Anti-Muslim Film Boorish and Boring

Last week, the anti-immigrant Dutch politician, Geert Wilders, released on the internet a film intended to smear Muslims. But his … Continued

Last week, the anti-immigrant Dutch politician, Geert Wilders, released on the internet a film intended to smear Muslims. But his movie “Fitna” is such a bore that it has only given freedom of expression a bad name.

“Fitna,” the Arabic word for “social strife,” is being trumpeted as a provocative manifesto with the potential to create yet more strife in the cosmic confrontation between Islam and the West.

I have watched it. Others should too, not because it is compelling but because, in its utter predictability, the film reminds us why freedom of expression is worth defending. To remain powerful, freedom demands creativity — the very creativity that Fitna lacks.

It is a patchwork of scenes plucked straight from the stock image warehouse: news footage of 9/11 and the Madrid train bombings spliced with clips of hate-spewing Muslims, interrupted by headlines about Theo Van Gogh’s murder in the streets of Amsterdam, all juxtaposed to incendiary passages from the Qur’an.

To be sure, egregious events, preachers and scriptures exist. By no means am I suggesting that they be sanitized. Put them on the public record, in all their vileness.

(Just be certain to secure permission. “Fitna” features a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad wearing a turban-turned-time bomb — one of many cartoons published by a Danish newspaper in 2005. Local Muslim protests escalated to larger boycotts of Danish goods and culminated in full-fledged riots in various Islamic capitals. Ironically affirming that expression is never completely free, the artist who sketched the bomb-donning Prophet has announced plans to sue Wilders for violating copyright.)

The politician’s problems do not stop there. By stitching together one inflammatory visual after another, Wilders has achieved little more than a garden-variety harangue. This makes “Fitna” not only dull but, worse, easily dismissed by those who deserve to be held accountable for their silences about violence and human rights abuses committed under the banner of Islam.

A more engaging approach would have been to pepper the film with positive verses from the Qur’an, thereby revealing that Muslims who expound hostility are actively choosing to ignore the better angels of Islam.

There are plenty of positive passages to highlight. The possibility for women’s dignity is shown by 3:195, which states that God rewards “any worker among you, be you male or female — you are equal to one another.” Imagine aligning that passage with the shot of a woman’s body mutilated by an honor killing.

To shame the imams who cry death to non-Muslims, Wilders could have followed their words with these from 2:62 of the Quran: “Jews and Christians and Sabians, all who heed the One God and the Last Day, have nothing to fear or regret as long as they remain true to their scriptures.”

Indeed, he could have hammered home this point with a shorter, simpler passage — 109:6, which proclaims “unto you your religion, unto me my religion.”

Above all, Wilders missed the opportunity to give Wahhabi sermonizers and sympathizers a real run for their oil money. He could have done so by cutting between their fevered warnings of hellfire on the one hand and, on the other, diverse Muslims reading 2:256 of the Quran: “There is no compulsion in religion.” The resulting message is simple yet nuanced: If Saudi-inspired Muslims insist on literalism, then why not take literally the Quran’s crystal-clear decree against compulsion?

None of this demands deleting or diluting reality. I believe Wilders has every right to publicize harsh verses from the Qur’an. He also has the right to make a painfully stale statement.

In so doing, however, Wilders debases the value of free expression. As it stands, “Fitna” reduces liberty to banality. If that is the best a freedom fighter can do, then what is the big deal about having freedom at all?

It is, of course, a huge deal when cleverly exercised. Exposing the range of choices offered by the Qur’an, “Fitna” could have put the onus on Muslims to look deep within. Non-Muslims would have learned something new. And Wilders might have advanced a serious debate — to say nothing of a necessary one — that lives up to freedom’s promise.

Therein lies the paradox: Those who crusade for freedom often do it the greatest disservice. Not unlike what has happened to Islam itself.

Irshad Manji, a scholar at New York University and the European Foundation for Democracy, is creator of the award-winning film “Faith Without Fear.

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  • The Qur’an on Jews and Christians

    The problem is that Christians and Jews do not believe in Allah but in YHWH. The Qur’an prescribes death to the infidels who do not submit to Allah. So really this is a straw man that the Qur’an raises and Irshad echos.”So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful” (Qur’an 9:30).”Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. The Jews call ‘Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!” (Qur’an 9:29-30)

  • Dianne Sinclair

    I find Starhawk such an inspiration to “walk the walk” and put my beliefs into action.

  • The Qur’an on Jews and Christians

    My mistake the first quotation from the Qur’an below in my previous post is Quran 9:5 not 9:30. 9:30 is below that.It says:”So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful”

  • Kevin

    The movie is great for freedom of speech, why aren’t we allowed to comment on the sadder side of Islam? Why should we be in constant fear for repercussions, the imans have said worse things about Jews, Christians, and other religions and yet you do not see the cleric of those religions asking for their heads to be cut off and the blood to be spilled? I do hope more publicity comes to this movie and shows the true colors of the fundamentalists of Islam.

  • Bill Roberts

    With all due respect, the paradox is not as you suggest. Ms. Manji, your history identifies yourself as a Muslim reformer, hence your point that Mr. Wilders should point out the “positives” to convince hardliners they are interpreting it wrong. The position of Mr. Wilders, on the other hand, would best be described as a “quarantine” of Muslim ideology. This is the man who has suggested a ban on the Koran, and a complete ban on allowing any Muslims to immigrate to his country.There is a problem, and we all can recognize it. However, it seems there are two groups at odds over solution: you suggest externally attempting to effect a reformation, while Mr. Wilders suggests complete and total social disengagement, specifically in the area of immigration and dialogue. Both approaches do have their merits. So please don’t suggest he’s “doing it wrong” when you have a completely different strategy than he.

  • Ion

    All religious texts contain some variety of hate speech. I think Islam has gotten a bad rap because it is being so highly scrutinized. You can find incindiary phrases from both the Old and New Testiments that I’m sure are being used as evidence against Jewish/Christian ideology in some Muslim countries. The reality is that most followers of any religions aren’t nearly as dangerous as their particular genre of God may lead you to believe.Free speech or no speech.

  • Toon Moene

    Very good.I’ve approached this banality from the other angle: One can prove almost anything about religions by selectively quoting their holy texts …But I must admit, your approach is much better, more fruitful – and positive.Thank you.

  • Aziza Noor

    Thank you Mr. Mahfouz for posting that about the abrogation. Hardly anyone knows about this and that is so strange to me! That the tolerant verses have been abrogated by the intolerant ones (and declared to be so by the leaders of Islam) has generally passed unnoticed in my country, at least.Thank you.USA

  • BM

    Irshad Manji, media entrepreneur and author of The Trouble with Islam, is one of the most celebrated of these icons. Manji is widely published and has appeared in all the top media outlets. She even received Oprah’s Chutzpah Award for “gutsiness.”Although Manji refers to herself as a “Muslim refusenik,” the media refers to her as the model of a “practicing Muslim.” Daniel Pipes, a board member of the United States Institute of Peace, calls her a “courageous, moderate, modern Muslim.” But interestingly, Manji’s ideas have less to do with Islam than Pipes’ ideas have to do with peace. A Washington Post article describes Manji’s epiphany about prayer—the cornerstone of the Islamic faith: Instead, she said, she began praying on her own. After washing her feet, arms and face, she would sit on a velvet rug and turn toward Mecca. Eventually, she stopped this as well, because she did not want to fall “into mindless submission and habitual submissiveness.”Manji is welcome to her opinion about this practice of 1.5 billion people worldwide. She is also welcome to abandon any and all of these practices. But Manji is not simply depicted as an insignificant woman who decided not to pray. Her personal decision to abandon central tenants of her faith—so long as that faith is Islam—is portrayed as a fight for freedom. A fight against tyranny. She is “courageous” and “gutsy,” a model for other not-too-Islamic Muslims to follow.Making this the model is like asking someone not to be “too black” or “too Jewish,” as if these were in essence bad or violent, and anyone who struggled only to be “moderately black” or “moderately Jewish” was a freedom fighter.For example, Manji told the Washington Post, “The violence is going to happen, then why not risk it happening for the sake of freedom?”Yes. Freedom is good. Manji may have said it better. Kerry may have said it subtler. But a business management professor at California’s Imperial Valley College said it truer: “The only way to end Islamic terrorism is to eliminate the Islamic religion.”But regardless of how you say it, one thing is for sure: when it comes to Islam these days, less is definitely more.

  • molly cruz

    IT is important to focus on the Last Day in all faiths; it is the one we are in a position to fend off for the first time in history. If we get together to do this, we will have achieved our purpose on this planet: fighting off lovable lobbers from outer space and protecting all life on the planet. This is why all cultural groups seem determined to refine their atomic power science. We must use our war toys for thier ultimate purpose, nudging incomings on another path. We are the good guys.

  • guest

    hit to him boss, well put, and well versed. Sounds like nothing but a parade video for the psychotics to celebrate to.

  • David

    I’ve seen better constructed anti-islam videos on youtube vlogs. Lots of them.

  • Ninjai

    i havent watched the movie, and quite frankly could care less about what it shows. The basic fact is everyone who will watch the movie will only watch it to either justify their preconceived notions (non-muslims) or watch it to later ridicule it (mostly muslims).I seriously doubt that any person would take this movie as his whole sole information package on Islam or the Quran. One thing it has done for sure, is polarize muslims and non-muslims even further…. and if we can call this productive and inline with bringing peace and harmony to mankind, then Mr Wilder has done a terrific job.

  • M. Burke

    It may have been a bore for you but it did expose very well the aims of the Muslim extremists. You cannot deny the placards that these fanatics were carrying. If you do not like the freedoms afforded to the citizens in the West go back to the Middle east and be comfortable there. Have you ever seen a public demonstration by Muslims renouncing these fanatics?It is good that this film was shown since many in the West (especially in the USA and Canada) are not familiar with the jihadists.It is time more cartoons of Muhammed were published in the West. Religious fervor of any form has to be exposed for the superstitous rubbish that it is.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Following Ms. Manji’s recommendations, “Putting the onus on Muslims to look deep within”:The Five Step Program to Eliminate 1400 Years of Islamic Brainwashing,Using “The 77 Branches of Islamic “faith” a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true “faith” (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings.” i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs. “1. Belief in Allah”. “aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc.” should be added to your cleansing neurons.”2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence.”Evolution and the Big Bang or the “Gib Gnab” (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the “akas” for Allah should be included if you continue to be a “creationist”.”3. To believe in the existence of angels.”A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/devils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hittites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No “pretty/ugly wingy thingies” ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as fairies and “tinker bells”. Modern devils are classified as the demons of the demented. “4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore.”Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels/”pwtfft”s to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans. Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the uneducated masses in line. Today we call them fortune tellers.Mohammed spent thirty days fasting in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a “pretty wingy thingy”. Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic violence i.e. turning Mohammed’s “fast, hunger-driven” hallucinations into horrible reality for unbelievers. Accept these five “cleansers” and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

  • deets

    islam is a lie of the devil

  • Roy E

    It’s an effective video for its intended purpose and intended audience – Europeans that are being smothered by politcal correctness and censorship. Terrorists do indeed justify their killing with Koranic verse. Kudos to Mr. Wilders for a job well done!

  • Jane Chingo

    Washington Post and Muslim commentator boorish, boring, and oh so predictable.

  • zorkor

    I smell plain jealousy against Islam and Muslims. The fact that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world and continues to grow even after non stop attacks against it in the media. Its movies and attacks like these make me feel proud to be a Muslim.

  • Joe Liebermen

    Someone should make the same type of film within the context of Christianity or Judaism. It could show verses in the bible along with the bodies of any of the hundreds of thousands of dead moslems in Iraq and Afghanistan killed by US or coalition forces. The same for a film about Judaism, with images of the destruction of parts of Palestine and any number of photos of the hundreds of thousands of dead Palestinian women and children killed by Israel.

  • Dr.Annette Reed

    This film should NOT be stopped. A wonderful artist named VanGogh was publically murdered in Holland by muslims who didn’t like a film he was making. These people (Manji) who come to other countries and attempt to force them to accept the muslim doctrines must be stopped. It is sad that those who are of this faith have no sense of humor and no ability to see the other point of view. In his country, no American could protest.

  • David Blake

    The only thing useful about this film is the truth in it, that there are fanatical muslims in the world calling for the murder of innocent non-muslims. I’m sure there are numerous cases of Chrisitans or Jews doing the same thing. The US televangelist Pat Robertson calling for the assassination of president Hugo Chavez. The fact is that extremism in any form is dangerous, and people have to be pretty low on the evolutionary scale to buy into this type of rhetoric… many did follow G.W. Bush to justify invading Iraq and killing of thousands of Iraqi’s (who had not attacked the US). The problem isn’t Islam, Christianity, Judaism… the problem is evil people.

  • Anonymous

    I think he advanced the debate…you sure are talking about it.25% of U.S. Muslims under 30 believe suicide bombings are in some circumstances justified.

  • Sheldon

    Sounds like all Muslums NEED to read the Koran.

  • Bob

    Islam is pure evil:Quran 8:12 Lo! Thy Sustainer inspired the angels [to convey this His message to the believers]: “I am with you !” [13] [And He commanded the angels:] “And, give firmness unto those who have attained to faith [with these words from Me]: [14] `I shall cast terror into the hearts of those who are bent on denying the truth; strike, then, their necks, [O believers,] and strike off every one of their finger-tips!” [15]

  • Isaac Levey

    Prof. Manji is correct, of course. “Fitna” is little more than a diatribe against Islam in general, and Wilders a McCarthyesque politician who uses a sexy cause for his own power. A debate about Islamic violence is necessary, but Wilders’ film does nothing to advance it.

  • A. Kafir

    Tell it to the Jihadi soldiers who blow themselves up. Other than the silly and bad cartoon of Muhammad, the film is like any other recruiting film for jihadis. Buy any tape made by the jihadis and see if you can spot the difference. The sickening part is that no one, but no one, condemns the selling of the jihadi tapes all around the muslim world!!!

  • tom peters

    What a crock of hockey!!! Show the world what these hate filled muslims are thinking and acting on. Show those verses in the Koran that inflame muslims so that nobody can reason with them. Let’s be upfront about this so that we in the west know what we are fighting.

  • Dead Head

    This is totally missing the point. No one in the muslim comm. objected because it was or was not well done but because they deem anything negative as unacceptable. The double standard is what’s at issue, not the quality of the film. Missing this point could not possibly be an error, so this is more disguised hatred from that intollerent community.

  • Claudia

    Can’t we just all get along? Most religions have pretty much the same origins and then variations from that. That’s something that needs to be explored in public more. We’re more alike than different. To me, organized religion is the root of all evil anyway. I can find my “higher power” in every living thing around me and be happy and content and nobody has to tell me what’s right or wrong based on some religion. Religion is an invention of humans for power.

  • Sophia!

    What is the point of showing tamer verses of the Qur’aan if they are only abrogated by later, violent verses? Maybe the film sucks, but what else was the director supposed to do?I think a better film would be to show why those violent verses are in the Qur’aan: show the historical context of those words. Show the Muslim agenda at that time. That would help Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

  • J

    Perhaps Irshad Manjii could explain why Fitna was promoted on the web site by “Muslims Against Sharia.”Irshad Manjii should address either contradictions in the Qur’an or the argument proposed by some Islamist scholars that there is “abrogation” in the Qur’an per 2:106 and 16:101. She can’t simply quote another verse without at minimum addressing her position on this. The most troubling aspect of Irshad Manjii’s comments is that she did not use this as an opportunity to call for reform in Islam and acknowledge some problems. Instead, she asks the nonsensical question “what is the big deal about having freedom at all?” With a sad answer suggestion that freedom is only “a huge deal when cleverly exercised.”If not for the freedom she enjoys in the West, she would not be here today, and she knows it. If she had made some of her actions, statements in her native Pakistan, it likely would have caused Pakistani Islamists to call for the death penalty. Her blithe mocking of Fitna is only a poor reflection of how jaded she has herself become.

  • Amit

    What about the hindus and budhists and the sikhs and parsees?””Jews and Christians and Sabians, all who heed the One God and the Last Day, have nothing to fear or regret as long as they remain true to their scriptures.””The author says that this is a great verse from the quran because its shows islam’s tolerance towards non-muslims. from the way i read it, while muslims should be okay with the cristians and jews, they can and should kill all the hindus and budhists and the sikhs of the world. after all they don’t heed the one god and don’t believe in the last day.it just shows how intolerant these authors really are.

  • vhc61

    Hmmm…Sounds like he took his cues from Michael Moore and Al Gore. Stitch together a bunch of items that promote your point, but are not truly related to your ideas. I predict that this film will be popular in the U.S. with the same people who swoon over Moore and live vicariously through Gore. Truth be damned; the world wants entertainment!

  • vhc61

    Hmmm…Sounds like he took his cues from Michael Moore and Al Gore. Stitch together a bunch of items that promote your point, but are not truly related to your ideas. I predict that this film will be popular in the U.S. with the same people who swoon over Moore and live vicariously through Gore. Truth be damned; the world wants entertainment!

  • Richard

    These anti-Islamic comments are some of the most insane, hateful, ignorant I have ever seen – and given the usual tenor of newspaper reader comments pages, that’s really saying something. Our education system must really be broken – not because its not teaching people about Islam, but because its not teaching people how to think, period. How else to explain how these people can offer up such absurdly simplistic, sweeping judgments about a major world religion based on – what? Watching the news? Reading anti-Islamic websites? Cherry-picking certain phrases from the Koran and assuming that makes you some kind of authority? Have a little humility, people. Its OK to admit that an issue is complicated, and to realize that a little bit of internet surfing or reading a book or two doesn’t necessarily equip you to produce a really knowledgable opinion.

  • Black Saint

    Islam is a peaceful religion if you do not believe them they will kill you!

  • Jason

    “Every time I want to change the world… I blow somthing up” What a great point of view.

  • infidel

    Please dont be soft on the dangers of ISLAM. Just wondering how the editor thought it was okay to print an article where the author tells us whats the correct way to make a movie which critizes his own faith.Its like a meat-vendor saying look at the 10% of non-contaminated meat and ignore the 90% of contaminated meat that killed a lot of my customers.Yet to come across a muslim who admits that Islam and Quran promote violence and intolerance.

  • Anonymous

    What is boring is the politically correct concept that there are two sides to every issue. Every night on TV you see one talking head take one side of the issue and then another talking head represents the other side of the issue, no matter how lame the argument. In the PC world everybody is right and nobody is wrong and nobody is allowed to be right. In the TV world there may be 1 billion people who think that a child sex offender who murdered his victim should be stoned and they will give EQUAl TIME to the one idiot they find who thinks the man should go free because he can be rehabilitated. They never tell you that they search for two years to find the idiot but it will be presented with equal time and as if both positions are worthy and should be considered. It is boring because there is no passion for what is right. So all this lady is doing in this opinion is trying to make the film boring by giving equal time to both sides and thereby emasculating the man doing the documentary. Look lady, the man was trying to present what he BELIEVES not some politically correct boring piece of garbage. He has an agenda and in a free society he can express this agenda with passion and that is not boring.

  • Rob Healy

    I am not Muslim, nor have I seen the film but this is a great article that brings positive attention to both the Quran, Islam and our responsibilities with free speech. Thank you.

  • Masih Siddiqi

    Clearly the only thing this irshad manji has going for her is her hatred of muslims. Her speciality is picking up verses from quran out of context. The only reason she is critisizing this grotesque propaganda film fitna is because she does not want competition.Who cares about manjis and wilders of this world. We have faced them in every generation. In fact they have always helped us in delivering the message of Islam.Like they say in hollywood any publicity is good publicity. It creates the desire inside men to discover the truth for themselves. The truth as they say will set you free. Read the quran with a open mind and see where it leads you.

  • Anonymous

    Is the author suggesting that the film does not portray muslims?”Anti-Muslim Film”

  • Jeff

    “The same for a film about Judaism, with images of the destruction of parts of Palestine and any number of photos of the hundreds of thousands of dead Palestinian women and children killed by Israel.”Your bigotry is showing. Judaism and Zionism are not the same thing, and many Jews have no connection to Israel. So your comparison is not vaild. In addition, Israel has not killed ‘hundreds of thousands’ of Palenstinians. I am not a Zionist or a fan of the Israeli government, but there’s no way I’m going to believe that the Israeli’s are the only party in that conflict guilty of murder and injustice. Talk about propaganda and spin!

  • The Qur’an on Jews and Christians

    Richard:Wake up smell the coffee. Can you not see the connection between all the murder, intolerance of Christians and Jew by Muslims, and violence between the Qur’an and the hadiths. Richard you have been blinded by PC. The people who are pointing out these truths out have not been blinded by the PC media, PC Western Governments, and PC educational institutions. No they are doing what traditional true Americans do best they are thinking for themselves. They are measuring what all these PC entities are trying to indoctrinate us all with against the, murderous life of Muhammad, the actions of Muslims around the world, and the words of the Qur’an and the hadith. Remember the Marie Corp barracks in Lebanon,the Cole, the Iranian hostage crsis, 9/11 just to name a few? I mean how blind are you?I really think you should go preach your message in Saudi Arabia where they will cut off your head for preaching anything else but Islam then maybe you will see how you have no idea of what you are talking about.

  • Annette Reed

    Muslims (Manji) should not dictate what films can be shown in the United States, which is a country of many freedoms never found in the Middle East. Unfortunately, European countries like Holland have allowed muslim immigration only to find great problems. You can expect these Hollanders to have a bitter memory of VanGogh’s vicious public-slashing-murder. Also, People who have traveled know that liberal New York University is not like the rest of America. No American likes Sharia,Wahhabi, female circumscision, women treated like cattle, rule by Immans, and beheadings. That’s what the muslim faith means.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Black Saint,Your comment, “Islam is a peaceful religion if you do not believe them they will kill you!”Says it all!!!!

  • Nunissan

    Irshad Manji’s comments about Fitna are predictable. Muslims believe it is ok to lie and deceive infidels in order to achieve their agenda. What better way to diffuse the attention the excellent little film has received then to invite veiwers, even ask veiwers to watch the film (all the while a prayer of “we will find you and cut your jew head off… god bless Hitler”. One of the reasons the film was made was to memorialize Theo van Gogh’s senseless murder by Mohammed Bouyeri in 2004. I will try and be as curt an as sharp as this brillant little film. Islam may be just another religion but it has spawned more violent, terrorist, and murderous people than all of the other religions combined. God is good… Islam is not.

  • LJKess

    Sir,Bravo for your well-written critique; nihilists and haters of both sides of this issue need to be shown as what they are. Thank you.LJK

  • Sheldon

    In reality all three great monotheistic religions have a lot to teach all of us. 6.Children fight and all three of these religions do that just makes the Father Sad. They are all wrong to fight each other.7.Satan the Devil or what ever you want to call him is real and loves it when we are distracted from the real message that Jehovah, God, Allah would have us hear and that is that He loves us and wants to intervene in our lives.

  • Robert in Fredericksburg

    I watched Wilders’ video. To call it “boring” seems a pretense. What were you expecting, Academy Award Theater?

  • healthNfitnas

    you wrote an excellent article with a very valid point. so why don’t you make that movie of which you spoke? the wilders vid is like 2 hours for a 14 yr old with moviemaker! ask some kid you know to help you out. srsly- your idea is a very good one but oil in the ground is useless, as they say- it needs to be brought up and delivered!on the other hand, my complaint about the fitna vid, focussing on the banality you mention, was that he should not have stopped the clips at the salient points- where the head is actually hacked off and the devout moslems shriek in an orgy of delight to the gurgling victim’s last labored breaths, backed up by the hollow moaning of religious music. I particularly love how the camera shakes as the photographer orgasms.

  • Amy Hixon

    Bravo…

  • Jay

    For a better view I recommend watching BBC’s The Power Of Nightmares. Muslim fundamentalists never achieved the acceptance of Muslim public, vice versa – they were expelled because of their crazyness and violence. In some countries like Iran this process is still going on.It’s equally futile to battle against said extremism with an equally extremist and fundamentalist right-wing world view. It has deliberately strengthened the image of the Muslim extremism as the great global threat (and thus called many more to join the cause..) – for its own geopolitical use. The problem is not in the religion, but in its interpreters. Muslims and Christians are together fighting against fundamentalists. The battle is in confusion because of the deliberate and cold hearted maneuvers by a few players of each side, who use religion as their tool and disrupt peaceful procession.

  • –Tom

    Irshad, your hand-waving dismissal of Fitna is preposterous. You are in a state of terminal denial. Break free of that vile creed, Islam, and save yourself.

  • Matthew Gropp

    I haven’t seen it, but it sounds like one of those propaganda movies Alquida puts out, except the other way around. Maybe that’s the point. Maybe the film was directed towards the mid-east and not the west. It sounds like a deliberate insult to Islam rather than an argument or discussion of any sort directed to the west. Westerner aren’t supposed to like it and Muslims are REALLY not supposed to like it. It’s this guys way of saying: “I am western; I am free; come and get me!” But, I don’t know; I haven’t seen it and I don’t know the director. He seems to be equally pissed about cartoons as them.

  • The Hammer

    Why do people feel that they need to attack Islam? Why not any other religion? Every book can be disseminated the same way, and similar issues arise, Yet, everyone is bent on critiquing Islam.Why doesn’t anyone focus on the extremists, and the wicked, and twisted faith they preach? What about the religeous cults? Satanism? Militias? Etc.? They are the ones that are offbeat, and spread filth in the name of religion.Please educate yourselves people!

  • Matt

    You say that Wilders has missed the point with his movie, that it would have been more effective arguing the peacefulness of the Quran. But his point of view, clearly, is that the Quran contains justification for violence in the name of Islam, and the West must recognize the threat. Whether his perspective is accurate or not, it is his belief, which he is using his freedom to express. Rather than detail what you think his movie should have contained, what you think his beliefs should be, why not take your own advice, and make a movie of your own?

  • anon

    A couple found guilty of adultery by an Islamic “qazi” court was stoned to death by Taliban militants in Pakistan’s northwest border region, according to a report in Dawn, Pakistan’s English-language newspaper.The execution, which reportedly took place Monday, is the first by stoning reported in the region, which borders Afghanistan. “Qazi” courts, which are allowed to administer Islamic law outside the Pakistani judicial system, traditionally have ordered execution by firing squad in cases of adulteryWhat lovely people. But, I must apologize for being boorish in suggesting an islamic court has anything to do with muslims.

  • Paul

    Great critique of the film. The thoughts and points you make on how he could have improved the film couldn’t have been expressed better.

  • suhail safdar

    Coudn’t agree more.Manji has touched the chord.Fitna lacks cultural vitality and is a bit abrasive.

  • Idol Worshipper

    My understanding is that Fitna only shows mass murders committed by Muslims. Even when I saw United 93, the Muslims were chanting Allah is great when crashing the plane. Not sure why Muslims are angry. They release similar kind of movies on internet.As far as women in Islam: you need to look at Saudi Arabia, the land of the prophet.

  • Keith

    I have yet to see the moderate Islamic community show any outrage at the actions of the Islamic Fundamentalists. Are they afraid or is their silence tacid support for this outrageous behavior? The Fundamentalists would find it very hard to gather support if the moderate Islamic leaders were condeming every atrocity and helping authorities to end Islamic Fundamentalist’s acts of terror.

  • Richard

    To my admirer below who believes that I have been “blinded by PC”: I don’t see much point in engaging the likes of you in a debate. You are welcome to go on living in a Manichean world of apocalyptic clashes between the forces of good and evil. Enjoy.

  • Anonymous

    The film is a good bold step in bringing out the realities of what Islam has become.

  • S.J.Ibrahim

    “Unto to you,your way of life(deen);and unto me, mine”. Sums it all for me. Muslims are not the ones spending $12 billion a month shoving Shariah down the throat of the West. As long as the West will invade,occupy and destroy Muslim lands in the name of “democracy”,they should expect/accept calls of Jihad from Muslims. Resistance is part of human nature regardless of faith.

  • Altai

    ARABS are disSatisfieD with their RELIGION.Alow me to see for myself if VIOLENCE is bor ing

  • Pepper

    Muslims who practice Islam have become violent because the West is invading their land and trying to water down their culture. Anything that does not mirror the west, its a threat.Wouldn’t ye feel the same way if Muslims came over to this country and try to instill their values and belief.I say this from a Christian perspective too who’s mother is an ordained minister.Stop disrespecting people who do not look like you, eat what you eat , dress like you or even treat their women the way you do.GOd made everybody different but who are we to judge them for what they believe. It is their traditions and customs just like us Americans eating apple pie, drinking beer, and eat hotdogs at our beloved baseball games.

  • anthony

    Hmmm…funny Irshad…I found “Fitna” to be VERY disturbing not “boring”, super horrific not “dismissive”, extremely shocking not “dull”….perhaps you were watching the cartoon network. Perhaps you need to show some humanity and educate yourself.

  • Anony

    Wake up! I don’t see demonstrations or public protests from Muslims against bombings, suicide bombings, hate crimes, etc. Instead, we hear silence. I’m sorry, but until you speak up, I whole heartedly applaud this film.

  • Jon

    Ten thumbs up for Wilder’s film. This film convincingly shows the superiority of Christianity and Judaism and most other religions to Islam.The Muslim call for the rape and murder of any non-Muslim goes directly to the heart of the preaching and interpretation of the doctrine.Wilder has done nothing but to expose the radical behavior of this intolerant religion’s followers.This is the 21st Century. Most of the world has become civilized or at least desires to be. The extremists portrayed in Wilder’s film are living in the 11th Century. But, we are not talking about two, three, or even a few hundred deluded individuals. Wilder has shown radicals by the masses.This very day, a Pakistani couple accused of adultery was stoned to death by followers of Islam.Maybe, with nothing but sand as far as the eye can see, it is easy to understand why these people have their heads where they do.

  • George

    This film was great because it is shows how there is a war coming between Islam and the world. If the world does nothing about it we will not survive. This movie also shows how there is alot of hate for the west. I would recommend this movie for anyone.

  • Jimbo Jones

    Ok its Dutch…..so its bound to be boorish. That aside, I think it is important to show the inherent violence in the more extreame interpretations of the Islamic faith. Creativity is in the eye of the beholder, this was his attempt at showing his perception of the truth. Your’s was about women not covering up and being punished for it…his is about violent rhetoric in Islamic circles……you really have no right to call it anything.

  • tomtom

    this is not intended for entertainment you idiot.. boring and not boring are not valid adjectives for this movie.

  • Joseph

    Factually speaking the position of Fitna is accurate as far as it depicts the koran. It seems to me that after seeing all that we have seen in the past several years how can people question the veracity of Fitna’s position. Where are the moderates? Were are the demonstrations of the “majority” peace loving muslims against the Islamic violence.. where?

  • lmao_in_Cali

    Yes. What an offensive film. Much more so than ones showing a prisoner’s head being cut off. Puhleese!!!If this country is ever the target of a terrorist nuclear attack, then we should plant a couple of warheads on that big black box in saudi arabia. Nice target. Oh, and then complete nuclear disarmament with strikes on indonesia, iran, I raq, afganistan,sudan, syria, north africa, pakistan, kreplackistan, and any other stan we can find. Once that is done, we can start ethnic cleansing of the country. Oh, yeah, if we have 5-10 warheads left over, france.

  • Greg

    IRSHAD MANJI misses the point of the film and of other criticism of the Muslim world. All we westerners can do is point to these problems and say, “please do something about it”. We are not in the position to do anything about it because Muslims do not listen to us.IRSHAD MANJI and others like him are in the position to reform Islam and uplift the muslim world. But instead, they seek to criticize the west for their views of Islam and not vice versa. It is a fundamentally backward stance. Even Musharraf admits that the Muslim world is the poorest, most ignorant, violent and misogynist of humanity. Surely the west has gotten most of these points right, or is on the right track. Islam is not. And until educated muslims like IRSHAD MANJI smarten up and start using their positions of power and authority to improve Islam for peace, tolerance and modernity, nothing will change.Sadly, IRSHAD MANJI is helping ensure Islam will not change. Instead of wasting his time criticizing a film few will see, he should be criticizing jihad and other teachings of Islam that are reaching millions of muslims.

  • ing

    I think this article is missing GW’s whole point. It is not to show that radicals do not practice true Islam. It is his way of saying that the Quran will inevitably incite violence, because it contains pasages which allow for it.However, his main message is that radical Islam can only be solved by Muslims themselves. And I have yet to see a great Muslim effort to this.

  • Harry

    Would you live in Saudi Arabia as a women? Would you raise your daughters there?

  • Anonymous

    ‘Wouldn’t ye feel the same way if Muslims came over to this country and try to instill their values and belief.’Been to Dearborn recently?

  • A Muslim

    Hi,I still can’t believe all the people out there who think that the majority of Muslims are silent when it comes to condemning terrorism. We’ve been against terrorism from the beginning, yet Western media is soo twisted, likely due to zionist, right wing Christian influence that those Muslims have all been blocked out. If a Muslim isn’t shouting “death to America” or protesting against the west, they aren’t worth putting on the news, haven’t you guys noticed that the media only cares about what brings ratings. Muslims talking about peace and condemning Osama wouldn’t shock us like someone cursing America. Haven’t people even considered that right now the majority of victims of terrorism aren’t westerners like Wilders wants us to belive, they’re Muslim for God Sake, now why wouldn’t Muslims condemn people who are killing them???? Be they Western Militaries or some idiots who call themselves Muslim but are farthest from its teachings. Wake up people, 9/11 was a tragedy but Iraq is a far greater one yet even after a million Iraqis have died in that war, American bloodlust continues, thats what I call real terrorism. Oh and the fact that O.B.Laden was recruited and trained with help from the CIA is just not worth showing in the news now is it. Its not only Muslims who need to condemn terrorism but nonMuslims, I’ve seen so much hatred in the last few years from Europeans and Americans, like “Nuke them, all the Muslims” it makes what preachers like those in fitna say pale in comparison. And I have yet to meet a Muslim who’s said such hateful things about the West even after being a Muslim all my life, but I guess all those people don’t count, only the very, very few hate spewing ones are all that count to the west, they give justification to this illegal war crime thats been unleashed in Iraq, don’t they!! Sorry, thats unjustifiable folks no matter how many anti-Islam videos people may cook up.

  • STEPHEN

    Masih Siddiqi says: “The truth as they say will set you free. Read the quran with a open mind and see where it leads you.”The unfortunate truth is that it leads a large number of muslims to terrorist actions, extreme violence towards “sinners” and non-believers, subjugation of women and a desire to dominate the world.That is the point that Geert is trying to make.

  • Progressives Lack Reason

    Suhail Safdar wrote: “Coudn’t agree more.Manji has touched the chord.Fitna lacks cultural vitality and is a bit abrasive.”It’s SUPPOSED to be abrasive. Like it or not, Mr. Wilders DOES NOT WANT Muslims in the Netherlands. He’s suggested an outright ban on the Koran. I don’t mean to put words in his mouth, but perhaps the question he is trying to pose is “In what ways does ‘cultural vitality,’ when it comes to Muslim immigration, benefit the people of the Netherlands?” I think that’s a fair question to be asked.Pepper wrote: “Wouldn’t ye feel the same way if Muslims came over to this country and try to instill their values and belief. Stop disrespecting people who do not look like you, eat what you eat , dress like you or even treat their women the way you do.”Pepper, I think the point you make is PRECISELY in agreement with what Mr. Wilders is saying. If there were NOT people running around the Netherlands trying to instill their own Muslim values and beliefs, from alien cultures, why would he be putting up a fight to preserve his own? “Each to their own, build a wall, keep them out, etc.”

  • anthony

    i guess sawing someones head off while they are still alive screaming and gurgling must be “Boorish and Boring” then.

  • sam

    I guess you have to be a non-muslim to realize what Geert Wilders’ movie meant. He did not say all muslims were like the crazy imams, he wanted muslims to review their religion and my advice to the author is that she revisit her faith too.

  • Anonymous

    THIS IS THE QURAN —- NICE !A couple found guilty of adultery by an Islamic “qazi” court was stoned to death by Taliban militants in Pakistan’s northwest border region, according to a report in Dawn, Pakistan’s English-language newspaper.The execution, which reportedly took place Monday, is the first by stoning reported in the region, which borders Afghanistan. “Qazi” courts, which are allowed to administer Islamic law outside the Pakistani judicial system, traditionally have ordered execution by firing squad in cases of adultery.The married woman, identified as Shano, had allegedly eloped on March 15 with Daulat Khan Malikdeenkhel.A spokesman for the Taliban said a complaint had been received from the woman’s family that she had been abducted by Daulat Khan. They later changed the report to say she had run away with him.Taliban militants captured the couple as they were returning from Karachi, the spokesman said.Dawn reported that the woman’s body was buried by local residents not far from the execution site. The man’s body was handed over to his relatives for burial.

  • sisyphus

    “Jews and Christians and Sabians, all who heed the One God and the Last Day, have nothing to fear or regret as long as they remain true to their scriptures.”Obviously this guy ‘Geert Wilders’ is a racist, I watched his interview on youtube and he didnt make any sense at all..

  • Hasan

    Some people are claiming that this movie was made for “non-muslims” to appreciate it. What’s the point of that? If it’s advocating and defending freedom of speech shouldn’t that be accessible for all? Or is it that all Muslims are against freedom of speech, and let’s just alienate them further? If you have freedom of speech that brings with it responsibilities, making a dull movie rallying people against Islam will not help anyone and only further narrow peoples’ minds as this forum clearly shows. This movie is nothing more than a thinly disguised vehicle for anti-Islamic sentiment. Let’s not have people trying to interpret Geert’s movie as a reflection of their own beliefs and opinions, this a NOT factually based documentary analysing two-sides of the issue impartially the opinions and beliefs of Geert’s have been clearly shown in this movie and is only appreciate by idiots.

  • Arthur Cohn

    The movie may not be an exciting movie. But it ia must see! The Islamic preachers shown in the film make Rev. Wright seem very tame. They spew hate and venom at all non-Moslems;They refer to christians as “the Crusaers” as they are still fighting the wars of a thousand years ago. Their venom is especially reserved for Jews, who are always denounced as the decendents of pigs and monkeys.These are not preachersfrom some isolated mosques,but the main mosques that are televised on the Arab and Persian nations main stations. This type of preaching didn’t start with the Iraq war, but has beengoing on for decades, if not centuries.The film effectively interspaces the sermons with the scenes of actual murder and destruction caused by the terrorists urged-on by these sermons.

  • Laurel Altman

    I’m not surprised that your publication would choose to ignore the substance of “Fitna” and go for the style. Calling the very real evidence of Islamic fundamentalism “banal” and “dull” goes very well with the tiresome (my expression) and idiotic (also courtesy of me) denial of the extremely real and horrific ideals behind this religion and the many, many terrorist organizations that espouse it.

  • Tom

    Religion has killed more people than it has helped. Children should not be forced/brainwashed any religion. All we need is the golden rule “treat others the way you want to be treated”. If the world survives another 9 months of Bush it will be a miracle.Tom

  • Jack Kafir

    Looking around the world, and all the ethnic strife from Kashmir, Sudan, Mongolia, Chechnya, Middle East everywhere one of the parties fighting is Muslim. Given the broad conflicts that Islamic people are involved in all around the world, why is it hard to believe that Islam is a violent religion?

  • Curtis Lacy

    This happens so often! An ivory-tower dilettante is displeased with the efforts of a mere mortal who labors in the trenches, and dismisses his efforts with disdain. OK, scholar, if it is so easy to do better, give it a go. We can all watch you show how it should be done. Not just words, but an actual production to supplant ‘Fitna’.

  • Turgut

    The Fitna video itself is propaganda by an anti-islamist political party. Who believes that Wilders is really interested in discussion or freedom of expression ? And, because it is you, who selects your passages from the Koran, it is you are responsible for your deeds. Nobody can hide behind the Koran !!

  • The Qur’an on Jews and Christians

    Hasan,I do not have to watch the movie to be influenced to have anti-Islamic sentiments. All I have to do is watch the actions of Muslims around the world who are murdering people in the name of Allah and are influenced to do so by what is commanded in Qur’an. The clerics in the mainstream mosques in the Muslim world are preaching the destruction of the West.

  • -God-

    All of my children have become ignorant morons, therefore I shall destroy you all.None shall survive as ignorant as you are, only the educated will survive, the rest of you will join banal animals.Begone you fools.

  • Julian the Apostate

    I’m disappointed, Ms Manji. You are saying because Wilders didn’t use YOUR ‘style’ of telling the truth…he should be dismissed?Truth is not stylish. It comes sometimes dirty, bloody, ragged and torn. It can come in the form of violent swearing.And just because it “violates” a certain standard of civilized discourse,and is “stale”, you would pronounce it unfit?Get off your high horse. Wilder’s telling the ugly ugly truth because it needs to be told.Haven’t you realized YET that there are barbarians out there who WON’T listen to YOU but would KILL you where you stand, as soon as look at you!!??And you STILL insist on speaking to the barbarians as if they were civilized!!??

  • Tim

    AZIZA NOOR SAYS: Thank you Mr. Mahfouz for posting that about the abrogation. Hardly anyone knows about this and that is so strange to me! That the tolerant verses have been abrogated by the intolerant ones (and declared to be so by the leaders of Islam) has generally passed unnoticed in my country, at least.IBRAHIM MAHFOUZ SAYS: Abrogation is explained by the following verse.None of Our revelations———–This whole idea of getting around abrogation by using the word substitute is just plain old double talk. Of course, God cannot make a mistake so once you write something that you claim God said it can’t be changed. And if you change it you have just admitted that your God is in error and therefore it, Allah, is not God. So Islam uses the word “substitute” and then says that this is not an abrogation. Do I have this right? I fail to see the difference between substitution and abrogation. It would be funny if it were not that so many are mislead by this kind of double talk.

  • Masih

    Stephen wrote””The unfortunate truth is that it leads a large number of muslims to terrorist actions, extreme violence towards “sinners” and non-believers, subjugation of women and a desire to dominate the world.””There is nothing in quran which remotely supports the false assertion given above.Perhaps Stephen should read for himself which part of the quran tells us to do that. Read the whole and understand the context in which certain things are being said.The truth is quite the opposite. This is not the medium to debate it but open the book and read it for yourself. The paperback quran is less then 450 pages. Its not rocket science to understand it.

  • Arif

    Masih Siddiqi: Masih, please someone ask those Taliban why they stoned a couple to death? Obviously stoning two people to death in Islam is more justifiable than the human desire to elope. The short documentary about violence in Islam and the barbaric practice of stoning to death this couple in Pakistan proves Wilders point. Don’t you people think that maybe, just maybe there is some truth to violence and the koran? We can all be pretty sure that after the first stone was cast on that poor woman; she must have screamed with pain. All the brave Muslim men around her chanted those famous words first uttered by your prophet mohammed; Allah-hu-Akbar! Two young Muslims, one female and one male buried in a pit with their heads exposed, couldn’t even duck at rocks hurled at them as they slowly died. How long do you think they screamed with pain and asked for forgiveness before dying? People this is Islam at it’s best, why are Muslims, Eboo, Menji, WAPO and John Esposito asking Muslims real questions about Islam? Why do you scream blasphemy and insult to Islam when Islam insults basic human life?

  • Anonymous

    As a film student and teacher, I would hope that Mr. IRSHAD MANJI would have more respect for the work of other film people. Mr. MANJI has the privelage to be studying and working in the US, in New York, which was settled by the DUTCH.Don’t take apart somebody’s work because you know about how movies are made. Thank You.

  • The Qur’an on Jews and Christians

    Richard,Do you know the history of Islam? I do not think so. Have your read the Hadith? If not you cannot understand the Qur’an. I think you should use the name Ostrich instead of Richard. People like you who are completely indoctrinated by the PC police and with multiculturalism will be the undoing of the West. Your dream world does not exist. A Taste of the Hadith:Volume 4, Book 52, Number 196:

  • A.Barimany

    I must add, is the religion in not evil is the human who is EVIL, who had traslated the holy books to his convinience.

  • A.Barimany ( keep it private please)

    I must add, the religion in not evil, is the human who is EVIL, who had traslated the holy books to his convinience.

  • Peter

    Perhaps I view things from a different perspective, but I think Ms. Manji’s article is carefully and intentionally -and skilfully- misguided.She is making the assumption that Mr. Wilders is trying to pass a message to Muslims to “look within”, while Mr. Wilders is trying to pass a message of vigilance to us “infidels”. Starting from a wrong premise or assumption leads to a misleading narrative and conclusion, such as that Mr. Wilders does freedom a disservice. I would argue the exact opposite: Mr. Wilder’s inarticulate, crude depiction of the dark side of Islam is the kind of thing we all need to see, because we “infidels” are way too polite and politically correct to not offend the feelings of anyone (Muslims included), so we cannot even present the raw truth despite overwhelming evidence which supports it. Mr. Wilder’s film lacks imagination because it is not science fiction, but a very short documentary of real events. These events are really disturbing, and intended to be thought-provoking for us “infidels”. Ironically, Mr. Wilders is accused for instigating hatred against Muslims….if anyones watches “Fitna” (s)he will see that it is Muslim clerics who instigate hatred against us “infidels”. To draw a parallel, it would be like accusing a cinematographer of holocaust events that he is instigating hatred against Nazis, just because he presented real images and events in his documentary.I wonder if Ms. Manji is advocating moderation to Muslim extremists. Even if she is, I have the nagging feeling that exteme views become commonplace and communicated frequently only if there is a maturity of like-mindedness in the receiving audience. This is perhaps the most disturbing thing I picked up from “Fitna”.By the way, most of us are not “infidels”. I am a Christian, go to church almost every Sunday, and try to teach religion, spirituality and kindness towards others to my children. I have yet to see any of our priests urging us to do harm to any person of any religion.There are already sufficient reasons for any conscientious Muslim to look within, accumulating over the past few years. I sincerely hope the rational, peace-loving Muslims will manage to silence the fanatics and stop sensless actions against “us”. The ball is clearly in Islam’s court.

  • Thozman

    Leave it to the media to “ALWAYS” come down on the side of the terrorists.We know what terrorists are, we know what terrorists do, we know that 95% of all terrorists are Muslim. Case closed.

  • Let Freedom Ring

    I couldn’t disagree with the author more. The film showed 1) showed legit video clips 2) showed factual news headlines 3) showed actual versus of the Quran.You suggest that he include “positive” parts of the Quran, its his film, his expression, his message. He warns of the DANGERS of the spread of ISLAM. He was not making a film about picking daisys and singing songs. His message is clear, as are the messages of the Imans, who are demanding the death of non-believers. If Christian leaders were calling for the death of non-believers and Christians were bombing public places around the world, I am sure the American press would vilify them and they would be labele racists and hatemongers. Instead Muslims protect and defend their radical brothers, do Muslim groups come out in opposition to these teachings, no. Do they speak out against the bombings, or the attacks on free speech by their fellow muslims? no. While the average muslim claims that these are small radical groups, we have seen the videos of the protests against the Dannish cartoonist, the attacking of Embassy’s and the burning of effige’s. Where were the mainstream Muslims, were they denouncing these actions? No. they may not be the ones in the front of the protest or march, but they are followers filling the role as enabler and supporter.If you want to do something worthwhile as a journalist then speak out publicly against these Imans, or are you also fearful that they might also try silence you?never should we stifle anyone’s decision to make a film, share their feelings or thoughts. Unless their expression is violence. The Freedom of Speech much ring free, and cannot be stifled because a few Muslims are pissed about a cartoon, a movie, life.God Bless America

  • Steve Innis

    Finally, europeans are willing to stand up to the scurge of islam. I wish americans had the guts to tell it like it is. It is time we stopped making excuses for the excesses of this primitive false religion.

  • Islam’s True Face

    One Dead, 60 Injured in Muslim Attacks on Christians – VOM Sources

  • raouf Benzakour

    Dear Irshad,Religion is supposed to teach Human to be Good (Egyptien,Judaism,christianity and Islam and others) . it seems now that only in Money We Trust.

  • Richard Winston

    What a great message and one that not only needs to be heard, but trumpetted loudly through out the whole world but especially in the radical mosques of the UK, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Islam is a great religion and those who would pervert it to their politcal cause and attempt to make of it a murder-suicide cult will no doubt receive their Divine punishment. In the meantime it would be nice if Moslems who share Mr. Manji’s understanding made their voices a little louder.

  • Islam’s True Face

    Christian Couple Beaten and Chased From Mosque – VOM Sources

  • Islam’s True Face

    Wednesday April 02, 2008JAKARTA, April 2 (Compass Direct News) – Islamic extremist groups and local governments in Indonesia closed 110 churches from 2004 to 2007, according to religious and human rights organizations. The Wahid Institute, a moderate Muslim non-governmental organization, along with church associations and the Indonesian Human Rights Commission reported that discrimination and violence against churches was most common in the provinces of West Java, Banten, Central Java, South Sulawesi and Bengkulu. Radical Muslim groups coerced local governments to send letters to churches prohibiting any activities. When churches did not comply, they would be burned or otherwise damaged, as happened last December to Jakarta Baptist Christian Church (Gereja Kristen Baptis Jakarta, or GKBJ) in Sepatan, Tangerang province. Muslim extremists from the Islamic Defender Front kicked out the windows and doors of the pastor’s home and threw out his belongings.

  • JBE

    YOU are brilliant. Thank you for your insight.When will you make such a film as you describe?This article should be passed around the Internet as much as the images of those dutch cartoons were.Yes, absolutely the positive aspects of the holy Koran overwhelm any wahabbist’s arguments. They should be juxtaposed every single friday in every single mosque around the globe.Bravo!

  • Ben

    Nonsense. Why should Mr. Wilders have to point out the “positive” aspects of the Quran, when he obviously is not a Muslim and does not believe in it? He and all other non-Muslims are affected most by the negative passages, and those who attempt to enforce them.Example: what difference does it make to me if the Quran says men and women are equal? The reality is that in strictly literal practice, women can not go outside the home without a related male companion, they must be fully covered in public, they are fully segregated in Mosques, and are subject to all forms of cruel and debasing punishments (in public) even when males are guilty for committing a crime. It is known they are raped, stoned, lashed, and shot. They are treated more like disobedient dogs than humans.Also I never heard of a Muslim justifying Christianity or Judaism by pointing out positive aspects of their theology. Don’t ask others to do this for Islam. That’s kind of the point of Fitna. Take personal responsibility, you can not continue to blame all the world’s problems on Jews and Crusaders.

  • Cordy

    I agree. It was pretty unimaginative–propaganda a la Swiftboat Veterans. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a point, of course. Freedom of speech is new, just four hundred years old or so, and what these situations with Geert, Tibet, Salman Rushdie, et.al, teach us is that freedom of speech isn’t a right–it’s a privilege that has been fought for. Just remember, WHENEVER SOMEONE WANTS TO KILL YOU FOR SAYING SOMETHING, IT’S BECAUSE YOU’RE SAYING THE TRUTH.

  • THE OC

    Your a carpet munching lesbian, who has no place in Islam, and should be stoned at first sight.

  • CitizenLand

    Dull & Boring??!!I have to once again witness one of my fellow Americans having to make a choice between burning to death or falling to his death while Arab students in the US stand and cheer at the images of the towers coming down. I have to watch an innocent man get his head hacked off while he’s still conscious and breathing!You gutless wh*re, how DARE you dismiss these images as dull or boring.You people infest other countries that allow freedoms that their native lands regularly kill over for practicing while taking welfare from honest taxpayers (who you loudly denounce) while protesting that you aren’t being “respected”? I pray that such protesting comes to America one day. I will do everything in my power to stop it in ANY WAY NECCESSARY! I swear this on my life.

  • anon

    When will you be making that movie you spoke of?

  • sam

    Cutting a guy’s head off – a bore? I think that points up one of the major problems with your religion – death is fine.

  • dmw

    The “report offensive comments” at the bottom of most posts herein is hilariously dead pan. The Post is proving with this new ridiculous (global/ on faith) section of its web site that creating a forum for public discourse on world events reserved strictly for religious viewpoints simply licenses the most ignorant, vile and hateful kind of commentary imaginable. I know this is what gets the clicks on the ads, because most people think that their own religious superstitions makes them better than other people, but this what you have to expect when you try to privilege religious views on serious topics of public importance.

  • jim

    Seems like there’s always a reason for muslims to not look at how bizarre their fringe can be.I mean, it is their fringe, innit?

  • Wickedashtray

    Let me tell you how this sounds to a minority who rarely has a say in anything: AtheistsAll this (Allah vs Jesus vs Flying spaghetti monster vs etc) makes about as much sense as two children arguing over who would win in a fight, Batman or Superman?Think of all the hate, death and misery that could be ended if people would simply wake up and stop this infantile dependence on a higher power that doesn’t exist.

  • parlaksari

    It is so interesting to read all these comments. People who despise and dispraises Islam do not have any idea. They just see the extremist like Taliban and think that all Muslim’s are like that. These people are definitely blindfolded/I am a Muslim and I do not wear a veil, no one forced me for that. In my family I was much more valuable than my brother since they believed that woman should definitely have an education, they cared about my education more than my brothers. I grew up in this culture and then I read all these comments and I see that it is so difficult to make people think objective. Taliban’s mind and those people who commented here and insulted all Muslim’s are same. No difference!!Most people get their religion from their family. So people posses some prejudice to other religions when they grow up. Thanks God my family was open-minded and thought me not to despise anyone and be humble. What I can’t see on these comments is this modesty. Everyone believes that what they believe is always right. In conclusion, all Muslims are not violent or Taliban member. People who insist on disparaging Muslims are not objective and open-minded and they are full of negativity. Definitely those people are not the ones that would provide peace on earth since you have the same mentality that Taliban has.

  • masih

    Arif, Perhaps you should ask why thousands of women get raped in this country. or why thousands of men get raped in prisons. or why young girls take up prostitution or drug addiction as a lifetime carrier. or dozens of other injustices I can name.Keep reading and you will discover how adultery destroys the fabric of the society. It kills the building block of nation, Family. You will also discover the punishment for adultery is same in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Not that Islam needs any support to validate its rulings.Centuries of wisdom on one side and you with your one generation or two of trial and error. Was it not just couple of centuries ago you thought slavery is righteous or women cannot own property or dozen other things I can name. For heavens sake man you still murder millions in the name of “right to choose” abortions. Almost one hundred million human beings are missing just in this country alone. You want to lecture Islam on human rights I dont think so.

  • callie

    All Muslims don’t share the views of the lunatic fringe just like Jews and Christians don’t all think the same.This film made some points but I would prefer to see one made by the author of this well thought out article.The Iman of the Mosque in Rochester was very supportive of the local Jewish communities concerns about the writing here about Jews being the source of violence in the world and Israel being a snake pit. For anyone to say Muslims are not concerned about intolerance is not fair or accurate. No group, not Jews or Muslims or anyone else should be demonized for the faith.Some comments here are deplorable on both sides and one should remember that God in Her infinite wisdom is way too big for only one religion.Peace.

  • Laura

    There are quite a few people commenting here who are completely missing Ms. Manji’s point. “Let Freedom Ring” and others suggested her call to point out the positive was some sort of apologetic gesture. Quite the contrary. Her point was that juxtaposing the violent and bigoted images and words of some Muslims with the positive messages of the Qur’an opens the doors for questioning those who purport the extremist views. As it stands now, the film is nothing but anti-Muslim propoganda. She was merely suggesting that it would have served a greater purpose if it actually sparked a meaningful discussion.

  • TJ

    Our essayist writes: “A more engaging approach would have been to pepper the film with positive verses from the Qur’an, thereby revealing that Muslims who expound hostility are actively choosing to ignore the better angels of Islam.”Although I haven’t seen the movie, if your description is accurate then I quite agree with this statement.It still doesn’t get at the heart of the problem though. A more direct, and useful, approach would be to juxtapose the good verses with the bad verses and then question the value of believing that any ancient writings are the work of a supreme being.The sooner the charade ends, the better for us all.

  • Sarah Howard

    I viewed Fitna and actually found it rather compelling. Using the text from the Koran was really explanatory as to why young educated wealthy men can so easily kill in cold blood. Once I understood that they are obeying their scriptures I realized that they regarded their killings of Jews and Christians as praiseworthy and righteous. I felt that Fitna placed me right into the Muslim mindset.

  • Sounds like FoxNews

    It’s funny how Fitna is deemed “freedom of expression.” Yet in all of Europe, try talking negatively about the Holocaust and you will realize where your Freedom of Expression begins and ends. You will be criticized, sued, removed from office, jailed, or any/all of the above. The Holocaust was a terrible part of history, no doubt. But I think you can figure out the point I’m tryign to drive home.If you want to watch Fitna, feel free to do so. You should always get all sides of a story. Having said that, once you are done watching Fitna, watch a movie that is pro-Muslim. Then read an anti-Muslim and pro-Muslim book. Then talk to Christian and Muslim scholars. Once doing that, make your own judgement. Don’t just get one side of the story and make an All Conclusive decision.

  • You Missed the Point

    #1. Ms. Manji wants a religious reformation within Islam to reform modern Muslim mores. Great! Get busy! I’m not a Muslim so it’s not my place.#2. Mr. Wilders wants complete disengagement with the Muslim world because he feels his society incompatible with modern Muslim mores. I can’t find fault with that until #1 above is accomplished.#3. Tolerance of the intolerable is a sin unto itself.

  • atheist

    there are no texts tolerant enough to justify what the alleged fringe of this religion does. no amount of quoting in the world makes islam a viable or valid belief system. it is true that islam caused 9/11, it caused the train bombings in europe, it caused the rioting over cartoons, it caused the webcasted beheadings, and countless other atrocities. it also causes women to be tortured, imprisoned and mutilated. the most liberal of islamic states still does grant full rights to women. the fact that the US happens to be ignorant and willing to fuel anti-islamic sentiment does not negate the fact that islam is murderous and vile, and intolerant by nature. islam is the most extreme affirmation of every anti religion argument, and rightly so. what is especially abhorrent is the reality that if the religion made a practice of enslaving, mutilating, murdering or stripping the rights of boys, no one would be talking about tolerance, because it would be viewed as intolerable. and it is. no it is not civilized to turn a blind eye to how women are treated in islamic cultures in the name of “belief.” it’s complicit. and if the victims were male, it would be viewed as such.

  • Diamed

    When speaking with people of Christianized/Western societies, Muslim activists deliberately hide a major Islamic doctrine called “al-Nasikh wal-Mansoukh” (the Abrogator and the Abrogated). This simply means that in situations wherein verses contradict one another, the early verses are overridden by the latter verses. The chronological timing in which a verse was written determines its authority to establish policies within Islam. Non-Muslims cannot afford to be ignorant about the full implications of the Abrogator and the Abrogated Doctrine (al-Nasikh wal-Mansoukh). When Islamic spokesmen say that Islam is a religion of peace and that the Quran does not support such things as human rights infractions, gender bias and terrorism, they are lying.An example of the abrogation: There are 124 versus that call for tolerance and patience that have been canceled and replaced by one, single verse. This verse is called the verse of the sword:”But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)…..” Surah 9:5

  • Jerry

    Good points. However at the same time the movie brings up the other, ‘Non politically correct’, problems that Islam has. When I was in Morocco, I read an article entitled, ‘Why does Islam have a PR problem?’ Two sides to the same coin. The fact that 10% of Muslims either sympathize with terrorists or actively support them is not a tiny minority. Why are not the Imams teaching the ‘Positive’ aspects of Islam? We need to acknowledge, 1)Islam HAS a problem. 2)It must be rectified within Islam. 3)Until that happens there will be war. I’m not saying the whole problem is Islam. It is not. But if we continue to be politically correct and bury are heads in the sand, we are idiots. 10% of 1 billion people is 100 million by the way.

  • Cheeba

    Geert Wilder is anti Islam. His agenda was not to force the Islamic world into some kind of moral reckoning (as Ms. Manji suggests he should), but to stir up anti Islamic feeling amongst non Muslims. And quite frankly, the Islamic extremists certainly provided him with some pretty good material. Ms. Manji should have known & expected this! The film is exactly what it was meant to be.Ms. Manji – It is not the responsibility of people like Geert Wilder to challenge the extremists into repenting. It’s up to YOU.

  • Zakia

    Masih, where are you getting your info from?Men get raped in Muslim prisons, too, sometimes by the police themselves! I can’t believe you are trying to lecture Americans on what goes on in prisons while little boys are a treasured prize for many men in gender-segregated societies…Women get raped in Muslim countries, too, even in the name of religion. See what is going on in Egypt with Muslim men forcing Christian women to convert through sexual brutality and blackmail? Religion aside, few rapes come to trial because of barbaric defenses like “the difficulty of getting an object into a hole that is moving”. For many courts, rape is declared physically impossible.Prostitution may be a choice for some privileged women around the world, but for women in poor and restrictive countries, chances are it is not. In a society where women are not as likely to seek jobs or educations because of laws or cultural attitudes, desperate times call for desperate measures. The world’s oldest profession is a very unfortunate last resort for these women with no resources.Drug addiction here? Why is half the population high on Hashish in North Africa at any given time of day? Why is Yemen addicted to qat? Why does Afghanistan grow poppies?If adultery “destroys the fabric of society”, Muslim society must be in rags now. Don’t tell me Muslim society is immune to adultery. I guess a temporary marriage, or 3orfi, makes it right. I guess being able to divorce your wife in a few seconds and then taking her back after you’re done with another woman (or whatever) isn’t adultery.I’m sorry, but the punishment for adultery is not the same in every Brahimic faith. Some Muslim nations take the prize on cruel and unusual punishment award for accused adulterers.Slavery still happens in Muslim countries, whether it is illegal or not. In countries where slavery is banned, maids or khadammaat are treated like slaves. The lower classes are treated like slaves. Darker-skinned people are called, “slaves”. Muslim countries call slavery righteous through their actions.I know many Muslim countries that STILL have screwed up laws concerning womens’ property. Don’t judge other countries’ pasts when your present bears similar flaws. Muslim countries don’t assign half the stigma to women getting abortions compared to non-Muslim countries. Though abortion may be technically illegal in most Muslim countries, in many cases, women can walk into the hospital and say their child will be small, mentally retarded, or somehow deprived of a normal life. They are granted an abortion without question.When Muslims in countries like Egypt stop persecuting and murdering non-Muslims, maybe Muslims won’t get lectures on human rights anymore. Some people give our country’s administration much-deserved lectures on human rights, and people are right to give those lectures to some Muslim countries, too. Everybody deserves better. I hope we all get it.

  • James

    I think Islam and terrists are two different things.How many of you think all of these muslims terrorsits are following Islam? Islam is based on 5 pillars, of which first is “PRAYER 5 times a day.” How many of terroists you think have really have ever prayed? All of you that are talking about muslims being terrorists looked into it before?9/11 terrorits: most of those were big time gamblers, alcholics both of which are prohibited in Islam. Know please tell me are these 911 terrorists are muslim? If they are not praying and are gamblers + alcholics.

  • masih

    zakiaI am glad you got my point. we all live in glass houses. What happens in muslim countries which are under the rule of foreign puppets should not be the criteria of judging Islam. (Even though things you have said range from gross exaggeration to plain falsehood.) In the same way what actually happens in USA should not be the criteria of judging US constitution or Christianity. These are both respectable ideologies.I do agree we ALL deserve better and we should ALL get it. The only way we can get it is when we start treating all people of the world with respect and compassion. That means condemning the slander and lies of Irshad Manjis and Wilders of this world.

  • Zakia

    Masih: I take it you’ve never traveled? Come back and talk to us then about gross exaggeration and pure falsehood 🙂

  • jhbyer

    I agree with Ms. Manji that it’s unoriginal and unhelpful to fault scriptures, and a bit hypocritical, considering similar passages exist in the Christian Bible and Judaism’s Holy Scriptures. CHEEBA makes a very good point, as well, that Muslims have to make the movie they want, because the Dutch can only do their own thing. I do wish the Bush Administration would stop scapegoating Islam and respect the proper limits of the word’s meaningful use. What he calls Islamic extremists are simply Iraqis or Muslims. The Pope is a Christian Extremist. Timothy McVeigh was not.

  • Enemy Of The State

    Although I haven’t seen the film (which I will do after this post), from what has been said it sounds like a standard piece of propaganda intended to smear those whom do not happen to share the tribal values of the film’s maker.I use the term “tribal” deliberately – virtually all of the world’s conflicts can be traced to humankind’s unswerving drive to ally itself with some in-group, necessarily creating out-groups who then morph into enemies.Pretty tiresome.It does seem to support the contention of evolutionary biologists, however, who have proven that we share more than 95% of our DNA with chimpanzees – probably the most violent and aggressive of the primate family.

  • No Such Thing

    Moderates are not true Muslims according to the Koran. The Koran is much more serious than slimy halfheartedness. The true Muslims are busy “slaying all the infidels” (See Sura 9). You are not a Muslim stop claiming to be.

  • Sonia

    With *friends* like you, who needs enemies…at least he tried…which can not be said of you, feel free to do a better job…it’s always easier to criticise afterwards…

  • wow

    Of course this guy would trash the film! And of course google news would feature this opinion piece as a real movie review, because it leans so far to the left it’s almost right.Clearly the individual who made this film is seeing reality more clearly than this idiotic reviewer.

  • Wickedashtray

    Hey “jhbyer”there may be “violent” passages in other Holy books (not to the extreme extent though) but I also don’t see many christians/Buddhist or Hindus strapping Bombs on themselves and walking into public markets and killing innocents. I also don’t see them taking to the streets in their host countries demanding religious law be implemented, demand “respect” and their holy men calling for death to the politicians of the country they happend to be in. On the other hand, to the people who say that the hate speech laws in Europe are hypocritical I have to agree. As wrong as it may be, no one should be jailed for disagreeing with , say, how many were killed in the Holocaust. Trying to legislate “respect” is as bad as forcing it by way of a gun.Lastly, to the others who start off with the sentence “I haven’t seen the film but…” shouldn’t even be forming an opinion here until you’ve watched it first. Its a 15 minute film. Go to youtube and do a search, then come back and state your opinion.

  • Joker3666

    Irshad: You appear to have missed the point of the film entirely! It isn’t that all Muslims are Jihadists, but that there are many who are. A religion that professes to preach “Peace”, but at the same time entreats its’ followers to attain nirvana by “Death to infidels”, i.e. “non Muslims”, should be called into question. Nowhere in Christendom is there a similar call to put to death “Non-believers”. You can find such history in our long ago Crusades, but not in our present day bible &/or religious tomes, the same cannot be said for the present day Quran. When all of Muslims followers, but in particular its holy teachers reject a “Call to Jihad”, then you will find a greater tolerance of and respect for both the Quran and Islam. J3666

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    YMTP noted:”Tolerance of the intolerable is a sin unto itself.”What a great summary of the current situation with Islam!!!!

  • Joker3666

    Irshad: You appear to have missed the point of the film entirely! It isn’t that all Muslims are Jihadists, but that there are many who are. A religion that professes to preach “Peace”, but at the same time entreats its’ followers to attain nirvana by “Death to infidels”, i.e. “non Muslims” should be called into question. Nowhere in Christendom is there a similar call to put to death “Non-believers”. You can find such history in our long ago Crusades, but not in our present day bible &/or religious tomes, the same cannot be said for the present day Quran. When all of Muslims followers, but in particular its holy teachers reject

  • The Sound of Music

    Stop limiting my free speech.

  • Anonymous

    We all know that all the violence done in the name of Islam is not true Islam. Muhammad would not have hurt a flee nor did he ever go to war. I know he ran through the fields singing the hills are alive with the sound of music. I have never seen a Muslim hurt anyone. The man in the film losing his head well we all know that it was not really a Muslim cutting off his head. In fact that clip was not real at all. It was produced by Jews and Christians who want to make Islam look bad. And yes that little twin towers incident it really was a conspiracy so that the USA would have an excuse to go to war with the Muslim world and take all their oil (Hey why is gas over $3.00… duhhhh). We are all bad especially all of us white Americans.

  • Swami

    I think Irshad is arguing against a straw man here, misreading the purpose of Wilder’s movie.We all know not all Muslims are terrorists. Like all people, most simply want decent, prosperous lives. Many are in the front line of the battle against terror. In Iraq, when little boys play with toy guns, the role of villain is the terrorist. Even in the Palestinian territories, a handful work against terror, and these few are incredibly brave, because they are routinely labelled as collaborators and slaughtered by their countrymen. But the point of the movie was to counter the sweet words too often fed to western ears: these aren’t true Muslims, they are twisting meanings, they are using wrong interpretations, etc etc. The reality is much uglier: there are no priviledged interpretations, there are just opinions, and since these opinions belong to people who study Islam for a life time, it is pointless to denounce them as wrong. The fact is, for every Irshad Manji who can point us to a “tolerant” quote from the Koran and question why Saudi Arabians do not adhere to it, there are a dozen or more Saudi Imams, highly trained, who can explain why Irshad has it wrong, he’s reading it out of context, and it’s not really the case.Should we note that not one terrorist, not even the most abhorrent, have been tried for apostasy or heresy? In several Islamic nations, these trials have been directed against Muslims who preached far more peaceful interpretations, but never against terrorists. In Egypt, against a scholar who pushed for women’s rights. But never agaisnt someone who thinks Islam justifies beheading cartoonists. Why not? Why does not Pakistan simply declare that the warlike Pashtuns in the north, by their actions, have left Islam, and let the games begin?The fact is, our current global terror crisis is an Islamic thing. It is nurtured by this reality: the Koran, and centuries of Islamic scholarship can be used to justify entirely opposite viewpoints! I propose a very simple solution: the Koran should be editted. Any passage that can mislead a highly trained Islamic scholar into thinking that the radical, violent Jihad view is the intended message was clearly not authored by God, and should be removed at once. Once through a good editting process, the Koran will be trimmed down, and will no longer contain sections that justify holy war, the domination of Islam, or the oppression of women and others, and then it can truly take its place as one of humanity’s great ethical systems.Muslims must make some serious adjustments to their worldview: Logically, many of the entries in what they have come to believe is the Koran must be false ones. If you give a map to a billion people and a few get lost, they are bad readers. If two hundred million all get lost, and all get completely lost, in the same way, then the map has a few bad entries.If it helps Muslim pride, perhaps they can think that these erroneous entries were never really part of the Koran to begin with, since, being a work of God, could not possibly contain parts that could lead beleivers so horribly astray.

  • Anonymous

    JJ, You are intelligent so why not use your brain? Stop acting like a terrorist here by spamming.

  • Jack Smith

    Not many people know as well as me where Wilders gets his artistic ability from.You see I am an 84 year old man and I used to know Wilders’ mother who gave me many hours of pleasure with her lips and tongue. I tried to make her more respectable and told her that her lips and tongue can be used over my entire body, but she insisted on using it only in a particular region of the lower half of my body. She said she derived extra pleasure from seeing me happy. I had to leave her though because she was focused on only giving me pleasure and obtaining the same from me. I did miss her so until I found someone else who could fill the void that was left from the lack of her presence.I don’t mean to cause offense but it’s important for the world to know the facts and that I should be able to exercise my right to freedom of expression without fear from anyone.Also I don’t hate Wilders, I just hated his father who provided the genes that resulted in this mass of protoplasm that couldn’t find anything better to do with his life.Finally, a graduate student in need of ideas for his thesis could look into the relationship between one’s looks and the amount of pain and suffering individuals cause others. It appears that those who seem to have caused the most suffering to their fellow men have been the most ugliest individuals such as Hitler and Milosevic, with whom he shares an uncanny resemblance; although his mother appeared more pleasing than that except for the missing front tooth and bad breath.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Jack Smith,You have a very sick Islamic, fraudalent mind and mouth that would make even Allah puke.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Jack Smith,You have a very sick, Islamic, fraudulent mind that would make even Allah puke.

  • Deb Chatterjee

    Irshad,While it is true that Geert Wilders has hastily stitched a clothing that is below the level of artistic merit, his objective perhaps was to use the crudeness to rouse passions. Does it serve any purpose ? Partly. If one watches the film, then one gets angry at Islam.It is exactly that’s what is needed. Anger at the doctrine of Islam. Anger from non-Muslims at Islam. Non-muslims have no obligation to make Islam look good or attempting to reform Islam. When the Christian church decreed heresy against those who thought “outside the box” – meaning those who advanced scientific/logical concepts than submitting to the Church – therte were Europeans like Voltaire who used satire and extreme sacracsm to attack the Church’s positions and to generate hatred for the Church’s fundamentalist positions. The average person is not a scholar like you. However it is the average person who needs to be motivated to think that Islam is bad. To do so, crudely depicting the violent side of Islam serves the purpose.Lastly, Quran does contain surahs like you have cited. But, it also contains surahs like Al-Tawabah [Surah 9] which states that Muslims must impose jiziya against those non-Muslims in an Islamic state. This surah was the last in the revelation and no Islamic scholar has denied its relevance and importance in the Islamic theology. So, why should Wilders have the moral obligation of painting a sanitized version of Islam, and thus take away the job of Karen Armstrong and other apologists ? (After if my objective is to rouse anti-Islamic passions why would I need to look beyond the relevant facts around me ?)

  • truthseeker

    The writer is just fulfilling her role as a true Muslim. Isn’t anybody astonished by the fact that even the so called ‘tolerant, educated & moderate’ Muslims who would otherwise appear as rational would be up in arms to defend their ‘religion of piss’!! No, the reality is that this is another aspect of their religion, i.e. deception or al-taquiya. For the Muslims, Mohamed (may piss be upon him), was the man that they hold in highest regard. The followers of his Satanic cult sees him as the manifestation of the ultimate source and follow him according to the inspiration set him and his followers. If you follow the chronicles of his journey as the ultimate lunatic, a deeply disturbed individual who sunk into depression and went to live in a cave, you can see why they follow the twin path of murder and deception. When they are militarily or numerically superior in a certain situation, they simply slaughter their opponents or convert them by the sword. The Muslims are allowed to take the women as their war booty and their conquests as slaves. However, in situations where they militarily or numerically inferior or in a minority, they use the mode of deception to seek converts, to spread confusion and create disharmony among the ‘Kaffers’ or the ‘Kufr'(infidels).These are the twin pillars of spreading and propagating their faith. It would give them enough time and space to maneuver while they create adequate disharmony among the ‘non-believers’ and exploit their weaknesses. The ultimate objective is the same; to spread their faith till it conquers the whole of humanity. These are facts anybody with even half a brain can ascertain for themselves.

  • Paganplace

    “Human beings have brains that differentiate us from animals.”But… Not necessarily in any particularly-appealing fashion, apparently, ‘Truthseeker.’ Etc.

  • Anonymous

    The film might have been a bore, but Irshad is certainly not. She is simply HOT !!!! Smart too. Hubba hubba…

  • spiderman2

    Judging from the response of many muslims here, including the author, there would still be a lot of fitna materials coming out soon. Muslims don’t know that as they defend those videos, more people get the impression that they really are stupid and has terroristic tendencies.A normal person would feel disgusted after seeing those videos. I would even feel more disgusted if it were Christians doing it. But what do we get? It shows that they love the characters in those videos more than the one who blew the whistle. More like hating the witness of the crime than hating the criminal. THESE PEOPLE ARE A BUNCH OF THUGS. THEY WERE CAUGHT THAT IS WHY THEY ARE SO ANGRY.STUPIDITY IS SELF-DESTRUCTIVE. Unless Muslims understands it, very few of them will be left standing when WW3 arrives.

  • Bob Smith

    The film must’ve touched a nerve.Fitna is interesting precisely because it exposes the myth of muslim peacefulness.Oh sure. Pull out the verses that show what a positive message the Koran presents. Isn’t that the job of Muslims? Why must the non-Muslims remind the muslims of the “good part” of Islam?If Islam is so peaceful, where is the counter-video to show what a force for good this religion is? I haven’t seen one of those yet. I guess that film is in the works? Or it will be, right after the muslims are finished threatening to kill everybody. What a sensitive religion Islam is… it makes you want to kill people for something you don’t like. And how typical. Blame the messenger instead of fixing the problem.

  • Ted Baines

    IrshadI did not find the Fitna movie to be a bore. It was a good start. I am now waiting for a gifted director to help make ” The Passion of Muhammad” in which Muhammad and his men behead 880 Jews of the banu Qurayza tribe, then steal the women and property of the murdered Jews and Muhammad takes the 15 year old widow of a Jew he had murdered during the evening to bed for another instance of his child molesting spree. Rayhana stayed as his slave concubine till the child molester died a horrible death in the arms of his child wife Ayesha. These are all historical facts.The Quran is incidentally very clear about subjects such as wife beating. Yes, wives may be beaten up but what about husbands who refuse to do what the wife asks them do? Any provision for that in the Quran. The Quran is crystal clear in not being even handed.Even the verse about compulsion in religion is not very clear especially if you look at all the verses that refer to Islam as a faith. Non-believers in Islam must be beheaded according to the Quran.Revisionists like you who try to whitewash the Koran do more harm to the image of Muslims than the taleban.

  • knew it to be true

    Anonymous: Yep, your type for sure………..knock yourself out, keep proving to be the who*emonger you are thought to be.

  • GeorgiaSon

    Irshad Manji is probably justified in her negative review of Wilders’ film. But I’m equally struck by her constant refrain that he could have produced a better film by inserting references to the more benign Koranic verses, the ones that differ with those so beloved of Wahhabis. Has it ever occurred to Ms. Manji that such a film would be even better received if it were done by a Muslim? Why wait until some Christian Westerner gets it right? Why don’t Muslims do it right themselves?And does the very fact that such a question needs to be raised tell us volumes about the differences between the two cultures? Does Ms. Manji pass up the chance to call for Muslims to produce their own film because the absence of freedom of expression in Muslim countries renders the whole question moot? In other words, is Ms. Manji simply reflecting an inherent Muslim outlook, one that is bereft of one iota of thought about individuals freely expressinng their viewpoints? And does all this tell us why Western liberal culture, warts and all, is far superior to Muslim culture? Why a culture that allows a bigot to produce a one-sided film about a religion is superior than those cultures where no on can freely produce films at all?

  • Dpm

    these people need to get a clue Islam and ALL is stands for is a major threat to the freedoms and peace of the world.GO READ THE Qu’ran and findout for yourselfs

  • Ted

    As always Irshad always twists facts, such as the “crystal clarity” of the Koran regarding compulsion in religion.But Irashad is also a big bore and that quality of being boring is worse than her dishonesty.

  • Ted Baines

    Irshad, one more thing.Do you still support polygamy? What is your excuse?

  • OBloody Hell

    Nice sentiments. I’ll take them more seriously when I see a bunch of Muslims marching down the streets, anywhere in the world, holding them up on placards and marching banners, decrying Islamic violence and showing clear support for free speech.Until that is happening, what you are suggesting is that a film on The Holocaust would have more impact if it had shown various members and leaders of the Nazi party speaking platitudes and making soothing pronouncements.The pictures, the results, THEY SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES.There are moderate supporters of Islam — I know of at least two, personally, and I don’t think either is faking it. But that’s the only real visible evidence of any kind that such a thing exists. I see no protests. I hear few Muslims in the media vehemently decrying violence, citing the measures of the Koran you cite.I *DID* hear the same guy who wrote “Peace Train”, after converting to Islam, agreeing that a fatwa calling for an author’s assassination, solely for the contents of a book he wrote, was perfectly acceptable… but that’s not the kind of example of what Islam does to people that you had in mind, was it?

  • strellnikov

    “…so long will they be a little people, a silly people, greedy, barbarous, and cruel…”.How true, How true.

  • POC

    I would like to kindly know why the post is very late with this review? This film has been out for a week now.

  • Michael Carter

    Watching “Fitna” made me think how easy it would be to produce a “documentary” about Christianity for Muslim consumption that would make Christians appear hateful and barbaric. Such films are not what is needed in a world where we all have to live with each other, nor do they contribute to understanding, which is the only thing able to dispel fear and mistrust. It must not be forgotten that terror and jihad are the tools of a small, fanatical minority whose ranks we only increase by ignorantly painting an entire culture with the same brush.

  • Joe

    Irshad,

  • Amit

    An utterly brilliant (and all too rare) critique of the critique of Islam. To be sure, we have witnessed tragic, violent excesses from certain sectors of the Muslim world (in addition to 9/11, the wanton destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas come to mind). But pretending that religiously-justified violence is the province of only one faith (Islam) is absurd. With respect to “Fitna,” one could just as easily cobble together images of abortion clinic bombings, Timothy McVeigh, or Crusade-era documents – conveniently interspersed with wrathful Biblical verses. One might as well feature footage of the gruesome carnage of the pogroms orchastrated by radical right-wing Hindu elements in 2002, who in proclaiming their intention to create a “pure” Hindu state murdered some 2,000 civilians by hand. Again, religious texts abound holy wars and holy warriors (for instance, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, parallels to the Iliad and Odyssey, both talk at length about “righteous combat”).No religion is immune from extremists ready to excuse violence in the name of divine purpose.But going back to the Bamiyan Buddhas for just a moment… With all the outrage over the depiction of the Prophet Mohammed, it is indeed ironic that the Taliban’s callous destruction of images sacred to some 300 million Buddhists worldwide did not provoke a single word of condemnation from those now pleading for “sensitivity to religion.”Sensitivity to the sensitivities of others, is something, it seems, that we must all learn.

  • Arden V. Hefren Jr.

    Wrong… the film is insightful and offers a view seldom permitted. Poppy

  • Arden V. Hefren Jr.

    the film is insightful and offers a view seldom permitted. Poppy

  • Michael C.

    “None of this demands deleting or diluting reality. I believe Wilders has every right to publicize harsh verses from the Qur’an. He also has the right to make a painfully stale statement.In so doing, however, Wilders debases the value of free expression. As it stands, “Fitna” reduces liberty to banality. If that is the best a freedom fighter can do, then what is the big deal about having freedom at all?”Funny. None of the countries you are defending have freedom of expression. They just have state sponsored hate rallys. If someone in any of those Muslim countries were to attempt to have a demonstration against the hatred (flag burning, book burning, burning in efigy) that happens in those countries they would be killed. The West has true freedom of expression. The Middle East does not. All the idiots that defend the Middle East’s displays of infantile hatred would be among the first to be cleansed out of the Islamic society they wish to create world wide.

  • Marc

    Where is the uproar worldwide when Muslims portray Jews as evil, killing their children for matzoh (please). You don’t see Jews or Christians marching to kill Muslims who printed such garbage.But Islam, oh, print something negative about their religion, riots in the streets, calls for the death of the author. Real freedom of expression.Talk about a double standard. Do it to the Jews, Israelis, Christians, that’s ok. Do it to the “peace-loving” Muslims, and look out.

  • MattyJ

    Great article. Alot of truth

  • Adam

    Someone should do one of these with the bible next.

  • T777

    I am astonished with the level of ignorance and hate that most of anti Islam individual wrote. You may keep looking at facts from your narrow minded point of view and you shall live in the darkness of your soul.

  • Cathy C

    This is exactly the way to treat this film. Hold it up to scrutiny and judge it as a film work compared to other films. Protesting, banning, and violence real or threatened only makes people want to see it even more out of curiosity. Like the anti-mohammed ‘cartoon’ posted in the press, it only fueled curiosity and hate. If it had been ignored, it would have gone the way of all political cartoons. Notoriety makes it famous. I understand the muslim teaching on not representing Mohammed, Jesus or God in physical form, and respect it as their take on resisting idolatry. But to react violently to criticism of ones faith is dangerous, short-sighted and hypocritical. Christianity and the west are regularly criticized/examined by some ‘islamic’ groups/individuals, also by other groups/individuals. If we reacted with violence and banning every time, we would be constantly at war. A society or religion that bans examination stunts their own growth. The catholic church itself shows an example of this. Jesus regularly made examination of the Jewish Pharisee’s religious teaching and practice, mostly because he was of that faith himself. We see where that got him.

  • Al

    Nature and her natural laws are the final authority. But it seems it takes a long time for human beings to learn this simple truth. Said another way, it takes a long time for nature to wear out our individual and collective inadequacies.Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, etc. have their place given the current collective state of humanity….and many who abide the orthodox teachings are decent and good people.But the fact is that human religions are belief systems, which mean “opinion” & “interpretation” systems, and such opinions are frequently inflexible and extreme. Leading to “I’m right and you’re wrong”. And in the minds of some, leading to the necessity of violence to enforce a belief.Those of us who are in some measure fair and just must in some fashion “lock up” or “put in jail” those that will not abide by basic rules of law and order in a global setting. This is in a sense analogous to a city locking up a mugger on the loose in the local park. There may be a lot of reasons for the criminal behavior, and these perhaps should be analyzed, studied and corrected if possible, but all of this after getting the person off the streets.None of this has any relationship to God by the way. God is not a concept but an experience, and once felt dissolves the human need to be “right”, replacing all conditioned mental states with a desire to serve the purposes of a higher power. And do the greatest good for the greatest number. It seems alas that as many prophets have said through the ages, many thousands must fall at the left and right before the realization dawns.

  • spiderman2

    Michael Carter wrote : ” Watching “Fitna” made me think how easy it would be to produce a “documentary” about Christianity “How easy? Then make one. I’ll be most glad if you can produce one. We can use it as evidence to jail those persons on the video. In a sane society, we punish the evil doers. In Islamic countries, they punish the whistleblowers. That’s the main difference between sanity and stupidity and muslims show their stupidity by punishing the whistleblowers.

  • Usman II

    “I have watched it. Others should too”Where and how did you watch this film? Is it on web or in Blockbuster?

  • Ali Karimi

    Mr Manji is right on the mark and very clear

  • cal

    I haven’t seen Mr Wilders’ film but I find it very interesting the the best that Ms. Manji can do is pick at the technical merits of the film then take of on a screed about the merits of phrases of the Koran. A few seconds thought would arrive at the conclusion that dressing up horrific events to be artful is a pretty tough task. It appears that she has so little of worth to say that she had to fill out her commentary with a non-sequitur about copyright lawsuits. Her suggestion as to what would improve the film is pure fantasy. There may well be phrases in the Koran that contain positive messages but that means nothing if all of the professors of the faith do not choose to practice them.Muslims certainly need to look deep within but more importantly they need to stop murdering their fellow humans, Muslim and non alike. Non-Muslims do need to learn about Islam and given that new understanding they need to take a stronger stand against the evil. They also need proof that Islam is not the violent, murderous faith that some of its alleged practitioners make it out to be.A start would be for those who profess the faith the stand up and denounce the evil-doers amongst them rather than taking hysterical offense at alleged slights to their faith.

  • Anonymous

    “Michael Carter:But all you have to do to make a film about Islam is turn on the news.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    All that is needed is that famous quote:”Until the koran is deflawed, no one is safe!!!”This quote should be published on the front page of all newspapers every day.

  • Asim MA, San Antonio

    Irshad,The Quarn is not a shelf of goodies from which to choose:it one coherent truth,every word of it;u need not twist basics to appease some of your readers. Islam and Muslims are moderate by Quranic definition:there are radicals who happen to be Muslims as a reaction to Political grievances-real and horrendous-from within and from without;from within ruthless dictators across the Muslim world protected and nurtured by a “democrcay loving Bush;” from without,we have the occupation and destruction of a homeland of Palestine and of a people,the Palestinians,by a racist apartheid colonail settler state,israel,for the past sixty years and the invasion,destruction and occupation of Iraq, the genocide of European Bosnian Muslims,the indian occupation of Muslim majority Kashmir,the Ethipian occupation of Somalia and the anexation of the Somali Ogaden region.Naturall all these grievances wear an Islamic garb.Add to that a bitter historical memory:The Inquisition,the Crusaders,western colonailism and I must repeat the west’s creation of a jewish state on Muslim land and in the heart of the Muslim world.And they ask why they hate us.And the media and self serving politicians mislead the west to give the impression that its under attack-not the other way around.Radicalism and violence have nothin to do with religion:no people on the face of earth have in the past,recent past and at the present,committed more violence-oragnised and individual-than the west:two world wars,the holocaust and a nuclear war on JApenese civilians in full day light of history.The west should deal with the grievances it created and still festering in the Arab/The Muslim world want to be left alone-it is tired from oppression from within and onslaught from without. and

  • Asim MA, San Antonio

    Irshad,The Quarn is not a shelf of goodies from which to choose:it one coherent truth,every word of it;u need not twist basics to appease some of your readers. Islam and Muslims are moderate by Quranic definition:there are radicals who happen to be Muslims as a reaction to Political grievances-real and horrendous-from within and from without;from within ruthless dictators across the Muslim world protected and nurtured by a “democrcay loving Bush;” from without,we have the occupation and destruction of a homeland of Palestine and of a people,the Palestinians,by a racist apartheid colonail settler state,israel,for the past sixty years and the invasion,destruction and occupation of Iraq, the genocide of European Bosnian Muslims,the indian occupation of Muslim majority Kashmir,the Ethiopian occupation of Somalia and the anexation of the Somali Ogaden region.Naturally all these grievances wear an Islamic garb.Add to that a bitter historical memory:The Inquisition,the Crusaders,western colonailism and I must repeat the west’s creation of a jewish state on Muslim land and in the heart of the Muslim world-a situation that will never be accpeted and it would solve this problem if a the jewish state is moved to Germany where the holocaust took place.And the Bush asks why they hate us.And the media and self serving politicians mislead the west to give the impression that its under attack-not the other way around.Radicalism and violence have nothing to do with religion:no people on the face of earth have in the past,recent past and at the present,committed more violence-oragnised-than the west:two world wars,the holocaust and a nuclear war on JApenese civilians in full day light of history.The west should deal with the grievances it created and still festering in the Arab/The Muslim world want to be left alone-it is tired:oppression from within and onslaught from without.

  • Anonymous

    Concerned, Honestly it’s your Mind that needs to be deflawed-if u have one in the first place.

  • Jeff Garrison

    Spot on, Irshad! I wish that your spirit of Truth- seeking would spread to all faith populations.

  • Kent Nielsen

    I suspect that Mr. Wilders has decided that Islam is a hate religon and that moderate Muslims don’t exist. Too bad. He’s just reinforcing stereotypes not challenging them. And he’ll only convince Muslims that Europeans, especially the Dutch are hatefull.

  • Garrett

    How do tolerant verses make up for intolerant ones? The Koran is either explicit in its hatred and xenophobia, or it is contradictory and a false system of worship. Either way we should not be apologizing for it.

  • j

    The problem with the author’s logic is that Muslims believe the Koran is literally the spoken word of God. Therefore, the contradictions between the “positive” passages and “negative” passages described seem to reveal a stinging rebuke of the belief system. And you can’t cherry pick passages. You’ve got to have one with the other.

  • Masih

    Well said Asim! In few words you summed up the truth. Irshad Manji is the last person on earth to speak for Islam. Her personal choices and statements place her beyond the pale. Wilders? he is not worth a comment.

  • Joe Prairie

    I haven’t seen the film, or whatever it’s being called presently. I’m neither a proponent or opponent of Islam. I have friends who are Muslim, which, by the way, have allowed me to view Muslims from several stances. Here’s a question for all those who viewed the film (and remember I haven’t watched it yet): What if this film was made to generate a conscience debate of what ails Islam and/or it’s perception by Westerners in an indirect manner? I place as an example the advice by Irshad, which I wholeheartedly agree with: “pepper the film with positive verses from the Qur’an, thereby revealing that Muslims who expound hostility are actively choosing to ignore the better angels of Islam.” And, yes, there are “angels” of Islam. As for the onus placed on Muslims to be more introspective, well, I believe that need not be left to a film. Rather, as one of my good Muslim friends tells me, it is the requirement of each Muslim to search deeper and question. I believe each major religion has a disproportionately larger number of followers than thinkers. It’s not my pastor, nor my priest, nor my rabbi, nor my imam, etc the gets me to the truth I should be searching. It’s me!! If we have received the gift of conscience, thought, and reasoning, then it behooves us to put it to use, for we are denoted as HOMO SAPIENS SAPIENS………Let’s put some effort to the whole SAPIENS!!

  • NEWS MEDIA HITMAN

    SALLY QUINN AND JOHN MEACHEM CONTINUE THEIR PRO-ISLAMIC PUBLIC RELATIONS CAMAIGN RUNNING A COLUMN WHICH HAS THE SAME BORING RETREAD FAIRY-TALES ABOUT THE GOOD AND HUMANE MOSLEM RELIGION.MR MANJII, LIKE THE MONKS OF THE AUTO DE FE, READ WHAT EVER THEY WANT IN THE SCRIPTURES WHILE THE HERETICS ARE BURNING.WOMEN ALL OVER THE MIDDLE EAST WOMEN ARE BASICALLY SUBMISSIVE PROPERTY — WHATEVER CLAUSES MR MANJII CAN FIND ABOUT “EQUALITY” IN THE KORAN. sCHOOL CHILDREN ALL OVER THE MIDDLE EAST HAVE BEEEN TAUGHT FOR DECADES TO HATE JEWS AND KILL THEM REGARDLESS OF THE SIMPERING “RESPECT” FOR cHRISTIANS AND JEWS MR MANJII CAN FIND IN HIS KORAN.THE QUESTION IS WHY THE POST ALLOWS ITS COLUMNS TO REPETEDLY BE USED TO PROPOGANDIZE A BELIEF THAT, AS THE PRESIDENT OF ITALY SAID, IS BARBAROUS AND HAS NOT ADVANCED MORALLY IN 1300 YEARS?

  • Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Does it strike anyone else as odd that in an article criticizing an online film, no link to the film is provided?

  • Don

    I disagree with Irshad. Islam is a cult focused on world conversion…or subversion…or death for those who don’t. As such, Islam must be exposed for what it is…a cult inspired by evil. Yes, there are positive surahs in the Quran, but most of the Surahs are about submitting to Allah or else. Look at the life of Mohammed as chronicled by Muslim scholars…he was at the very least a conniving tyrant who sent his followers to kill anyone who spoke badly about him or his beliefs. Fitna may not be the best production, but it should be shown world-wide to help uncover the truth about Islam. There are many, many good Muslims in the world, but Islam and the Quran are pure evil!

  • DAN78

    No film would cause Muslims to look within, because unlike Western culture, Islamic culture does not value self-criticism or introspection. It assumes itself to be perfect, or at the very least, vastly superior to anything else, and then moves from there. Although the same thing could be said of Western culture in some instances (i.e. the Crusades, George W. Bush), the outside observer would have to agree that Western though is conducive to metacognition and self-examination whereas other Weltanschauung-s generally are not.

  • Ivan

    Irshad sums up my response to the film. In looking at the comments I find it ironic that when Irshad defends her faith Muslims continue to attack her and the film, Wow!!! Give her a break please. Then in the next breath they state Islam is a religion requires one to look deep within. The debate should continue and I am glad Irshad is there to do it.

  • FSM worshiper

    The flying spaghetti monster rules! Yahweh and Allah stink. The monster could beat those gods with one hand tied behind His other 5000 arms!

  • Edwin

    It seems clear to me that Mr. Wilders has put together this collage of western perceptions of Islam, as a challenge to the majority of the Islamic world, who are not doing these things, to prove these perceptions wrong.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Truth whether portrayed in a bad movie or a good one is still the truth!!!And the truth is:Just as Christianity is self-destructing from the weight of its flaws and errors to include physical resurrections, holy ghosts, and “voodooing the hoodoo” aka “miracles”, Islam is analogously self-destructing as noted below:Islam’s reliance on “pretty wingie thingies” and “demons of the demented” for authenication is coming to a fast close. As it does, Mecca will no longer be a shrine to these fictional characters and will simply become a historical tourist attraction. Disney will be constructing another Disney World there featuring roller coaster-chariot rides to the fictional heavens, a water park at the Grand Mosque along with a Hall of Religious Embellished Characters featuring talking figures of Abraham, Jesus and Mohammed and his eleven wives. Hmmm, Mohammed’s figure would be saying something like: “I was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added “angels” aka “pretty wingie thingies” and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers. “

  • Isabelle Kreindler

    The movie is basically a cut and paste job of verses from the Quran juxtoposed with contemporary events and mosque preachings — not very ‘creative’, indeed,nothing, unfortunately, that Wilders ‘created’! It is the basic issues raised by the film, Islam and Violance, Islam and Intolerance of others, that I think, Irshad, your readers wished you to comment on. Also, are you implying that only people who are creative and interesting deserve the freedom of expression?

  • A Khokar

    Fighting For the Freedom!Muslims reactionaries and clergies rhetoric shown in the movies is nothing but a retaliatory verbosity of a weak, defenceless victims of aggression, oppression and subjugation; urging others to fight for their freedom. To insist for the freedom of speech and screen even movies like Fitna and other disgusting cartoons to under mine the religion of many millions -Islamists; but why to object freedom of speech by some to urge others to break the shackles of the oppressors in order to attain their freedom of the subjugated people and lands! It is all a freedom of speech and expressions. Any how; in a so well publicised 16:48 min short movie-Fitna; there is nothing new that we didn’t know earlier?

  • Penang

    Geert Wilder did not invent the scripture text.No one disputes that they come from the Quran.The imams were real.No one disputes that they said what they said.The victims were real, no one is saying they were hollywood actors.I find the supercilious comments by manji as attempts to sweep the reality of Islamic violence under the carpet.Even the PAS political party in Malaysia are marching demanding his death. Extremists?

  • Joe

    Ishad: You are wrong with your statement “To remain powerful, freedom demands creativity.” and I agree Isabelle Kreindler’s post made a few hours ago.Liveleak had to shut down the movie on its site because of death threats. This fact, alone, is the value of FITNA — that intolerance to the point of violence does happen, and intolerance to the point of violence has to stop.Freedom to practice one’s chosen religion needs to be respected by all countries in all countries.

  • Phillip

    Irshad Manji, I agree with your assessment of this film wholeheartedly. I watched it before I read your statement about it, and needless to say I was shocked and disturbed at the images. I am not Muslim, but neither am I close-minded. While I agree that defending freedom of speech is one of the most important things free societies can do today, I have a great distaste for what Wilders has attempted in his creation of this video. Others commenting obviously disagree, but I also find it boring and quite cliché. We have seen enough of images like this, and have heard the inflammatory passages from the Koran time after time. The only purpose that I can derive from this film is one of anti-Muslim propaganda; coming from a politician fighting to ban the Koran and immigration, one could conclude no less. The point of this film is not to put some unknown truth of Islam out in the world, but to help instigate further issues between Muslims and non-Muslims internationally. This is hardly what we need at the moment, and anybody with half a brain would realize that these are his intentions. Spreading fear and putting people on the defensive is not a good method to remedying the schism between the West and Islam. I don’t think that it is necessarily a bad thing, however, that this video is out there…I am for complete and total freedom of speech unconstrained by censorship. However, I do wish that people would use their brains and realize the things about this video that I mentioned above. I am disappointed in the close-mindedness of the other Westerners on this commentary who have the opportunities to investigate for themselves the real issues at hand and to evaluate all different points of view. It’s as if these people grew up in a void reminiscent of certain totalitarian regimes in certain Islamic countries! We have the opportunities. It’s your own individual prerogative to look at these issues and learn about them and to not be dragged into a boiling pot of propaganda that is put out by politicians like Wilders. Use the resources you have. Don’t display your ignorant and reclusive opinions without first getting the facts. I thoroughly read Manji’s assessment of this film, and was shocked by some of the comments on this thing. Did we not read the same article? It is amazing how blind people are willing to make themselves to support their own views. It’s a bit discouraging, actually…but then we have people like Irshad Manji out there who give me hope and make me feel empowered to effect change. Thank you, Irshad, for your fantastic critique and your open-mindedness. I love your books, and I am a big fan of your values and your stances.

  • VICTORIA

    wilder’s intention was to inflame,provoke and insult the beliefs of muslims. his froduced film emitted one long monotonous note of ugliness, fear and hatred. this is just uninteresting and boring- should a persons right to incite hatred and prejudice be protected? not in america, not anymore. if an american government official chose to produce a film depicting israelite forces dashing the heads of babies against stones- it would be historically accurate. but mostly- it would be an ugly ugly evil hearted thing to do- nor would many be stupid enough to accept it as a good example- but people willingly and unquestioingly accept such outrageous propoganda- ms manji’s suggestion that complete and represntative verses from the qur’an be juxtaposed against the provcative images was a good suggestion- to reveal the gross hypocrisy of the film makers and its producer- (a government official)

  • rich Rosenthal

    So perhaps all religious texts and religions has the good, bad and ugly. To suggest that we just need to pretend it is a smorgasbord that we can pick and choose is a form of denial. Currently we have a problem with Islamic regimes and terrorist who pick and choose intolerance and violence and on the other side we have apologists who insist it can all be rosy la la land.Please understand that we are trying to acquire a target for legitimate self preservation and if you hide in the same tent as your nasty brethren then you are toast.

  • mitchell chapman

    Should we censor the film and what purpose what that accomplish ?

  • Peter Coulter

    I take it Ms. Manji will be making a film about Islam showing the scenes she describes in her piece. I’m sure she is willing to suffer fatwas and assasination as is Mr. Wilders. As to the title of the piece, the same description could be used for Islam itself – Boorish and Boring. To that one might add another adjective – Brutish. To keep stressing the point that the vast majority of Muslims are law-abiding and peaceful does nothing to answer the legitimate point about who, in the end, controls them. Every time an atrocity is perpetrated by a Muslim group anywhere in the world, the ‘not representative’ cry goes up. There are few places on Earth that have escaped such attacks, so one is forced to consider that the ‘muslim extremists’ exist everywhere. Wherever the chance has presented itself, the Islamics have set up restrictive and medieval regimes, with – as a background theme – an emerging belief in an eventual world-wide Caliphate. Extremists have always been a minority, but whether it is a few fanatics in Germany or a handful of Bolsheviks in Russia, those with an all-consuming belief will strive to realize it, at any cost. And if that belief is a religious one, all the more dangerous. Men are allowed to question laws made by other men. The Laws of God are above question. Those who do not ‘submit’ must be re-educated or exterminated.Peter Coulter

  • Walter H. Cable

    My wife and I liked the artical “Sound Check” in restaurants, mostly my wife, as she wears a hearing aid.We had to stop watching channel 5 news, what with all what sounds like a bunch of people beating pots and pans in the back ground.Walter Cable

  • Usama

    Its a wonder Islam has existed so long without all of your approvals.

  • DV Sikka

    The basic issue I see in this is a belief some people have to throw mud at others. By spreading hate what are we getting. We denounce Usama bin Laden for this kind of behaviour. Nobody should insult other religeous beliefs, this is not freedom of speech. We have seen the attrocities committed by Nazis. What have we learnt from there. It is also time that muslims denounce the hatred being preached by some of its clergy. Let the nobility of Islam be presented properly. People like Osama are doing a bigger damage to Islam than anybody else. Muslims are not terrorist per se. They are god fearing good people. It is time to put some limit on freedom of speach.

  • Pete

    I agree with your over all view Irshad about FITNA…I clearly got more from OBSESSION an the roots of Radical Islam….Here’s the problem…no one would of been able to see a more in depth film. Just look at the response to this snippet of a film like FITNA and the PROTEST by organized by Radical Islam followers… Even Obsession was not seen by 95% of Americans FOXNEWS SPECIALS with E.D.Hill trying her best & Glenn Beck was only able to show the cut version 17 minutes of OBSESSION not the full 27 minute version and alot news outlets blew it off in America becuase they were afraid of the response now thats a TRAVISTY with out showing the roots of the Muslim Brotherhood an the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Al Hussein’s connection with Hitler well documented through video an documents an how Iran is using the same model of the Hitler Youth Program….Its not by chance Iran Goose STEP’S today…an give the Hitler Salute while doing it…an upping it by one more step Shahid’s suicide bombers an brainwashing their youth to do it….I witnessed a dead body in the streets of Brookline Mass during MUNICH supposedly it was a assassination a Arab an J.D.L. assassin allegedlly….the secret war that took place here where 51+ Arabs were assassinated allegedly by Meir Kahane which led to his assassination in the Streets of New York one night by an Arab man…Like Churchill i have been warning people what was come to this country eventually WTC 93 AN 9/11 …..Personally being half Sicilian i love the saying for VEGAS what happens in Vegas stays in VEGAS unfortunately that doesn’t happen in the Middle East…I hate hearing about who started what when…between the Muslims an Jewish people….I just have to look at Saladin an see how he killed his own Muslims to grab countries and power and then their is the Richard the Lion Heart whole another story…but the Jewish people did the same too in their History so didn’t we in the Civil War an the TORRES who sided with the British against their own people THE MINUTEMEN..People here like the British at the beginning of the 1930’s when Churchill started to warn them about Hitler an the Nazis they choose to ignore him an believe Neville Chamberlains efforts an cheered Neville when he arrived home with a Peace Agreement from Hitler allowing Hitler to take land that was not his….an 6 months later Hitler had his own version of the PEACE AGREEMENT a Piece of this! an Piece of that! an marched through Poland…an any where else he wanted to…I trust President Ahmadinejad as far as i can thrown him….he is the AntiChrist as far as I’m concerned…an with his allegiance with Russia China North Korea an Venezuela America is in deep trouble…an so isn’t Canada with all the Saudis Millions in Radical Islamic literature they are sending into Toronto…..an the new Mosque a few miles away….I know all about Abdul Khadar and his dad The Father of Al Qaeda an his family ties to Toronto an terrorism….Americans dont care? just look at N.O.W. we had 3,000 Sharia Incidents in Minneapolis Minnesota not a word from them on Women’s Rights most Americans are sheep or cows ready to be taken to the slaughter to market as the London Cleric Al Masri says a.k.a. The Hook the one eyed cleric says you have a right to take Kuffar to Market if you cant get money for him…I do pray to god your efforts an others hopefully work becuase otherwise we are heading for a Global War where its all or nothing win loose or draw…between the Iran, Russia, China. North Korea, Venezuela against the United States an other who may come to our aid….Thank God we got a New French President who vows to fight Radical Islam instead of that corrupt one that was taking IRAQI OIL FOR FOOD VOUCHERS an making millions you use to say from Iraq to Chirac take them all down…Russia, China, they were all taking from the OIL FOR FOOD PROGRAM an re-supplying Saddam with arms an weapons New MIGS, FRENCH JETS AN ATTACK HELICOPTERS breaking U.N. Sanctions…..there was even Russian Adviser’s on the radar Installations on the ground the day we drove our forces into Baghdad….just like in Vietnam with Russians in SAM SITES….nothing changes the Bears an Dragons an now Camels are trying to tear down the United States….Its bigger than just fighting Radical Islam its also about global resources….an money an power an land…Americans cant be bothered in my opinion we are to busy with feeding our 7 Deadly Sins…to pay attention to the rest of the world….and have become weak like previous peoples an countries who have gone down through the centuries but its setting up more like the 1930’s but way bigger in scope…Nuclear options are on the table….this time in a big way….I still have some Faith that we will wake up an see the threats before its to late….Its just not about Radical Islam…but its the beginning of the end for the United States if people dont get a clue soon….I hate to be so doom an gloomy but FITNA really doesnt mean much to the real picture of whats happening to my concerns the United States an its people. The Dutch are weak…..and will fold as quick as a lawn chair if Muslim Violence takes place in a Big Way there in the Netherlands in whole an the E.U. becuase of liberal Fascism….I tell the sheep here its their duty to watch OBSESSION to get a true grasp on the Muslim Brotherhood an the roots of Radical Islam but like i said its bigger than that…and Americans cant be bothered…I know what your doing an your an angel that has been sent to try to quell the evil an make right human rights for women…and Irshad you will always be remembered for your attempts an achievements i truly do appreciate your commitment an putting your life on the line….

  • Fathel Barrak

    I am sure you know what Wilders message was,

  • Curious

    I think most people who have read details about Muhammad,the founder of Islam,are impressed. The man had remarkable skills in using the carrorts and sticks approach needed to unite the Arabs. But along the way he also murdered innocent people, stole their land and other property, used children for sexual purposes, kept slaves, did not prohibit the larger crime of slaverowning but banned the showing of female hair and that does say much for his sense of priorities.Why should non-Muslims or even Muslims be required to respect this man and be banned from drawing images of him?Would Muslims obey nazis if nazis asked them to respect Hitler and not draw images of Hitler?

  • JanD

    The Islam religion is BORING, how could any movie made about Islam be any less? Islam is based on flawed doctrine. Hagar was the mistress of Abram NOT his wife and God said, “From your own body shall come your heir.” Now if the muslim doesn’t believe what God said about man and woman becoming ONE FLESH when they get married then they can discount Sara, Abram’s wife. But God Himself recognized what He taught and that Isaac was the heir of Abram NOT Ismael. (Now considering how badly the Arabs treat their women, but thats another story.)

  • Baba 123

    Dear Irshad,

  • Piotr Jankowski

    Irshan, I admire your quest.