The release of the provocative Dutch film ‘Fitna’, ‘Discord’, is attracting a lot of attention internationally. The film has been roundly condemned by not only Muslim groups, but also by European governments and the UN. And of course, groups that approve of the film cast this condemnation as unwitting or intentional acceptance of ‘dhimmitude’.

Creatively, some Saudis are asking that the film be shown in Saudi Arabia as part of a program to come to grips with the inter-religious frictions that now beset the world. This Arab News article explains:

‘Books Not Bombs’
Ismaeel Nakhuda | Arab News

A Jeddah-based publisher is to put into practice a novel method to counter a growing climate of Islamaphobia while fostering positive dialogue between Christians and Muslims: Books not Bombs.

The proposed screening of an anti-Qur’an film by a right-wing Dutch MP has led Esam Mudeer of Al-Bayenah Bookstore to team up with a dawah organization set up by the late Ahmed Deedat to distribute in Holland 50,000 copies of “Jezus in de Islam en de Koran” — a Dutch translation of Deedat’s book “Christ in Islam and in the Qur’an.”

“We’re sending books not bombs to the Netherlands… This is an opportunity for dialogue, an opportunity for the Netherlands to come to know the Qur’an and its message,” said Mudeer, adding that the books will be distributed tomorrow.

The call for dialogue follows the proposed screening of a 10-minute provocative anti-Qur’an film entitled “Fitna” (Arabic for strife) by Dutch MP Geert Wilders. Dutch television channels have declined to show the film, which also drew protests from ordinary Dutch people in the streets of Amsterdam last week.

Mudeer, who is a Saudi writer and a member of several charities and dawah organizations, was a student of Deedat for 18 years. He told Arab News that the book is a “thank you” message to ordinary Dutch people who have protested against Wilders.

I do think it worth pointing out that the protests to this film, unlike those that followed the publication of the Danish cartoons in 2005, have so far been verbal, not violent. That, I think, is important to how Muslims are seen in the West and a measure of proportionate response.


March:30:2008 - 12:58 | Comments & Trackbacks (15) | Permalink
15 Responses to “Coping with ‘Fitna’”
  1. 1
    Solomon2 Said:
    March:30:2008 - 15:40 

    John, I’m afraid that the reason why there are no riots accompanying this film is that the violent jihadists out there probably like it. This film offends a different sort of Muslim than the ones offended by the Mohammed cartoons.

  2. 2
    John Burgess Said:
    March:30:2008 - 16:29 

    Possibly, but the way the film maligns the Quran ought to get the usual bunch on the streets. That it hasn’t so far is curious, but perhaps only a matter of communications: They haven’t learned of it yet on the street level….

  3. 3
    olivetheoil Said:
    March:30:2008 - 21:03 

    They haven’t learned of it yet on the street level….

    Or maybe the leadership hasn’t instigated riots and is anxious to avoid the PR fiasco that followed the cartoon riots. The riots did annoy a lot of non-Muslims who felt that the religious leadership needed to grow up and accept sarcasm and criticism, deserved or not. Also, the riots popularized the cartoons far beyond their natural merit.

    Or it could that the leadership is waiting for the right time to bring out the protesters.

  4. 4
    John Burgess Said:
    March:30:2008 - 22:53 

    I’m not quite sure ‘leadership’ is the appropriate word. Better might be ‘those who seek to promote a radicalized Islam’. That includes the few political leaders, the larger number of political and religious wannabes, and of course the ‘perpetually outraged’.

    But yes, what followed the cartoon controversy was self-destructive and counter-productive.

  5. 5
    Sparky Said:
    March:31:2008 - 14:17 

    Words are better to use than violence. Words have more power many times over than any acts of force in many cases.

    Will be in Germany for a while… :-)
    See you all soon…Have fun but not too much without me :-)

  6. 6
    Aafke Said:
    March:31:2008 - 17:09 

    It’s not a ”film”, it’s ten minutes of balderdash he probably put together on thursday evening. And it is só silly that it’s not even inflammatory.

    If the muslim-world can just keep this dignified behaviour up, and the very best would be to ignore it completely, than they would have completely disproven him too.

    What a fuss about one attentionseeking politician from a country where most people are only concerned about getting out of the rain!

    Sparky! Where in Germany? I live quite near the border! North-Germany!!!

  7. 7
    Sparky Said:
    March:31:2008 - 17:15 

    Hi Aafke…I will be in Bavaria the whole time except one night…

    I will be in Frankfort for one night. Are you close to there?

    I imagine all of us meeting up somewhere one day for a bloggers reunion. I am serious about that :-)

  8. 8
    Aafke Said:
    March:31:2008 - 17:46 

    I am willing to travel far for that!
    Frankfurt is very far away. Germany is a bit larger than the Netherlands. But then so are most countries!

    Bavaria is about as far away as you can get from the North!!!! But Munich is great, great museums. I had family living there.
    Frankfurt is a tiny bit closer, but not what I’d call a daytrip coming and going.

  9. 9
    Aafke Said:
    March:31:2008 - 17:54 

    Hee, Sparky, you do realise that the Bavarians don’t consider beer as alcohol? It is a food-supplement! Better watch yourself! :D

  10. 10
    Saudi in US Said:
    April:01:2008 - 05:44 

    I believe there was a lesson learned from the response to the cartoon issue. This time there have been quick responses, not in the form of violent protests, but rather by using media channels like youtube. I have found a few videos out there over the past few days. Regardless of the quality of these videos or their content, it is good to see a more civilized response. I hope this positive development continues.

    FItna response example

  11. 11
    Aafke Said:
    April:01:2008 - 07:45 

    That was a nice video Saudi in USA, there has been a movemnt in Holland for the last week before that stupind ”film” came out to put as much comments or funny spoofs out as possible under ”wilders” and ”fitnah” so you’d get to see those instead.
    Hitting back with good or funny videos is the best response.

    There is also a cartoon from the Volkskrant on Wilders:
    http://www.volkskrantblog.nl/pub/mm/2008/03/1206989976.95071.jpg

  12. 12
    John Burgess Said:
    April:01:2008 - 08:27 

    The response video was pretty good, but factual errors (The Ottomans did not rule Spain for hundreds of years, for example) doesn’t help make it convincing.

  13. 13
    Saudi in US Said:
    April:01:2008 - 14:04 

    John, I noticed that also, hence the quality comment. However, it is good to see responses carried through media not violence.

  14. 14
    John Burgess Said:
    April:01:2008 - 14:31 

    Absolutely agree!

  15. 15
    Aafke Said:
    April:01:2008 - 19:50 

    I’d forgo the historical inaccuracies gladly for the otherwise intelligence of the responce! :D

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