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Friday, March 28, 2008

Reflections after Wilders dangerously slanted film, FITNA

Geert Wilders film Fitna can  be viewed here.
While the identity of the terrorists of 9-11, Madrid, Bombay, London, Bali, Mosul, Karachi, Istanbul and other such attacks needs to be frankly and consistently recognised - they, like Hizb-ALLAH truck-bombers in Beirut, or Hamas or Palestinian  Islamic Jihad suicide-bombers or rocket-launchers from Gaza,  were not terrorists who just happened to be Muslim, or engaging in acts of terror for no reason or for its own sake,  but  commited such atrocities precisely because of their reading of their Quran  - and while the Quran indeed contains several passages which have been used to incite atrocity - demanding a determined and global campaign to challenge such Jihadi ideology as much as we need to intercept the weapons, finances, training and operations of such terrorists - and demanding also the accurate and consistent naming  of such Jihadi terrorists as precisely what they are - as Jihadi terrorists -  three other crucial realities also need to be equally recognised, and also acted on. The enemy  is not simply **terror**, which is merely a tactic,  but the fanatical Jihadi campaign and its toxic ideology.

The enemy target must be precisely identified. in order to be resolutely defeated.

1.  Many of the victims of such Jihadi atrocities are themselves Muslim - Bali, Amman, Casablanca, Darfur, Sinai, Istanbul, and Israel have all seen many  innocent Muslims slaughtered and maimed. The real divide, the one that matters,  is thus NOT between all Muslims and the rest of humanity, but between the true defenders of humanity, from all faiths or none, against fanatical Jihadis.

2.  We all need to honor and fully support and actively co-operate with those brave and decent Muslims who resist our COMMON ENEMY  -  and in both word and deed. The brave and skilful Beduin in the Royal Jordanian Army do not differ from their cousins in the IDF **Shaked** Recon Battalion, or the martyred  Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan,  as among our common defenders.
 Those, including many  Muslims, who have the vision and courage to explore a path of peaceful co-operation risk the fate of Jordan's King Abdullah I in Jerusalem on July 20, 1951, Lebanon's first PM, the Sunni Riad al-Solh, assassinated in Amman on July 17, 1951, Egyptian PM, Mahmoud Fahmi al-Nokrashi, on Dec 19, 1948, or President Anwar Sadat in Cairo on Oct 6, 1981, the President-elect, a Maronite Bashir Gemayel on Sept 14, 1982, Minister Pierre Amine Gemayel Gemayel on Nov 21, 2006, ex-PM and a Sunni,  Rafiq Hariri on Feb 14, 2005, all in Lebanon, and many  others assassinated for their decency.

 In 1939-1945, some Muslims volunteered for the 2 Nazi SS Divisions in the Balkans, recruited by the genocidal Husseini,  the Mufti of Jerusalem, but 10,000 others in Palestine volunteered for the British Army, alongside 30,000 Jewish neighbors, while the pro-Nazi **Golden Square** revolt in Iraq in April, 1941, was successfully resisted by a multi-faith alliance, with Muslim freedom-fighters in the Jordanian **Arab Legion**,  Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus in the Indian Army, Christians in the UK Royal Air Force at Habbaniyah Air Base, and a Jewish fighter, David Raziel, 30, Commander  of Irgun since 1938,  lost his life along with a British officer, when bombed by a Nazi aircraft on May 20, 1941, while Moshe Dayan of the Haganah  lost an eye during the 1941 liberation of Syria from the pro-Nazi Vichy French regime.

 A similar multi-faith, multi-ethnic alliance liberated Kuwait when invaded by Saddam in 1991, and saw  French, US and UK Forces, whether Jewish, Muslim or Christian, serve alongside Muslims from Syria, Egypt, the Gulf and Saudi Arabia, in a common cause, and against a comon enemy, Saddam.

3.  There is today the latest episode in an ancient battle for the very soul of Islam, not just a recent struggle.  The absurdity will breed the atrocity. The ancient and honorable rational stream within Muslim thinking must be recognised and celebrated and re-invigorated, that stream which preserved the Hellenic heritage of humanity and transmittted, in Arabic, the glories of Greek philosophy as it did many other treasures, the outstanding tradition of Al-Farabi, Ibn Sina [ Avicenna] and Ibn Rushd [Averroes], and which was drawn on by both Jewish and Christian leading thinkers, like Rabbi Maimonides and Thomas Aquinas. Neither Hikmat [ wisdom - Sofia ], nor Islam, nor freedom, should be surrendered to our common Jihadi enemy.

Wilders brief film, FITNA,  is a vital opportunity badly squandered, more by what it totally omits, or virtually denies,  than what it actually covers. The enemy is not, and never was, all Muslims, nor all versions of Islam, but only the toxic version, and its ruthless  Jihadi followers. Wilders touches on the problem, a threat which challenges Muslims as much as anyone else, but is completely blind to the comprehensive solution needed, which must include the central and vital presence of  not a de-formed but a re-formed Islam - drawing on the best of its own history and present -  whether his blindness is due to ignorance of history, or malice, or bigotry,  matters little. We need a strong, principled unity against the common enemy, not to be further divided. All who resist that real Jihadi treat are my brothers, whatever their own faith or ethnic background.

Tom Carew



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  • Bravo. Well said. I got worried when I watched Wilder's film. He's a politician with his own agenda.
    There are plenty of good muslims here where I live in Israel. I have heard different less angry interpretations of those suras in context. As a Jewish religious peace activist in Israel I am so happy to read this article. Hope it will get around.... Thank you.

    By Blogger michelle, At March 28, 2008 2:23:00 PM GMT+00:00  

  • This article might itself be dangerous Thomas. Do you vouch for this writer?

    The writer, Tom Carew wrote: "many Muslims, who have the vision and courage to explore a path of peaceful co-operation..." etc. I notice Carew included Anwar Sadat in his list. Sadat was an admirer of Adolf Hitler.

    Sadat, in his infamous visit to Jerusalem, prayer in the Al Asqa Mosque, during his speech in the Knesset, he sported his favorite tie with swastikas up and down the garment. I'm not saying there are not moderate Muslims but it seems to me, the burden is on Islam itself and individual Muslims to prove they are moderate as some have proven.

    Thus Wilders' film is NOT dangerously slanted, yet this author is dangerously slanted, it seems to me. Just as during the second world war, the burden was on individual Germans to prove they were not sympathetic to the Nazi cause, so now the burden in on individual Muslims to prove they are not jihadist or jihadists sympathizers, otherwise it is safe to "assume" they are indeed jihadists or their sympathizers.

    Islam is at war with the west. Thus all Muslims should be suspect until proven otherwise, in my opinion.

    By Blogger steve klein, At March 28, 2008 3:29:00 PM GMT+00:00  

  • The fact remains that the more Muslims in a country the more attacks on the local Jewish communities and the more threats of violence in general. There is a minority of Muslims who dissent from the supremacist agenda. Some are torn, yet remain apologists. If telling the truth turns off "moderate" Muslims, then they are not that moderate to begin with. The Ummah has gone through violent, expansionist phases before. They are in one now. We had better deal with that reality. No one rejects Muslims who wish to fight it with us. However, let's not emasculate our response worrying about every nuance. And by the way, the Koran doesn't contain "several" violent passages. It contains many, and they are the basis of Jihad violence and terrorism.

    By Blogger Human, At March 28, 2008 4:02:00 PM GMT+00:00  

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