An American Internet evangelist who made news last year for a YouTube video featuring a toy pig named Muhammed now says he has received death threats since posting a controversial film by a Dutch filmmaker that portrays Islam as a ticking time bomb aimed at the West.
Bill Keller, who last December responded to a controversy over a British teacher jailed briefly in Sudan for allowing her students to name a teddy bear Muhammad with a video parody titled “Muhammed, the Muslim Pig who converted to Christianity,” said he posted Geert Wilders’ short film “Fitna” after a British video-sharing Web site removed it.
The film, named after an Arabic word sometimes translated as “strife,” features passages from the Quran juxtaposed with violent images including the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The Dutch government, European Union leaders and several Islamic and Arab leaders denounced the film.
Shanta Premawardhana, director of the World Council of Churches’ Program on Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation, called it “a clear case of Islamophobia.”
“Through graphic images, the filmmaker depicts violent extremism without any attempt to distinguish it from mainstream Islam,” said Premawardhana, a former Baptist pastor in the United States. “Extremism is a problem for most religions and needs to be countered through interreligious dialogue.”
Last month the WCC issued the commentary “Learning to Explore Love Together,” in which the ecumenical body urged Muslims and Christians to find common ground in love for God and neighbor.
Wilders, leader of the anti-immigration Freedom Party, launched his short video on the Internet last week. Keller explained why he thinks the video belongs on a Christian Web site.
“People have been lulled to sleep thinking that terror is caused by a handful of extremists,” Keller said. “That is not the case. All Muslims read from the same book, and to obey ‘allah’ are expected to obey what their holy book teaches. That includes death to all infidels, or those who won’t covert to their false religion, and ruling the world. This film is very graphic, but people need to see and know what Islam is really about, converting the world to their false beliefs through terror and death”
An in-your-face apologist for fundamentalist Christianity, Keller has been criticized in the past for attacks on Muslims, Mormons and homosexuals. He recently called Oprah Winfrey “the most dangerous woman in the world,” claiming she was pushing New Age teachings on unsuspecting viewers.
Bob Allen is managing editor of EthicsDaily.com.
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