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Fitna Isn't Anti-Muslim

April 4, 2008
by Aaron Goldstein
(editors note, links to video resources at end of article)

On March 27th, Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders’ long awaited film about Islamization, Fitna, was released on the Internet despite a concerted effort to prevent its showing.

Fitna was swiftly denounced in all the usual elite corners. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called it “offensively anti-Islamic.” The European Union declared Fitna would “serve no other purpose than inflaming hatred.” Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said, “We reject this interpretation. The vast majority of Muslims reject extremism and violence.”

Well, I have seen Fitna not once but twice. I can state without equivocation that it is not anti-Muslim. Wilders undoubtedly criticizes the words of the Koran and the deeds of some Muslims. But does this make one anti-Muslim?

  • If Wilders had made a film documenting the abuse perpetuated by Catholic priests against children and the Church’s efforts to cover it up would this make Wilders anti-Catholic?
  • If Wilders had made a film documenting the segregationist views of some white churches in the American South in the 1950’s and 1960’s would this make Wilders anti-Protestant?
  • If Wilders had even made a film criticizing Israeli government policy towards the Palestinians would this make him anti-Semitic?

Absolutely not.

If Wilders had made any of the three films I mentioned above he would have received accolades and awards. But evidently the words and deeds of some Muslims are off limits and immune from any form of criticism.

How does showing the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Madrid train bombing make Wilders’ film “offensively anti-Islamic”? While some people would rather take comfort in the thought the U.S. government planned 9/11 or blame the War in Iraq for the attacks in Madrid both of these acts were committed by al-Qaeda. The last time I checked al-Qaeda does not adhere to Presbyterianism.

If the European Union believes Fitna “serves no other purpose than inflaming hatred” then why haven’t we seen mobs of Christians and Jews burning down mosques throughout Europe? Could it be that a vast majority of Christians and Jews abhor violence and are law abiding? There is some irony that Wilders exposes Muslim imams who call upon their congregants to kill Jews and yet in the eyes of the EU it is Wilders who is inflaming hatred.

Do the vast majority of Muslims really reject extremism and violence? Less than two months after the 9/11 attacks, a survey done by the Sunday Times found that 40% of British Muslims supported Osama bin Laden and believed he had “cause to wage war against the U.S.” OK, that isn’t a majority but it’s pretty damn close to one. Too close for comfort.

It is well worth noting that hatred is a learned behavior and many Muslims learn this behavior very early in life. Fitna shows an excerpt from Saudi TV. A 3½ year old girl named Basmallah is being interviewed and is asked what she thinks of Jews. She replies by calling them “apes and pigs.” She is asked who called Jews “apes and pigs” and Basmallah replies, “Allah.” Basmallah is then asked where Allah said Jews were “apes and pigs”. “The Koran,” little Basmallah declares. If King Abdullah is serious about wanting an interfaith dialogue between Muslims, Jews and Christians his education system and media has to get their House of Saud in order and put an end to this behavior. But somehow I doubt we will see Gentlemen’s Agreement with Gregory Peck and John Garfield on Saudi TV anytime soon.

If the vast majority of Muslims really do reject extremism and violence where is the hue and cry from the Muslim community in Britain and abroad concerning the eight men currently on trial for plotting to bring down jetliners over the Atlantic Ocean in the summer of 2006? When the arrests were made Khali Sofi, chair of the Muslim Council of Britain’s legal affairs committee, expressed “shock and disbelief” not gratitude and relief.

There are eight men are currently on trial in London for this plot. On April 4th, prosecutor Peter Wright played videotape depicting six of the men which were intended to be aired after they had carried out the attacks. One of the defendants, Abdulla Ahmed Ali states, “We will take our revenge and anger, ripping amongst your people and scattering the people…decorating the streets.” It is estimated that had the attacks been carried out it could have resulted in the deaths of about 1,500 people. The men were planning to detonate flights from London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports. The airlines targeted were American Airlines, United Airlines and Air Canada.

Perhaps most frightening of all is that most of the men charged with this crime were born in Britain and several of them had converted to Islam. How can anyone consider Wilders’ film incendiary if Muslims born in Britain are ready, willing and able to kill their fellow countrymen? Don’t the teachings of Islam deserve scrutiny if those who convert to Islam end up being involved in a terrorist plot? When is the last time a convert to Christianity, Judaism or Buddhism plotted to blow up an airplane full of civilians?

The UN Secretary General, the European Union and the Dutch Prime Minister can shoot the messenger all they want. What happens when those who kill in the name of Islam come for them? Would they wonder why they didn’t listen to Wilders? Would they also ask why there was nobody left to speak for them? No, they would probably blame Wilders and then blame themselves for not having been tolerant enough towards Muslims.


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