Friday, March 17, 2017

Watching Geert Wilders' Film, Fitna (2008)

After writing a previous post mentioning the far right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who is known for his anti-immigration stance, I watched his 17 minute film, Fitna. This film was released on March 27, 2008. Wilders has recently lost the elections in the Netherlands.

I will not link to the film because it presents real life violence.

The film is quite vague which allows the viewer to perceive the situations mentioned in this film in a fearful manner when other approaches to these issues can be more helpful. It allows itself to be open to interpretation.

It mentions several verses in the Koran. Now it is well known that the early Muslims ended up fleeing Mecca and migrated to Yathrib (modern Medina) in 622 and after that there followed a war between Mecca and Medina ending with Mecca's defeat in 630. So it is not surprising that these circumstances should be reflected in the early writings of the Islamic religion such as the Koran. But there is no discussion of this at all in this film. There is no attempt to outline or describe what prompted these words. If one knew nothing about early Islamic history one would be utterly stumped and confused about those verses. Making people confused about historical facts is not helpful.

Part 1

It presents a verse of the Koran and shows one of planes hitting the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks. Does anyone think somebody just read those words and decided to do such a horrible thing? If so that would be quite incorrect. 9/11 was a criminal conspiracy committed by Al Qaeda. It was not committed just because someone read those words.

Footage concerning the Madrid bombing of March 11, 2004 in which 192 innocent people were murdered is shown. Immediately after that a Muslim cleric is shown saying that Muslims killing non-Muslims is a good but there is no evidence to note whether this individual had anything to do with that attack. Who are these Muslim clerics? The Madrid bombing was a clandestine, criminal conspiracy committed by a cell inspired by Al Qaeda but, it appears, not directly linked with the Al Qaeda terrorist network. So why are clerics who, as objectionable as their words are, shown next to images of that dreadful terrorist attack?

Part 2

Footage of a sword wielding cleric and a three year girl insulting Jews as "apes and pigs" is shown.

Footage of various terrorist attacks, including the bombing in London in 2005 in which 52 innocent people were murdered, are shown. What did those individuals have to do with those acts?

Part 3

The criminal murder of Theo van Gogh is mentioned.

Also the murder of Nicholas Berg by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's terrorist organization (which is now known as ISIL) is shown. Personally I wish this film did not show that most horrible and dreadful murder.

Part 4

A man is shown saying that if a Muslim should convert to Christianity he should be executed. Who is he? Where or when is saying that? Does his government enforce such things? The viewer is not informed of that context by the film.

Newspaper clippings of one ex-Muslim being assaulted and death threats against Ayaan Hirsi Ali are mentioned. Such things are most regrettable.

Part 5

The film shows a cleric standing beneath portraits of Khomeini and Khamanei talks of Islam being destined to be the universal religion. The film then shows President Ahmadinejad making grandiose statements.

One cleric is shown saying that Islam used to rule the world and will do so again. It should be noted that in the COGs it is often asserted that the Roman Empire and its alleged revivals used to rule the world. It might be helpful to view such words in that way. In the same way that statement is not literally true. There was never a time in which the whole world was ruled by Muslims.

"The Netherlands Under the Spell of Islam"

"The Netherlands in the Future?!"

It is a common trope of Islamophobia that attempts to live peacefully with Muslims or to accommodate them is somehow giving in to them or letting them dominate. Attempts to be culturally sensitive is presented as somehow shameful.

It is also a common trope of xenophobia to imagine that other people will somehow take over the whole society. That is seen in this film by stating that many Muslim immigrants have moved to the Netherlands then showing disturbing pictures under the alarmist caption, "The Netherlands in the future?!"

A graph of the number of Muslims in the Netherlands is shown. It is shown that in 1909 and 1960 the number of Muslims in the Netherlands was quite small and then in 1990 and then it mentions a completely topic in which it is stated that 55 million Muslims live in Europe. It seems odd to throw in a statistic for a completely different matter in such a chart.

Pictures of mosques in the Netherlands is shown accompanied with the words "Welcome to the Netherlands."

Right after stating that there are many more Muslim immigrants living in the Netherlands compared with 1909 disturbing images are shown under the caption of "The Netherlands in the Future?!" implying that some nightmarish future of fundamentalist extremist rule by Al Qaeda like extremists awaits the Netherlands.

Pictures of two gay men being executed by hanging are shown.

Children getting cut in a Shia Muslim ritual named tatbir in Arabic. Left unmentioned in the film is that it is a contested practice among Shia Muslims with some Shia religious authorities choosing to forbid it.

Women undergoing female genital mutilation is shown. This terrible practice designed to control female sexuality did not specifically originate among Muslims. Rather it is of ancient origins and pre-dates Islam. May the day soon dawn in which female genital mutilation is no longer committed.

A beheaded woman's head laying on the ground is shown. The film does not explain the origins where this disturbing image or explain the circumstances of this frightful incident.

Photos of women about to be hanged is shown.

Also footage of a burqa clad woman being executed is shown. I suspect that footage is from Taliban ruled Afghanistan but the film does not say.

These terrible things are presented under the caption "The Netherlands in the Future?!" How a minority of immigrants from many different nations could possibly displace and dominate a prosperous and flourishing society such as the Netherlands is utterly fanciful. This is a completely unreasonable fear.

Afterwards pictures of newspaper clippings are shown supposedly providing evidence that the Netherlands is being taken over by Muslims. Most concern serious topics that deserve attention.

However some of the clippings seem a bit odd. One mentions a school closing down during Muslim holidays. (Just one school?) I suspect the kids will just be happy not having to go to school for a day.

Another clipping mentions that Ankara wishes for Turkish to be taught in Dutch schools. What is wrong with encouraging people to learn another language?

One newspaper clipping mentioned in the British teacher in Sudan was compelled to flee the country after being accused of blasphemy. Left unmentioned is that many Muslim organizations condemned the British teacher's arrest.

Also what does this incident in Sudan have to do with promoting the teaching of Turkish which is mentioned in another cited newspaper clipping? The choice of topic indicates that viewing Sudanese and Turkish issues as being part of the same issues is arbitrary. What does Sudanese people have in common with the Turkish people? But the ideology of Islamophobia insists on viewing these very different peoples as part of some mythical collective which is supposedly menacing towards whites in the Netherlands.

The film makes the following statements near the end.
Muslims want you to make way for Islam, but Islam does not make way for you. 
The Government [of the Netherlands] insists that you respect Islam, but Islam has no respect for you. ...
Now, the Islamic ideology has to be defeated. 
Stop Islamisation 
Defend our freedom
The first sentence is quite vague and subjective. It can be viewed in differing ways.

Is it wrong to respect another person's religion? Again being accommodating and living in peace with persons of another religion is equated as being a shameful thing to do.

The film talks of "the Islamic ideology" but there is a wide diversity of opinions about many things among Muslims. There is no single "Islamic ideology" but rather there are many different interests throughout the Muslim world. The Muslim world is divided into many nation states each with their own interests. And even within each nation state there are many competing political interests. Some are right wing. Some are left wing. Some are rich. Some are poor. Some are religious. Some are very religious. Some are quite secular. Some live in rural areas. Some live in urban areas. They work hard and seek to advance themselves like anyone else. There is no single political interest uniting them all.

The film says, "Stop Islamisation." But what does "Islamisation" mean? This statement is quite vague and can easily be viewed in different ways by different people. But it is often the case that Islamophobic demagogues will present attempts to accommodate and to be friendly towards Muslims as shameful and a sign of somehow giving in to them.

The film says, "Defend our freedom" but it is seems that "our freedom" excludes people who just happen to be Muslims. This statements invites us to exclude Muslims.

Having watched this film I found myself perplexed to think that some take this film at face value. Events are portrayed in a simplistic manner. Muslims are presented as scary people. Muslims are presented as though they are hostile but this is not true for everyone. Practices are presented in a sensationalist manner often overlooking disagreements about such things within the Muslim world. Persons saying inflammatory things are presented alongside images of horrifying violence without presenting any evidence that they were involved in those violent acts. It is absurdly and hysterically implies that "[t]he Netherlands in the future" will feature frightful atrocities by (stereotyped) Muslims. The film seeks to shock the viewer but it is not that informative.

After watching it I find myself sadly persuaded that it is correct to classify this film as Islamophobic.


  1. Yes. This film is a delibarate attack on muslims. It is propaganda. btw Wilders did not loose the election. The party grew again and now it is the second largest party in the Netherlands. For a majority 4 parties are needed as of yesterday. The fact that the film presents terrible propaganda does not negate the fact that the punishment for a muslim to turn to another religion is death. Also if the "community" of muslims which is the Umma (comparable to the spiritual organism of the church) is forced of lands, it it considered an attack on the entire umma. This means that if any attempt is made to remove muslims from European soil it is considered holy war since to muslims Europe is now MUSLIM territory since believers live there. I do not believe many have a grasp of what it means that the muslims make no distinction between religion and state. This will show in times of conflict (and I pray they are not coming. For instance Turkey is of course a Greek state until the muslims conquered it. Lybia is Italian and Morocco Visigoth, UNTIL the muslim came there and will only leave until the last one died. Very different from the Western perspective on territory, state, people and religion. To muslims they are all and the same the UMMA.


  2. Btw. I am not saying the Arabs should withdraw from northern Africa or the Turks from Turkey. I am only saying that they see it as muslim territory as long as muslims live there. Quite contrary from the western perspective of immigration and integration. They firmly believe that Europe is theirs just for the sole reason that muslims are living there. Not because of the reasons western europeans or americans consider themselves citizens on certain territories. Those are not linked to the religion themselves. Religion IS their identity as a citizen. No problem in muslim majority countries or times of prosperity. HUGE problem in times that social cohesion is needed within a community under stress (like political or economic upheaval. The western politicians have made a HUGE mistake in allowing people of that religion in based on anti racist sentiments. I love muslims by the way but their religion is incompatible with western democracy. This will show at times when social cohesion is a necessity for survival. Not so now. All is well and we are rich.


  3. What irritates me most about this posting is that you fail to mention that I, you and others can say whatever we want about Jesus on this blog. Wilders for making the stupid, crazy, idiotic propaganda movie is under 24 hour surveillance because of the muslim death thread for doing what he did. nck

  4. And as I am typing the news is in that Erdohan of Turkey is urging Turkish people in entire Europe to breed more children. I love children. But reading the entire speech in context it is clear that the "Sultan" of Turkey is preparing for a hostile Muslim Take Over through a breeding program. I am really sorry about all of this reality as compared to intellectualizing texts and watching movies to intellectually comment on them.


  5. I am so sorry about the many comments I am making. I really am but I am pissed. I just read your comment that people are urged to exclude muslims. I thought you had an "Armstrongist" background. Then you of all people should know that adherents of middle eastern religions exclude themselves by the "exclusivity" of their religion.

    You should study Islam more and then comment on people receiving death threats for excercising "western" freedom of speech.


  6. The world has become so much more complicated. When I was in grade school, we had childrens' books about exotic and magical Arabs riding their camels and flying around on magic carpets. Nobody was afraid of them. In high school, we still called them Moslems. It wasn't until the times leading up to the six day war that they actually burst into daily national consciousness. Yasser Arafat came into prominence in Palestine. Then came the revolution in Iran, the rise of repressive fundamentalism, the hostages, and the gas "shortage" (engineered). That seems to be what fomented all of the hatred. And, it's been rising to a crescendo ever since.

    I'm generally against any people of all colors who misbehave, commit crimes, fail to assimilate, or attempt to promote revolution. It really doesn't have anything to do with a particular race or religion. Frankly, if Armstrongites had sufficient numbers, they would probably be making even more problems for civilized society than Islamic extremists. I see a definite parallel there.


    1. It is so unfortunate and tragic that there is hatred out there. There is nothing inevitable about any of it. May peace soon come.

  7. BB,

    Yes. All of the above is actually my "radicalized" way of calling upon Islamic people to somehow incorporate their religion into liberal democratic society that uncompromisingly has accepted the tenets of the Renaissance, the age of Enlightenment and the liberal revolutions. To separate state and church and therefore personalize religious feelings instead of communalize. Then everything will be perfect, regardless of race and religion. :-)

    Actually I have stated before that Islam and Armstrongism have 99 percent in common. But then I got branded as a "Wade Coxenist" whatever that is.

    There is very good reason to believe there is a common heritage there with Muhammed meeting christianized jewish groups that had fled from jerusalem. They are both the religions of "submit=islam=armstrongist tenet" they are "jewish" considering sets of beliefs concerning food, harpen to moon calendars and do in reality not accept the separation of church (community of believers) and state (kingdom of god on earth) and the failing of the latter is therefore regarded as a failing of personal religion therefore prone to radicalizing after the failure of both.


  8. And Fitna is a grotesque distortion of daily belief and practice for the vast majority sowing discord and hurt and only at best serving as a warning against evil (leaders). Just like the dissenting armstrongist blogs. ;-)

    1. nck,

      Thank you for your comments. The fact that you wrote this out shows that you care about this topic.

      I had heard about Fitna before but I was not interested in watching it until recently. After watching it I am persuaded that it does present matters in quite a slanted and misleading manner.

      As for Wilders needing constant protection because of death threats I find that very sad and unfortunate and wish he did not have to endure that. I abhor violence. I wish that all law abiding persons live in peace and security. Actually even before Fitna was released death threats were made agaist him according to Dave Hunt in his 2006 book, Judgment Day.

      As for Muslims viewing privately owned land in Europe as making it Muslim land I suspect only a minority of Muslims would view things that way. And even if some Muslims do view it that way how could they enforce such a view if the nation's government choose to disregard it? If the nation's government do not adhere to such views I fail to see how such views could be enacted.

      As for Erdoğan's call for Turks in Europe to have five children I think about the parents. Would they really just decide to have more children and assume the personal and economic burden that entails simply because Erdoğan told them to do so? That seems hard to believe. These decisions are quite personal and it can be so difficult to determine what is happening regarding their birth rate. Also perhaps that comment is more about convincing Turks to vote for a constitutional amendment which is to grant him more power.

      In regards to the 8:33 comment I will state that some Muslims are not friendly towards non-Muslims and some are friendly and cordial. And also since every person is different and views matters distinctively it can be hard to determine if their choices reflect an exclusivist attitude.

  9. Well,

    thank you for your kind, understanding and interesting commentary.

    Yes, I do care very much for liberal democracy. I have seen it swept away several times under the disguise of "freedom or liberation."

    You are right that many muslims are adapting to a more western way of living. And as goes for the chinese more wealth almost immediately means the choice for fewer off spring.

    My comments mirror somewhat the 19th century concerns of americans with the large influx of catholic irish and italians immigrants. The question of loyalty to a foreign head of state (the pope) was raised.

    The same goes for multiple "nationalities and passports" of the muslims. Yes modern muslims tend to be more individualistic and materialistic and tend to go the way of the christians.

    However from a religious perspective a call upon the Ummah would be a valid call and in conservative islam they do not distinghuish between state and religion (just like whenever three of you are present it is a church and the land is muslem/). Just like a call to jihad which is binding for all muslims regardless of "state" or passport if the situation warrants it according to muslim legal interpretation.

    So my hopes are that a "new liberal islam" will emerge from the experience of millions of muslims in western countries. Western democracies will have a serious problem if a situation arises in which a call on their common loyalty to the ummah is perpetrated by wahabi arab clerics who have sponsored all the mosques in Europe.

    Common people know close to nothing about the finesses of their religion. This goes for catholics and muslims alike. As a matter of fact most turkish and morrocan parents in Europe are very satisfied to see their children go to the friday prayer but are truly appalled by seeing them return in black clothing and interpretations that have nothing to do with the religion of their particular cultural heritage but everything with the conservative arabian wahabi interpretation. Which frankly is islamic fascism. I hear old Yemenite people in colorful clothing complain about the conservatism and black robes of their children. This is because of the undue influence of wahabism from saudi arabia or islamic fascism and all islamic cultures are suffering from it and their widespread influence over the internet.

    Let's pray their grip on European muslims will diminish over time and they can have their religion develop into moderation that is satisfying to any diety.


  10. Wahabism is not only a threat to western democracies. It is a worldwide phenomenon which also appalled my sri lankan budhist driver, driving through "all black" villages that in his youth were mixed colorful villages with many cultures living side by side.

    It is a shame the USA sought Saudi Arabic sponsoring of the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. "freedom fighters" like bin laden or the 19 saudi hijackers in new york were a direct result of this "co operation". And I heard this connection directly from the mouth of prince Bandar bin Sultan.


  11. Last night I watched Fitna and had no trouble sleeping. You're right, it wasn't informative, and was simply made to reinforce Islamophobic fears.
    I think it would be like portraying Christianity as a fear and vengeful religion with a montage of the worst COG sermons.

  12. True! It is not informative. Only PBS deals with informative information.
    Real information is considered overrated though.

    I mean, simple informative advice to Rosa Parks would be that to get from A to B one could wait for the next bus stopping every hour.

    I can imagine Dickens writing about the crazy professor at Hyde Park's corner, telling the 19th century crowds that there is no linguistic connection between BRth and British and therefore they cannot be the chosen people. While at the Zenith of their power "the evidence of that providence" is all around, for blind to see.

    When watching the "duck and cover" reels I could be overwhelmed with a sense of nostalgia seeing the 1950's clothing, hairstyles and naivity of the kids........ hiding for the bomb.

    But I guess that is not the point.

    (Just poking a little fun Hoss)