FITNA: Is It Worth a Protest?
After all the hype, briefings, threats and counter threats, the film that was meant to persuade the world to ditch the Quran is out.
Having watched, full of anticipation, the documentary made by Dutch parliamentarian and leader of the ‘Freedom’ Party, Geert Wilders, my feeling afterwards were a strange mixture of disappointment and relief.
The film, full of the usual tired misinterpretation of verses of the Quran, lacked originality, quality and substance. It betrayed its makers’ lack of knowledge of the Arabic language, the Quran and the way Muslims interpret their scriptures.
Fitna starts with an image from the Danish Cartoons, the sole purpose of its inclusion appears to be and attempt to provoke a backlash from Muslims. It then follows a pattern of quoting verses or partial verses from the Quran, misinterpreting them or take them out of context, and then recycle some old footage from scenes of carnage from Iraq/ Afghanistan.
Take as an example of the deliberate misinterpretation of the film maker: the verse from Chapter 3:
Wilders quotes (partially) verse (3:85: ‘And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him’.
Wilders’s intention here is to use the verse as proof that Islam does not tolerate other faiths and refuse to coexist peacefully with other systems of belief.
The deceit is evident here because the film only quote half of the verse. The full verse reads:
[Quran 3:85] And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him and in the Hereafter he shall be one of the losers.
Only when you read the full verse, then you realise that it is God who is saying that Those who refuse to submit to Him, will not be accepted in the Hereafter, The Day of judgement and will become losers.
The verse does not, in any way, reject the coexistence of different faiths in this life, except for in the imagination of the makers of Fitna.
The second example I will discuss demonstrate the lack of knowledge of the Arabic language and its uses by the film makers. They refer to a verse from Chapter 47:
[Quran 47:4] Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers , smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens.
Here the order to the believer is to smite the necks of the unbelievers when they meet them, or so would the film want us to understand. However the Arabic phrase ‘when you meet’ , in the context of fighting, has the specific meaning of ‘meeting the enemy in the battle field‘. There are numerous illustration of this meaning from Arabic speech and poetry. To expel any misunderstanding, the verse finishes by specifying the circumstances under which this command from God ceases to be valid: ‘ Until the war lays down its burdens.’
I could go on discussing the film and the shallow arguments contained in it, but I truly believe that it does not deserve more of my or your time at the moment. This film is prime contender for the worst documentary of the year.My advise to all Muslims who are planning to protest against the film: Please calm down and watch the film for yourself for only then will you realise that the film is a testimony to the truth of Islam. I mean, how else can you describe such a feeble counter argument by your religion’s critics.
Please do not fall in a trap that has been prepared for you. There is absolutely no need for demonstrations, talk of boycott or threats to sever diplomatic relations with the Netherlands over this film.
One last point: Greet Wilders is not a spokesman for Christianity, I am sure that his views do not represent the views and understanding of the majority of Christians in the world.
Related Post: On Prophet And His Detractors