The screening of Geert Wilders’ film Fitna, highly critical of Islam, is planned to screen inside Capitol Hill on Friday, and drawing condemnation from US Muslims. “I am a strong an advocate of First Amendment free speech. However, this is not about free speech, but rather an issue of propriety, timing and venue,” said Representative Keith Ellison.
Wilders was invited to the screening by conservative Republican senator John Kyi, to show the film in a the Capitol chamber LBJ room. “Senator Kyl has every right to host anyone he chooses, however it becomes a question of propriety to use the United States Capitol as a venue for the condemnation of an entire religion,” insisted Ellison.
Inferfaith activist and author Eboo Patel has also questioned the appropriateness of the event being screened in a government building. The event is closed to the public and media, but is open to screening by members of Congress and their staff; it is being sponsored by the International Free Press Society, and the Center for Security Policy, a conservative Washington think-tank.