A Thoughtful, Analytical Approach to NGO Security

A Calmer Look at Fitna, the Movie

Viewed by some in the Islamic world as symbols of western influence INGOs are vulnerable to the sometimes violent backlash over perceived insults to Islam. Attacks on INGO compounds after the release of the now infamous Danish cartoons and the erroneous TIME magazine article claiming that an American military prison guard had flushed a copy of the Quran down a toilet highlight just how vulnerable we are. Most physical security measures cannot survive a sustained assault by hundreds of angry protesters. Host country security personnel are generally reluctant to open fire on their fellow countrymen nor would most INGOs want them to. Frequently underpaid and undermanned security forces may lack the breadth and depth required to protect all the potential targets in their country. All of which begs the question of how do organizations whose security relies primarily upon acceptance maintain security when they are no longer accepted?

Unfortunately I don't have any easy answers but I am hoping the following clip by Radio Netherlands Worldwide will help cooler heads prevail if the Geert Wilders 'Fitna' film is released. The version below is in English but there are Arabic and Indonesian versions as well. Link to these, email copies to friends, show them at your next staff meeting and maybe, just maybe, we can counter some of the hype and propaganda that Geert Wilder thrives on.

Very rarely has a film sparked off as much pre-release controversy as Dutch MP Geert Wilder’s ‘Fitna, the movie’. Even without knowing what’s in it, 'Fitna’ has got the world asking questions. Questions about the man who made it and his motives, about the country he lives in where his film is allowed. Questions about that country’s government – which issues warnings about the film but does nothing to stop it. And questions about the position of Muslims in The Netherlands. The central character in this film is also struggling with these questions, and decides to travel to The Netherlands in search of answers.


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This work by Kevin Toomer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.
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