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Anti-Muslim Bigotry

Fitna?

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geert-wilders.jpgSo Geert Wilder’s video Fitna has finally been released onto the internet. And what a reaction there has been.

Network Solutions pulled the site that was supposed to be hosting the film. Techcrunch is worried that Google might experience a “Muslim backlash”. Live Leak, who originally hosted the film, have now pulled it down because of “credible threats”. The Singaporean government has condemned it. The UAE government has condemned it. The Council of Europe has spoken out against it. Afghanistan has expressed concern. Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir has said Malay Muslims are annoyed by it and is calling for a worldwide boycott of Dutch products. Indonesia has condemned it. The OIC naturally condemns it too.

That’s a lot of government and official condemnation for a 17 minute film on Youtube. However, rather than the riots and rivers of blood that the pre-release marketing led us to believe would be the natural consequence of Wilder’s little film, the response from actual Muslims has been, well, not much of a response at all.

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As far as such things go, Wilder’s film is quite a weak effort. It’s unlikely to provoke anyone to anything except, perhaps, fall asleep or yawn. Wilders has simply taken various photos and videos of Muslims doing or saying bad or outrageous things (that already exist on the internet at places like MEMRI anyway), thrown in some headlines from Dutch papers, some verses from the Qu’ran, some statistics on Muslim immigration and population growth, and finally added some spooky-sounding music to give, I suppose, gravitas to the whole thing.

The thing that strikes me more than its offensiveness is its lack of originality. Wilders, apparently unable to come up with a suitably offensive shtick of his own, attempts to ride on the coattails of the Danish cartoons; appropriating one of their cartoons — without permission — and using that to start and close his video. He’s now being sued for that. He used footage from an interview with Theo van Gogh without permission. And the owner of that footage is considering legal action too. Where he was original — perhaps too original — was in using the photo of a Dutch-Moroccan rapper instead of a terrorist. He’s now being threatened with legal action for that. Fitna is proving to be more of a fitna for Mr Wilders than for anyone else.

And, as for the content, then, of course, Muslims have done some terrible things in the past and the threat of terrorism is very real and must be confronted by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. However, Wilders’ message isn’t directed at that minority of Muslims who carry out or threaten terrorist attacks but at all Muslims: he views all Muslims as being the “problem”. By doing so, he is intentionally seeking to smear the vast majority of Muslims who find terrorism and violence every bit as abhorrent as the average European non-Muslim; and have, contrary to what some people like to allege, been condemning terrorism every time it has occurred. This is completely counter-productive.

In his comments on Andrew Bolt’s blog, Shibli Zaman makes this point very eloquently and points out the fact that, despite having a large number of Muslims, the United States does not have any issues whatsoever with its domestic Muslim population; which suggests that whatever challenges Europe may face are not the result of the religiousness of their Muslim population but other factors (most notably the welfare state and rigid labour market policies that keep new entrants excluded and therefore alienated). Interestingly, although some of these European “liberals” are very happy demanding that Muslims liberalise their social attitudes, they rarely seem interested in economic liberalisation and making the necessary adjustments that would have a far more appreciable effect than heckling and complaining.

Wilders is not immune to this curious hypocrisy. On the one hand, he and his supporters have rejected the wrongheaded calls for Fitna to be banned; arguing, quite rightly, that freedom of speech and expression must be protected (even if that speech offends some members of society). And yet, on the other hand, a key component of Wilder’s “final solution” to the European Muslim question, is to ban the Qu’ran because he doesn’t like its content.

(This is cross-posted from Austrolabe)

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44 Comments

44 Comments

  1. sincethestorm

    March 29, 2008 at 11:19 PM

    The point you made in the last paragraph about the hypocrisy of free speech is well said Subhan-Allah.

  2. Shirien

    March 29, 2008 at 11:26 PM

    MashaAllah this is nicely written. What makes me laugh the most is the fact that he used footage without permission, and is now being sued. We all know he’s stupid, but that’s common sense.

    May Allah give him what he deserves in this life and the hereafter, ameen.

  3. Amad

    March 29, 2008 at 11:33 PM

    Frankly, I was disappointed by the video relative to the hype it has received. I mean this could probably as easily have been put together by a team of high-schoolers relying only on what is commonly available for daily consumption at 2-3 right-wing Islamophobic websites (LGF & hot-air come to mind right away).

    As Amir points out…same old images, same old Islamophobic gibberish, same old fear-mongering… I mean what does this piece of crap add to ANY discourse, even the Islamophobic one? My answer: nothing at all.

    Geert: not only are you a racist, Islamophobic pig, but you aren’t a very smart one either!

  4. Tarek

    March 29, 2008 at 11:50 PM

    “he views all Muslims as being the “problem””

    No he does not. Read any interview by him where he denies this emphatically. His problem is with the Islamic ideology – which is why the movie focused on the Quranic verses and how they’re being used by extemists, not actual muslims themselves.

  5. muslimah

    March 30, 2008 at 12:14 AM

    very nicely written and easy to follow, alhamdulillah.

  6. Ammar Diwan

    March 30, 2008 at 12:38 AM

    @ Amad: lol…he should get married to Wafa Sultan and they can yap all day about hating Muslims ;)

  7. tabman

    March 30, 2008 at 2:37 AM

    I just noticed today that Wilder’s face is so much like a pig

  8. Abdur Rahman

    March 30, 2008 at 3:23 AM

    Isn’t it somehow ironic that this film is called fitna? Really, take just a moment to reflect. I encourage Muslim to watch it an realise how weak an effort it is.

    In this respect, please do take the time to view this heart warming short speech by Brother Moez Masood after the similar “fitna” of the Danish cartoons.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AT7FctP29rU

  9. Imran

    March 30, 2008 at 3:29 AM

    I agree with Tabman. a pig would be better. he is more than that.

  10. Moon

    March 30, 2008 at 8:01 AM

    Tabman..I just noticed today that Wilder’s face is so much like a pig

    LOL……feel bad agreeing with you but i see what you mean…..

  11. Uthman Effendi

    March 30, 2008 at 10:36 AM

    No new claims in this movie, same old Islamophobic trash. I wonder why people like Wilders think that after more than two centuries of failed (but vicious) propaganda against Islam, started by missionaries and orientalists and carried on by people like him, Muslims will suddenly begin to realize how “deluded” they are.

  12. Mezba

    March 30, 2008 at 12:08 PM

    What a weak effort for a film! As soon as it was released I viewed and reviewed it on my blog. It was tame! Seriously, all it did was boost this guy’s profile.

  13. Akhi

    March 30, 2008 at 12:15 PM

    Subhan’Allah, MOST of the images he has used are from the shi’a! How stupid to classify us with the likes of them!

  14. Amad

    March 30, 2008 at 12:40 PM

    Amazingly you can find some of the SAME photos of Shia flagellation (I think mostly Hezbollah do this) right on this blog

    Nothing But Pure Ignorance of Self-Flagellation on Ashoorah (Ashura)

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  16. Yusuf Smith

    March 30, 2008 at 4:31 PM

    As-Salaamu ‘alaikum

    In response to Tarek, there was plenty of footage of ordinary Muslims in Fitna. In particular, there was a scene showing a woman in niqab pushing a child in a buggy accompanied with a Dutch newspaper headline, “no ban on the burqa”, and the footage of men putting up satellite dishes was accompanied by two sisters in hijab walking by. So, it did attack ordinary Muslims by linking female dress with his thesis that Islam is a threat.

  17. Rasheed Gonzales

    March 30, 2008 at 7:05 PM

    I found the Wikipedia article on the “film” quite amusing, particularly the “Reaction After Release” section.

    One of the funnier things mentioned,

    Kurt Westergaard, the cartoonist of one of the Jyllands-Posten cartoons of Muhammed, has expressed concerns because his cartoon is used in the film without his permission, a violation of copyright. The Danish Union of Journalists has said it will file a lawsuit on Westergaard’s behalf as he is still in hiding from the death threats against him. Westergaard says his cartoon was aimed against Islamic terrorists, not against Islam as a religion. Simimlarly (sic) Dutch director Rob Muntz announced to file a lawsuit because of an unreferenced section of his interview with Theo van Gogh, violating his copyright / intellectual property rights.

  18. awake

    March 31, 2008 at 12:21 PM

    I agree that the film provided no new revelations. So the Qur’an has passages that are being used by certain Muslims to achieve their socio-political goals. This is nothing new or at least it shouldn’t be.

    I do however think that all the hype before its release, with its denouncement by many in the Islamic community, as well as many non-Muslim government people did achieve a particular goal. It displayed the attempt to stifle free speech out of cowardice to the threats of violence and unrest. in this regrad, Wilder’s film achieved that goal even before it was released.

    The life of this film release is continuing to play out and it will be interesting to see all the developments. I understand that LiveLeak, who originally put the video out, then removed it, has not put it back up. Muslim reaction has been visibly critical, again, as Wilder’s expected.

    If Wilders did indeed call for a ban on the Qur’an, like Mein Kampf, well then I agree with the author in one respect. It is hypocritical to pick and choose what is considered protected under free speech.

    But then again, that could just be rhetoric by Wilders, attempting to play to his target audience which, like the film, is certainly not aimed at Muslims primarily.

  19. DrM

    March 31, 2008 at 2:46 PM

    Besides pointing out that “Islamism” is a bogus word invented by western extremists, I find it very interesting that Wilders is a self-described Mossad agent who has visited Israel over 40 times. The trail always leads back to the usual suspects :

    http://drmaxtor.blogspot.com/2008/03/one-fitna-deserves-another.html

  20. kingRichard

    March 31, 2008 at 3:18 PM

    99% of conflicts on this planet involve muslims. Are you sure its all islamophobia or maybe just maybe its islam itself.

  21. anaeem

    March 31, 2008 at 3:53 PM

    kingRichard,

    I’m 99% certain you’re an idiot. Yes, all the world’s problems are derived from Muslims and Islam, get real.

  22. Usman S Bello

    March 31, 2008 at 4:46 PM

    A day will come, at the finest hour, when Allah will judge between us with and these enemies of God!!!
    Argue not with the ignorant, for they have gone astray.
    Movies, articles, cartoons and all the other silly things that have been used in the past to upset Muslims, is nothing new, it is only a continuation of what the pegans at the time of our Prophet PBUH, did to him.
    Victory is near, so very near!!!

  23. Amad

    March 31, 2008 at 6:12 PM

    Actually, “kingrichard” that is not factually correct. But surely muslims are being oppressed all over the world. So perhaps we should try to understand that after the millions slaughtered by europeans of their own ilk, millions slaughtered by Stalin, why are muslims now involved in so many conflicts, when violence had been mostly a european phenomenon? Perhaps the “old empires” and “new empires” wanted to move the fights somewhere else, and exported bloodshed to muslims?

  24. al-boriqee

    March 31, 2008 at 7:02 PM

    asalamu alaikum

    yeah, i thought it would have more satanic lies as compared with spencer’s “what the west needs to know about Islam” but quite frankly, it is beyond weak.

  25. Saarim

    March 31, 2008 at 7:48 PM

    Brother Amad, how can I contact you by email?

  26. awake

    March 31, 2008 at 10:01 PM

    DrM wrote:

    “Besides pointing out that “Islamism” is a bogus word invented by western extremists, I find it very interesting that Wilders is a self-described Mossad agent who has visited Israel over 40 times.”

    Well DrM, the curious longing that I have that you could ever have a discussion without blamiing all the world’s ills on the Zionists appears to be too much to ask for.

    “Islamism” is as bogus as “Islamophobia”. All that differs is the perception.

    As far as your irrational hatred of the Jews goes, do you never grow tired of your own rhetoric yourself?

  27. www.musliminamerica.org

    April 1, 2008 at 1:17 AM

    iA I have friends who live in the Netherlands and I will be traveling to the Netherlands during the summer for 2 weeks to learn about life as a Dutch Muslim. I will have a very detailed blog about it. It will be on my current blog, http://www.musliminamerica.org

  28. kingRichard

    April 1, 2008 at 12:24 PM

    it cracks me up the way everyone is praising muslims and their measured response to fitna. to me that speaks volumes about islam, the only group of people on the planet who get praised for not going crazy and killing innocents.

  29. Uthman Effendi

    April 1, 2008 at 5:07 PM

    “99% of conflicts on this planet involve muslims. Are you sure its all islamophobia or maybe just maybe its islam itself.”

    If this is true, than it also means that 99% of conflicts on this planet involve non-muslims who fight against muslims. So maybe it’s non-muslims themselves that are the problem. It can’t be that every time it’s muslims’ fault, can it?

  30. al-boriqee

    April 2, 2008 at 9:25 PM

    awake says

    “I do however think that all the hype before its release, with its denouncement by many in the Islamic community, as well as many non-Muslim government people did achieve a particular goal. It displayed the attempt to stifle free speech out of cowardice to the threats of violence and unrest. in this regrad, Wilder’s film achieved that goal even before it was released.”

    you guys kill me in your rhetoric of rights, free speech, freedom, and all the usual regurgitation you all come up with for the practition of heresy, promotion of violence, and untamed desires, the net result revealing the barbarity of your societies.

    when are you all going to wake up that there is no such thing as free speech, rather reality is understood as “whatever action takes place, a consequence follows”. everyone is free to do what they wish, and they will pay for their choice.

    you say
    ““Islamism” is as bogus as “Islamophobia”. All that differs is the perception.”

    um, to my knowledge there is no actual menaing behind “islamism”, rather it is a cowardice ployed by your lot to not say “muslim”. Let it be known that Islamists, means nothing other than a “Muslim”. so what the heck is a muslim “non Islamist”. that equals not a muslim at all. Islamism means Islam.
    on the other hand, phobi is an actual tangible word with an actual solidified meaning, primarily fear. arachnaphobic, one who fears spiders, homophobic, i agree and accept im a homophobic. hence Islamaphobic, one who fears Islam and does what they can to dissuade people from its validity to being the truth and therefore adopting stalinist tactics in the name of freedom and national security to uproot its very right even exist.

    the matter is much more than “perception”

    kingrichard says
    “it cracks me up the way everyone is praising muslims and their measured response to fitna. to me that speaks volumes about islam, the only group of people on the planet who get praised for not going crazy and killing innocents.”

    well then you take take their praise and throw it in the garbage because we were never in need of it nor were we asking for it.
    What does speak volumes is the fact of how you view our affair according to your filtered media and then go about demonstrating your viewpoint from that backdrop

    -edited for language

  31. awake

    April 3, 2008 at 9:12 AM

    al-boriquee wrote:
    “you guys kill me in your rhetoric of rights, free speech, freedom, and all the usual regurgitation you all come up with for the practition of heresy, promotion of violence, and untamed desires, the net result revealing the barbarity of your societies.”

    Wilders should have put your words in his film. They would have fit in nicely.

    you also wrote:
    “when are you all going to wake up that there is no such thing as free speech, rather reality is understood as “whatever action takes place, a consequence follows”. everyone is free to do what they wish, and they will pay for their choice.”

    And exactly what price are you going to pay by exercising the right to express what you just did?

    Regarding the term “Islamism”, I used it as a response to another comment. I must in all honesty ask you a question about it. If you see no differentiation between a term like “Islamist” as opposed to Muslim, how would you differentiate yourself from someone like Zawahri?

  32. Ammar Diwan

    April 3, 2008 at 4:40 PM

    I think it’s important to remember that Modernists/progressives suck up to people like Wilders. People like him criticize Islam, and modernists ferociously come up with ways to twist Islamic texts to please people like him.

    I wonder what the Prophet would say to becoming slaves to the Abu Jahl equivalents of our time.

    And when it is said unto them, make not mischief in the Earth, they say “We are peace makers only!” Are they not indeed the mischief makers, only if they knew!

  33. Amad

    April 3, 2008 at 7:12 PM

    Apparently, “awake” is a jihadwatch soldier, who likes to troll around our pages, and then proudly market his “genius” comments on jihadwatch=islamophobia website.

    Some of his comments here

    I think awake’s waking hours on MM are coming to a close soon. He probably should remain asleep to reality on JW (another part of the Israel lobby) grounds.

  34. Ammar Diwan

    April 3, 2008 at 8:49 PM

    Yes, I think awake should be banned for causing some “fitna” ;)

  35. awake

    April 4, 2008 at 2:59 PM

    Amad,

    I am disappointed in your words. All I did was link this thread at JW. Is that a problem?

    The other comment was a reponse to someone on another site who says that the Qur’an commands Muslims to execute homosexuals, which it doesn’t. All I asked of him was to provide the chapter and verse. Is there something wrong with that as well?

    I have been ever-respectful on this site and have attempted to engage in respectful discourse, but of course, you are free to do as you wish.

  36. al-boriqee

    April 5, 2008 at 1:50 AM

    asleep says

    “Wilders should have put your words in his film. They would have fit in nicely”

    for what. it would not have added anything of remote significance, infact it would have ruined his intent, unless of course he clipped it to be something like

    “Muslims deem our views abour rights, freedom, and free speech as useless rhetoric and calls our values, as nothing more than desire, and causes barbarity”

    then i could see where such a quote would help the intent of his video, whcih is a common ploy adopted by your media outlets, to clp and choose what suits the agenda

    you say

    “And exactly what price are you going to pay by exercising the right to express what you just did?”

    at least Im willing to pay and face what I will face by my comment because we all know everyone reeps what they sow. You all, on the other hand, are the only people who seem to think you can get away with that which you sow and then call the reality of what goes around, comes around as “violence, war against freedom of speech” etc, etc complaining like little babies for something you evoke. If I punch somebody, i expect a fight, and this is pretty much the logic for the rest of humanity, save your “civilized nations”

    you say

    “Regarding the term “Islamism”, I used it as a response to another comment. I must in all honesty ask you a question about it. If you see no differentiation between a term like “Islamist” as opposed to Muslim, how would you differentiate yourself from someone like Zawahri?”

    well firstly, zawahri could rightly not be deemed an islamist for he does not speak for Islam, but you and your party will paint him so, because the agenda is to demonize Islam itself.

    so here is how i would
    Im an islamist, and he is not
    the more likely term for his case would be kharijist. but I guess hats a chapter spencer neglected to teach you.

  37. Nasir Muzaffar

    April 5, 2008 at 3:08 AM

    “Awake” you can read a detailed Islamic ruling on the punishment for committing homosexuality

    The punishment for homosexuality
    http://islamqa.com/index.php?ref=38622&ln=eng

  38. ..

    April 5, 2008 at 12:33 PM

    “because the agenda is to demonize Islam itself.”

    yea, kind of like the term fundamentalist…isn’t it a good thing to emphasize the fundamentals of something?

    Maybe we should focus on ridding the free world of the evil Christianists and the Jewishists as well…

  39. awake

    April 5, 2008 at 6:06 PM

    Nasir Muzaffar,

    I am well aware of the general stance of the four major schools of jurisprudence, along with the latitude, on homosexuality, but thanks for the link. My point was the command to EXECUTE homosexuals is not explicit in the Qur’an as this Muslim had said.

    As far as JW and Spencer goes, I agree with his position and his purpose as he professes on his site. I certainly have not tried to hide that fact in the least.

  40. DrM

    April 23, 2008 at 11:06 PM

    Actually “Awake” I like to get to the heart of the matter. Just because westerners like you are scared spineless of Zionism and its agents doesn’t mean I am. Is it a coincidence that prime pushers of anti-Muslim propaganda and hatred to tend to be judeofascists and their little zionist shabbos goyim? Is it a coincidence that MEMRI is run an IDF thug?
    When you’ve weened yourself of the kool aid, feel free to join the adults in the discussion.

  41. dawaholic

    April 24, 2008 at 2:37 AM

    Brothers,

    It might be difficult to awaken someone who is sleeping.
    But, it is impossible to “awake” someone who is awake and just pretending to be in sleep.

    Don’t waste your time on this Islamophobia peddler.

  42. norah

    December 17, 2008 at 5:34 PM

    I hate this pig as well and the worst thing is I live in the same country as his!!

    he’s so stupid, and by the way I think this video of him has something to do with him encouraging the jews in the israel-pali war.. maybe he’s jewish as well.. but then again, jews aren’t stupid as he is..
    he’s a moron.

  43. Newarticle

    February 27, 2009 at 3:46 PM

    A Reply to Fitna

    This is a reply to Geert Wilders’ film Fitna, highlighting the faults in his hatred-stirring arguments, and enabling everyone to get their facts right.

    An eye for an eye in the Torah, Bible and Qur’an
    Verses mentioned in the Fitna film:

    Surah Anfal, verse 60: Geert fails to include the very next verse which says, “And if they incline to peace, then incline to it also and rely upon Allah. Indeed it is he who is the hearing, the knowing.”

    Surah Nisa verse 56 is referring to the punishments in Hell – as decreed by God – not carried out by people! Plenty of warnings about Hell are in the Torah and Bible.

    Surah Muhammed verse 47 was revealed at the time of the Battle of Badr (i.e. in relation to a specific situation), which occurred after the Prophet Muhammed and his followers had been persecuted for years- including torture, murder and starvation. Up until the Battle of Badr they had never been allowed to fight back.

    Verses not mentioned in the Fitna film:

    See more on the link. A Reply to Fitna

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