Sunday, 16 October 2011

Whose Fitna is it anyway?


Now that the commotion over Fitna has subsided let us critically examine this video made by the latest 

Now that the commotion over Fitna has subsided let us critically examine this video made by the latest
wannabe McCarthyist on the block, Geert Wilders.
The 15 minute video opens with a cartoon lampooning Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) slyly implying that he is a terrorist and that Islam fosters terror. To back up this accusation, he selects certain verses from the Qur'an which speak about fighting and juxtaposes them with archive footage of terrorist acts.

Whose Fitna1 is it anyway?

"It is the context, stupid!"

The first verse he shows is
"Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of God and your enemies, and others besides, whom you may not know, but whom God knows. Whatever you shall spend in the cause of God, shall be repaid unto you, and you shall not be treated unjustly." The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 8, Verse 60
At the first glance this verse might appear to be militant to most Non Muslims. But if Mr. Wilders had only bothered to quote the verse which immediately follows the one stated above, his entire argument would come crashing on it legs.
Verse 8:61 of the Holy Qur'an states
"But if they incline towards peace then you also incline towards peace, and trust in God. Indeed it is He who is the Hearing, the Knowing." - The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 8, Verse 61
I can close my argument here as any sane reader would agree that this one verse answers all the 'terror' allegations but I feel that a little more history is necessary for those who accuse Islam of being a militant faith.

"Muhammad (peace be upon Him) - the Man & his Message"

Prophet Muhammad preached the same message of "Oneness of God & brotherhood of man"whose traces are still present in every religion worth its salt. However, the ruling class of Makkah could not tolerate the iconoclastic proclamation "There is no god but God" as it struck at the very roots of their despotic society and started their torture in earnest.
In the first ten years of his prophet hood, Muhammad (peace be upon Him) and his followers were first isolated and then persecuted. For 3 years, the non muslims of Makkah, isolated the Muslims and stopped selling basic items such as food and drink to them in much the same way as Gaza, Palestine is being subjected to isolation by Israel.
The early Muslims were tortured and dragged through the streets of Makkah yet they did not even lift a finger in self defense because they did not have the permission to do so. After ten years of torture and persecution, the Muslims were finally given the command to seek refuge in the nearby city of Madinah. The Muslims of Makkah gave up all their wealth and belongings and went to Madinah to escape the persecution. The ruling elite of Makkah took over the wealth which the Muslims left behind and sent a caravan to sell those items. The Muslims in Madinah could no longer bear this injustice and appealed to the Prophet to help them recover their only means of livelihood. The stage was set for one of the most celebrated battles in Muslim history – 'The Battle of Badr'

"Battle of Badr"

Before Badr, there were two alternatives before the Muslims in Madinah, to save them selves from being overwhelmed by the Makkan mercenaries with all their resources from the rich Syrian trade. One, which had least danger for the time being, and also promised much booty, was to fall upon the Makkan caravan returning from Syria to Makkah, and led by Abu Sufyan with only 40 men unarmed. From a worldly point of view this was the safest and most lucrative course. The other alternative, which was actually adopted on the recommendation of the Prophet by the guidance of God, was to leave the booty alone and march out boldly against the well-armed and well-equipped army of 1,000 men coming from Makkah. The Muslims had no more than 313 men, ill-armed, to oppose the force. But if they could defeat it, it would shake the selfish autocracy which was in possession of Makkah. By God's help they won a splendid victory, and the standard of Truth was established, never to be lowered again.
Numerically the odds against the Muslims were three to one. In other ways they were at a disadvantage: of arms and equipment they had but little, while the enemies were well-found; they were inexperienced, while the Makkan's had brought their foremost warriors. In all this there was a test, but the test was accompanied by gracious favors of countless value: their Commander was one in whom they had perfect faith, and for whom they were ready to lay down their lives; the rain refreshed them; their spirit was unshaken; and they were fighting in God's cause. Thus the trial or test became itself a blessing.
The Chapter 8 of the Qur'an, which Geert Wilders quotes, speaks about this incident.
Coming back to the topic, this technique of 'quoting out of context' is a favored one among the 'Islam experts' although their specious arguments have been destroyed lock, stock and barrel by many a Muslim scholar.

"Terror Tactics"

The verses of the Qur'an which speak about fighting are juxtaposed with archive footage of the terrorist acts, so as to suggest that these heinous acts were justified by the Qur'an.
Bloody images of bodies laid out could be from any war, any military action - "US-backed action, perhaps...?" one wonders, attention wandering. And is that the 'Black Hawk down' incident in Somalia there where more than a thousand civilians lost their lives? Is that a re-creation or were there really video cameras capturing the bloody Algerian war of independence from the French?
The makers of FITNA are fixated in using this recurrent style as principle technique in bringing forth their argument. This included extrapolating events from the past two decades, without chronological order, with pictures from a selection of international and Arab media (including the CNN, Iraqi TV, Iranian TV, and some Dutch channels). This was also accompanied with cutting to blurry images of imams giving out spiteful speeches, buses being bombed, men torn in bloodshed, and placards praising Hitler. These are all too much out of place, yet they set the mood in the first couple of minutes.
Some of the terrorist attacks shown in the FITNA video may have been committed by Muslims, but the motivation is not Islam. The motivation was political - created by anger and helplessness vis-à-vis a neo imperialistic cabal which refuses to recognize the atrocities it has committed and do anything to reduce it.
Perhaps, the following statements will establish the context for the paragraph stated above?
"It's a hard choice, but we think, it's worth it." - US Secretary of State, Madeline Albright's response to a 60 Minutes question about the over half a million children killed by the carcinogenic effects of 'Depleted Uranium Weapons' used in 'Iraq war - part 1' by the US Army & the later due to the sanctions imposed the 'Coalition of the Willing'.
I will never apologize for the United States of America. I don't care what the facts are. - George Bush Sr, Newsweek (commenting o­n the shooting down of an Iranian airliner by the U.S. warship Vincennes, killing 290 civilian passengers.)
After the Turkish defeat by the Prussian forces at Cheshma, the Muslim world began its slow decline which finally ended with the brutal colonization by the 'liberal anglo-saxon' west. The Ist Iraq war was another page in this bloody history written by the Imperialistic powers and was a diabolical plot by Uncle Sam and his cabal to devour the meager resources of Muslim countries.

Got OIL?

Why is that, the motivation is never presented to us as political?
Simple, if people know that these (horrendous) activities are results of atrocious foreign policy, you lose your legitimacy. But, if you can somehow impute that Muslims are inherently violent, and they commit violence because of their religion, then nobody questions your motive.
Add to this the fact that most, if not all Muslim countries, are ruled by regimes which are propped up the neo imperialists. Every Muslim movement which tries to reform the situation and help ordinary citizens get on with their lives is portrayed as the enemy. Any Muslim government which believes in Islam is actively boycotted and hounded. Even if the Islamic movements for reform agree to the principles of democracy, no stone is left unturned to stop them from coming to power. For the past one year, the Palestinian government was actively boycotted and the country was turned into one big prison till the inevitable happened.

Democracy, sweet democracy!

Remember the way in which Muslim reformists of Algeria, Egypt & Turkey etc were crushed and yet the 'Democratic West' didn't care two hoots about it. Where were their empty slogans of democracy then? When impressionable Muslim youth see that there is no way to redress their grievances, then some of them will invariably turn to extremist views and this in turn will start a vicious cycle in which there are no winners. This is common sense!
Digressing from the topic at hand, I would like to ask you a question.
Wasn't the latest Palestinian government (which emerged after the 'freest elections' ever held in the history of the Middle East) A DEMOCRACY?
Before you could answer, Wolmert, the pip squeak decided to butt in.
"NO. Those ayrabs are terrorists!" screeched Wolmert. Even Sham-on, the butcher, seemed to nod in assent although he was in a deep coma.
"Oh, but wasn't Nelson Mandela labeled a terrorist at one time? And what about the Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose; were they terrorists too?"
"A few months ago an entire family on the beach was wiped out by an artillery shell. But there was hardly coverage in the media. After all it was only the little people who died."came my retort.
What becomes of them? Like it happens always..... They become a statistic.
"The beach was a part of Palestine and a young couple was wiped out along with 3 of their young children leaving their seven year old daughter, Huda to fend for herself. That explains. These people are just collateral. Imagine the kind of global furor if anything of this sort had happened on the sun kissed beaches of USA or the Zionist state of Israel."
"STOP! How dare you give a name to this statistic! You have committed a grave crime and this will have international repercussions. Our step father, Shmson will surely intervene and see to that you don't repeat this terrorism!" screamed Wolmert.
Statistics can be cruel especially if you happen to be one among the 'bad' guys; the 'other'. It makes no difference if there are hundreds of teenage girls who are held in captivity by the Zionist army. It makes no difference if thousands of Palestinian men whose age ranges from 14 to 70 are held in captivity by the Zionist army.
"Men of age 14? They are no men..... They are kids!" you exclaim.
They have seen things which can shock 'normal' men out of their lives. They graduate to being men once they see their fathers, uncles and brothers.... sisters, aunts and mothers.... being denied the dignity of a human being by the worlds most cruel armies.
"Armies? I thought it was only the IDF which had blood on its hands?" What about the army which bankrolls them and provides for them and subsidizes their cost of genocide. Oh yeah, How could you forget! The great all volunteer force from USA.... It provides the assault helicopters and F16's which bomb little people out of existence. It provides the caterpillar bulldozers which break homes and build the occupation walls. It provides billions of $s in aid to the 'impoverished' Zionists.
Impoverished, eh? What a scream! And when things get really bad it personally intervenes and chases those demonic ayrabs away! Yippee.... Hosanna to the sons of Sham-on! Hosanna to the sons of Sam! Ah! Arent you glad that you pay your taxes to the American treasury. Isn't it because of this great army that the ayrabs are held at bay and we can live freely?

Now Showing - Western Glasses

The problem with the media establishment of the liberal west is that every issue they portray is subconsciously tainted by their violent historical experience. As a result they tend to view everything through this narrow prism.
Free Speech!
Europe was unable to emerge from its dark ages until it embraced the spirit of inquiry and revolted against the Papal authority which had severely restricted independent thought. This was a lengthy affair which involved much tumult and upheaval.
As a result many westerners zealously guard this right which guarantees them the 'Freedom of Expression'. However the Muslim society did not have to undergo this trial by fire to gain the freedom of expression.
Muslims lead the world for many centuries while Europe languished in the gutter. History shows that, Islam aided the development of the experimental method and sowed the seeds of the renaissance. Over a period of time, bureaucracy, red tape and nepotism set in and corroded the Muslim civilization from within. The Mongol invasion hastened the decline of the Muslim Ummah and the Islamic bond which held diverse Muslim societies together, weakened and finally gave way. Islam is inherently democratic, yet the rise of dictatorship in Muslim countries has further pushed them into the abyss.
Europe progressed only when it threw away the shackles of Christendom but Muslims weakened when they stopped practicing Islam. The western media can easily draw the same conclusion if they are objective in their analysis.
But certain pressure groups which control the profitable businesses of Tobacco, liquor, pornography, gambling and speculation have a vested interest in keeping ordinary people of the Anglo-saxon and Muslim worlds apart. Such groups are using the 'Freedom to Insult' under the guise of 'Freedom of expression' to feed the fires of hatred which will ensure that the two major faiths of world remain at loggerheads, while they continue to reap the benefits.
Criticism of Islam or Muslims is welcome as long as it is done in a civilized manner. However, an insult cannot be considered as free speech. For instance, if someone swears your innocent mother on National television, can it still be considered free speech?

Conclusion

The movie FITNA has been a pathetic attempt at rabble rousing and is very similar to the rants of a recent breed of right wing politicians who seem to have made their careers by fostering hate and generating a climate of fear.
The best way to counter such propaganda is to show the true face of Islam in our daily behavior and refrain from violent reactions to this movie. We need to invite the Non Muslims to read the authentic translations of the Qur'an and decide for themselves.
In the medieval ages, Prophet Muhammad was widely marketed as the Anti Christ (nauzbillah) by the opinion makers among the Christian populace. But when they saw the fair behavior of the general Muslims, especially the blessed Prince Salahuddeen Ayyubi (May God have mercy on Him), they changed their jaundiced opinions and started investigating the truth of Islam individually and did not heed to the propaganda mills of the Pope.
We all know that the fanatic 'Christian' hordes of the crusades, the blood thirsty Spanish legions and Anglo-Saxon Imperialists did not conquer the territory they now enjoy by merely 'turning the other cheek'! Even today the Zionists continue the rape of Palestine with little regard for International laws and human rights conventions. Yet, the vast majority of the Non Muslims are not like their blood thirsty leaders and we as Muslims acknowledge this fact.
Jesus (peace be upon Him) said, "You see the sliver in your friend's eye, but you don't see the timber in your own eye." - Mathew 7:3
When you take the timber out of your own eye, then you will see well enough to remove the sliver from your friend's eye.

Peace be upon you.

- Abdul Matin.
1. FITNA – Arabic word which means Torment, Strife, Discord, Fighting depending upon the context
2. All the cartoons displayed here are the creations of Carlos Latuff, a Brazillian cartoonist
3. Wolmert & Sham-on are imaginary leaders of an imaginary country called NOIZ. Any resemblace to any character dead or living is purely unintentional :p