Mar 1, 2006

Germany's Turks love Valley of the Wolves

German officials fret about anti-American, anti-Semitic film's reception among young Muslim men.
In the closing sequence, the hero is shown plunging a dagger into the heart of a U.S. commander called Sam. The audience responded by standing up and chanting "Allah is great!"

Afterward, an 18-year-old member of the audience said: "The Americans always behave like this. They slaughtered the red Indians and killed thousands in Vietnam.

"I was not shocked by the film, I see this on the news every day."

The nature of the film and the enthusiastic reception given to it by young Muslims, has both shocked and polarized politicians and community leaders.

Bernd Neumann, the state secretary for culture in Chancellor Angela Merkel's government complained last week that the reaction to the film "raises serious questions about the values of our society and our ability to instill them."

Kenan Kolat, the head of Germany's Turkish community insisted that a ban on the film would make matters worse. "If it is withdrawn, it will raise levels of identification with the film," he said. "A democracy must be able to endure films that it doesn't approve of." Alin Sahin, the film's distributor in Germany argued: "When a cartoonist insults two billion Muslims, it is considered freedom of opinion, but when an action film takes on the Americans, it is considered demagoguery. Something is wrong."

No comments: