The anti-Islam Dutch film – comment, criticism and advice
Mufti : Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid
www.islamqa.info - Islam : Question & Answer Website
The anti-Islam Dutch film – comment, criticism and advice
A Dutch film has recently been released that maligns Islam and Muslims, and describes them as terrorists. What is your advice to the Muslims concerning this matter?
Praise be to Allah.
The conflict between truth and falsehood is an ancient one. The troops of falsehood continue to confront the truth at all times and in all places. But Allah caused them to be defeated by the strength of the truth and He hurls the truth against falsehood and destroys it, so it is bound to vanish.
Ever since Iblees was humiliated and refused to respond to the command of Allah to prostrate to Adam (peace be upon him), he began to plot against the truth and its followers. Iblees asked his Lord for a respite, not so that he could repent, but so that he could plot, and increase the number of his followers and bring them into the Fire of Allah, where he will stand and address them, saying:
"Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth. And I too promised you, but I betrayed you. I had no authority over you except that I called you, and you responded to me. So blame me not, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. I deny your former act in associating me (Satan) as a partner with Allah (by obeying me in the life of the world). Verily, there is a painful torment for the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers)" (Quran: 14:22)
Islam has faced many great plots, but Allah has guaranteed to protect His religion, because He has made it the best of religions and the final religion.
Here we are dealing with a new incident, but it will not be the last, because of the devils among mankind and the jinn and their ultimately hopeless attempts to impugn this religion, this Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and this Holy Book.
This incident is what has been wrought by the sinful hands of a man called Geert Wilders, the leader of the “Freedom” Party, which is a right-wing, racist Dutch party. He wanted to slander this great religion in order to become well known and to make political gains, but Allah foiled him and he will be foiled time and again, Insha Allah. This hater made a short film of seventeen minutes about Islam and the Qur’an, filled with lies and fabrications, and he called it “Fitnah”! If what he said was presented to an academic institution or university, he would deserve to be rebuked and scorned, because of his lack of objectivity, and because of his distortion of facts.
His film starts and ends with an offensive image of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that was drawn by the sinful, criminal hands of the Danish artist. At the beginning it shows a bomb in the turban of the so-called picture of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), where the fuse has just been lit. At the end of the film, the fuse has burnt down, and then it explodes. Thus he wants to send the despicable message that Islam came to wreak havoc and destruction, and that remaining silent about it will lead to the demise of non-Muslim civilizations and nations.
We can divide our opinions about this evil film into a number of categories:
1. Verses which are quoted out of context and their meanings distorted.
The first verse to be quoted in his film is (interpretation of the meaning):
“And make ready against them all you can of power, including steeds of war (tanks, planes, missiles, artillery) to threaten the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides…” (Quran: 8:60)
The quotation reaches this point but does not complete it. He wants to highlight the word “threaten” to indicate that Islam equals terrorism, which is how many haters and ignorant people want to label Islam.
We are not ashamed of what is in the Book of Allah and we do not deny this verse, rather we worship Allah by reciting it, and we ask Him to help us to act in accordance with it. But we reject his quoting this part of it on the basis of two things, to keep the discussion short:
Firstly, what he is denouncing Islam for is something that is done by all great and mighty nations. They produce lethal weapons, atomic bombs, planes, submarines and so on, to defend themselves and to threaten their enemies lest anyone attack them. This is what is meant in this verse. The kafirs who occupy Muslim lands could not have dared to do so except when the Muslims ceased to implement this verse. The most recent example of that is Iraq, where they put pressure on the government to destroy their weapons and missiles, then when that had been done and confirmed, they invaded and occupied the land, and mistreated its people.
Secondly, understanding the context of the verse properly will prove wrong the label of terrorism that he wants to apply to Islam, as he and his gang understand it. The verse which comes directly after this one says (interpretation of the meaning):
“But if they incline to peace, you also incline to it, and (put your) trust in Allah. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower” (Quran: 8:61)
The second verse that is heard in the film is (interpretation of the meaning):
“Surely, those who disbelieved in Our Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), We shall burn them in Fire. As often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for other skins that they may taste the punishment. Truly, Allah is Ever Most Powerful, All‑Wise” (Quran: 4:56)
The deception here is that this movie director quotes this verse to show viewers that Islam enjoins burning those who go against it until their skin is cooked, and this is something that Allah has prescribed for them.
This may be refuted on two counts:
Firstly, what he does is a foolish deception, because in this verse Allah is speaking of the punishment of the kafirs on the Day of Resurrection, not in this world. It is followed by mention of the reward of the believers who affirm His Oneness (Tawheed):
“But those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah — Islamic Monotheism) and do deeds of righteousness, We shall admit them to Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), abiding therein forever. Therein they shall have Azwaajun Mutahharatun (purified mates or wives), and We shall admit them to shades wide and ever deepening (Paradise)” (Quran: 4:57)
Secondly, even the briefest pondering of this verse will show the lies, fabrications and misquotations of this director. In this verse, Allah says “We shall change them for other skins”. Are the Muslims able to change the skins of those whose skins are burned in this world?!
2. Fabricated pictures, or pictures that do not show what he is trying to prove, or that show things which are denounced in Islam altogether
Pictures of a group of Raafidis – Shi’ah – wounding themselves and their children with sharp tools, causing their heads to bleed, in a disgusting scene. This is not part of our religion, rather it is done by some of those who call themselves Muslims out of ignorance and misguidance on their part.
The picture which shows swords being held aloft covered with blood is also an image of the Shi’ah on their special occasions, but the lying filmmaker wants to make people think that these are Muslims and that they have just finished a party where kafirs’ heads were cut off.
Another ridiculous and clearly false image is the picture of Muslim women in niqaab waving placards on which it is written “God bless Hitler”!
We say: This is clearly a lie and a fabrication. In our religion we are forbidden to pray for the one who dies a kafir. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allah's forgiveness for the Mushrikoon, even though they be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are the dwellers of the Fire (because they died in a state of disbelief)” (Quran: 9:113)
How can women who wear niqaab and adhere to the rulings of Islam pray for blessing for Hitler?
3. Video clips, some of which contain facts which cannot be doubted and others contain distortion of facts and deceive viewers.
A fabricated meeting with a little girl. It is obvious that they have not presented her or fabricated her story very well, for two reasons:
Firstly, she is wearing hijab, and they are asking her about her religion. It is obvious that she is acting.
Secondly, the child who was acting was asked about her opinion of Jews and Christians and she said that they are monkeys and pigs.
This is not part of our religion; Islam does not say that the Jews and Christians are monkeys and pigs, rather it says that a group of Jews in the past tried to use tricks to circumvent the laws of their Lord, so Allah punished them by turning them into monkeys. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And indeed you knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath (i.e. Saturday). We said to them: ‘Be you monkeys, despised and rejected’” (Quran: 2:65)
“So when they exceeded the limits of what they were prohibited, We said to them: ‘Be you monkeys, despised and rejected’” (Quran: 7:166)
Showing video clips out of context, such as the clip of a khateeb (preacher) who brandishes a sword and threatens the kuffaar.
This Shaykh is well known. He was Iraqi and he waved the sword during his khutbah (sermon) to encourage the people to fight against the kuffaar, who are occupying his country, and he was killed by the Raafidis – may they get from Allah what they deserve. What does he expect the Muslims to do if their land is occupied? Give up their wealth and their honour, and wait to be killed, or approve and forgive the criminal occupier?! No, Islam is a religion of pride and dignity, and the Muslims refuse to be humiliated; they have no alternative but to fight the occupier. This is confirmed by every religion and law on earth. In fact the leader of the occupation himself said, “If my country were occupied I would fight the occupier.” If we assume that he would indeed fight and not run away, he is only speaking the truth, i.e., that the occupier is to be fought.
What is wrong with the Muslims fighting a jihad against those who occupy their land?
The main ideas of the film are all aimed at insulting Islam by mocking and making fun of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him); by reviling the Qur’an and calling it a “fascist” book, as it says in the film; and by warning of the danger of mosques. All of that the filmmaker tries to do in his short film by use of video clips, moving images and the accompanying music, but he fails miserably, because he uses lies, falsification and deceit, which will never be accepted by the viewer, even if he is a kafir.
But Allah has caused his plot to backfire, because the people in Holland are rushing to buy Islamic books and copies of the Qur’an, to see what is in them, and they will see in them that which will show the falseness and fabrication of what this failed filmmaker has produced. This has indeed happened; three people from that country became Muslim after watching the film, and Dutch companies have threatened to take this filmmaker, who is also an MP, to court if Muslim countries boycott their products. Thus this MP will be humiliated and shamed, and the evil plot will not affect anyone but its authors.
Allah has clearly supported His religion. Since the launch of the movie was announced, non-Muslim organizations, governments and individuals have denounced this filmmaking MP, and stated that Islam has nothing to do with violence and terrorism, and that Muslims themselves are victims of terrorism as well as others. Among those who have denounced and objected to the actions of this filmmaking MP is the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, who said strong words against it; the Secretary of the United Nations; the European Union; and a number of politicians, leaders and countries. Satellite channels, both public and private, have refused to show this film, and he could only find one web site that would publish it.
In Mufakkirat al-Islam (Saturday 22 Rabee’ al-Awwa; 1429 AH/29 March 2008), it says:
In Brussels, the European Parliament condemned this offensive film, and the President of the Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering, attacked the Dutch MP Wilders, saying: The contents of the film seem designed to stir up the religious sensitivities of Muslims in the Netherlands, Europe and worldwide.
He added: On behalf of the European Parliament, I emphatically refuse to accept the film’s message that Islam is a violent religion – indicating that he fully endorsed the statement of the Dutch government which rejected the film “Fitnah”.
Similarly, the European Union issued a statement that it regarded the fifteen-minute-long film as hostile and offensive to Islam, and likely to spread hate. End quote.
As for the Muslims, they took action to denounce and condemn the film, and they issued statements and warnings against continuing to malign the symbols of our religion. Some countries threatened to cut ties with the Netherlands, and MPs in some countries demanded the expulsion of the Dutch ambassador and boycotts of Dutch products. Despite the weakness and disunity in which the Muslims are living, this was regarded as great support for Islam, as there are people among both the kuffaar and the Muslims who are defending our religion. The Prime Minister of the Netherlands himself sent a letter to the Shaykh of al-Azhar, stating that his government objected to the production and showing of this film, and that a case had been brought before the Dutch courts.
How would the situation be if the Muslims were truly united and they had the strength to instill respect and awe in the hearts of those haters and fabricators?
It seems to us that this lying MP wanted to achieve certain aims by making this film, including the following:
1. Personal gain, fame and victory at the polls.
2. Pleasing the Jews. That is obvious in his film, as in a number of clips he expresses sympathy for them. But they are occupiers and criminals. At the same time as he speaks of killing by Muslims, he forgets or pretends to forget two things:
(i) That the one who burned millions of Jews was a Christian, namely Hitler, who said in his book Mein Kampf that this was on the orders of God!
(ii) That the Jews killed and expelled a great number of Muslims, and they were not ashamed to call their latest battle against Gaza a “holocaust”.
3. Alerting the West to the high percentages of Muslims in their countries, and saying that large numbers of Muslims poses a danger to Europe.
4. Alerting Europe in general, and the Netherlands in particular, to the spread of mosques in their lands. This is clear from his showing pictures of mosques in the Netherlands, to warn of their presence.
5. Attempting to ban circulation of Qur’ans in Europe, and computing the Holy Qur’an to Hitler’s book Mein Kampf! Hence he describes the Qur’an as “fascist”, which is a word that is indicative of violence and harshness.
Allah has humiliated this filmmaking MP by means of this pathetic work that is filled with lies and fabrications. People will see the difference between lies and the truth when they read the Holy Qur’an and what has been written about Islam and about him by the wise among their own people. This film will motivate them to read and find out, Insha Allah, and perhaps it will be the cause of many being saved from misguidance.
The basic message of this film is to describe Islam as a terrorist and violent religion. But this is no more than a fabrication. Islam is the religion of mercy, justice and humanity. It is what saved the people of other religions from the injustice and wrongdoing of their rulers, as happened in Andalusia, Egypt and other countries in which people of other groups were badly mistreated, including the Jews.
Israel Wolfenson says:
The minor losses incurred by the Jews in the Hijaz are insignificant in comparison with the benefits that the Jews gained with the emergence of Islam. The Muslim conquerors saved thousands of Jews who were spread throughout the lands of the Roman Empire, and who were faced with all kinds of persecution.
Al-Yahood wa’l-Tahaaluf ma’a al-Aqwiya’ by Dr. Nu’maan ‘Abd al-Razzaaq al-Saamara’i, quoted in an article by Professor Khaalid Joodah, al-Faariq al-Insaani bayna Hadaarat al-Islam wa Thaqaafat al-Gharb.
Islam is not a religion which accepts humiliation, and jihad for the sake of Allah is one of its main principles and one of the greatest of deeds in Islam. It is prescribed in order to protect the Muslims from their enemies, to convey the religion of Allah, and to spread the word of Tawheed (divine Oneness) throughout the world. Islam does not say that people must be forced to enter it, because one of the conditions of Islam (being Muslim) is sincerity, and if there is no sincerity then one is a hypocrite among the ranks of Muslims, and Islam does not want this base characteristic among its followers. On the other hand, we find that priests and monks have played a part in forcing people to accept Christianity in Europe and elsewhere, and the numbers of people who were slain in pursuit of this aim is very great indeed; historians say that they are between 7 and 15 million!
Another obvious wrong is focusing on the mistakes of some Muslims who were denounced by Muslim scholars and leaders for killing innocent people and attributing that to Islam – as happens in some clips in the film about the bombs on the trains in London and Madrid and the like. All of that was denounced by Muslim scholars, even though these deeds were a reaction against wrongdoing and oppression. At the same time they ignore those who were slain in the First and Second World Wars in which tens of millions died – 14 million in WW1 and 55 million in WW2. Those wars were not between the Muslims and Christians, rather they were amongst themselves. They did not make any mention either of the people killed in Japan by the American Atomic bombs, or the “Red Indians” (Native Americans) killed by the Americans, or the Asian people also killed by the Americans, or those who were killed by colonialists and occupiers.
They ignore the destruction and terrorism wrought by the crusader attacks against Muslim lands; they ignore what America and its allies are doing today in Afghanistan and Iraq; what the Serbs did with the blessing of the priests in Bosnia; and much, much more. If there are things that history may forget about, it can never forget what the Inquisition did, especially in Spain.
Gustave le Bon says in his book Arab Civilization:
Ferdinand promised to give the Arabs freedom of religion and language, but in 1499 the persecution of the Arabs began, which lasted for centuries, and which did not end until the Arabs had been expelled from Spain. It started with forcing Arabs to be baptized, then the Inquisition ordered that many of those who had been baptised be burned on the grounds that they were not really Christians. This “purging by fire” continued slowly because it was not possible to burn millions of Arabs in one go.
The “pious” Cardinal of Toledo, who was the head of the Inquisition, advised cutting off the heads of all the Arabs who did not become Christian, men, women, old people and children. The Dominican monk Baleda did not think that this was sufficient, and advised that the Arabs who had become Christian should also be beheaded, as well as those who had remained Muslim. His reason for doing so was that it was impossible to know whether the faith of those Arabs who had become Christian was sincere, so it was preferable to kill all of the Arabs with the sword, so that God could judge between them in the afterlife, and send to Hell those whose Christianity was not sincere! We can only admit that we cannot find such vicious conquerors who should be condemned for unlawful slaughter like that committed against the Muslims!
Hadaarat al-‘Arab (p. 270-272)
Anyone who thinks about it now will find that the terrorists are people of other religions, Christians, Jews, Hindus and Sikhs; he will find that the Muslims are the victims of this terror. When will the sleepers wake up?! When with the heedless become aware?
We said to this lying MP who is calling us to rip the terrorist pages out of the Holy Qur’an – as he claims: Come and let us see what your Holy Bible says about terrorism:
If you are a Jew who believes in the Old Testament, then see what is attributed to the Lord, when He said to Moses in Deuteronomy 20:10, 16-17:
“When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace …
However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the LORD your God has commanded you.”
If you are a Christian and want something from the New Testament, then here are some texts from it.
In Matthew 10:34-36, it is narrated that Jesus (peace be upon him) said:
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
35 For I have come to turn 'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law
36 a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.”
For more information see al-Sayf bayna al-Qur’aan wa’l-Kitaab al-Muqaddas by Dr. Habeeb ‘Abd al-Malik.
What the Muslims should do now is:
1. Not cause problems in their own countries, such as demonstrations in which property is destroyed or blood is shed.
2. Refer the matter to scholars and wise men to deal with it, or something similar.
3. Strive to adhere to Islam in word and deed, which means taking part in spreading Islam and annoying the kafirs who hate Islam and the Muslims.
4. Call people to Allah with wisdom and knowledge, distribute translations of the meanings of the Qur’an and easy-to-read Islamic books, and seek the help of trustworthy Islamic organizations and trustworthy scholars in doing so.
And Allah is the Guide.