cartoon Rage, Pope Rage, even Teddy Bear Rage. But never has an Islamic "rage" begun to build without actual cause. For the first time, we are seeing rage preparations and precautions before "offense" has been given or taken.

In other words, Pre-Emptive Rage is something new. It works like this: Because Wilders' film is expected to criticize Islam, Muslims who brook no religious criticism are expected to freak out. Therefore -- just as if this were the most normal, everyday, ordinary state of affairs -- Muslims and Europeans are making their respective arrangements.

In Afghanistan, Muslims have been igniting Dutch and Danish flags (did I mention Danish Cartoon Rage is back?), threatening to eject Dutch and Danish troops, and practicing their "Death to America" chants. Iranian officials have promised diplomatic rupture and worse if the film comes out. Meanwhile, the Dutch have embarked on a veritable world tour of pre-emptive appeasement. The MEMRI Blog reported that the Dutch government sent a letter disavowing Wilders to Egyptian Sheikh Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, Sunni Islam's foremost figure (who has variously called for "jihad" against U.S. forces in Iraq and sanctioned suicide bombings against Israeli women and children). The Sheikh's response? He "demanded that the Netherlands government take more action against Wilders, and added that protection given to those harming Islam will negatively affect Egyptian-Dutch relations."

Pre-emptive "Fitna" rage has made European elites hopping mad -- only not at the rioters and blackmailers (the healthy, normal reaction), but at Geert Wilders. Here, multiculti Europeans and perpetually aggrieved Muslims are finding common ground.


Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).