Fitna: A Review

by Silent Sinner

[A/N: I will not be covering Freedom of Speech in this article since Caela has already done so here.]

Director:         Scarlet Pimpernel
Writers:          Scarlet Pimpernel | Geert Wilders
Genre:            Documentary | Short
Plot:               A short film in which Quran verses are shown alongside  images from terrorist attacks.
Rating:            * – – – – (1/5)

Although this had been in the internet for a very long time now, this film was not brought to our attention until recently when one of the writers of this film Geert Wilders, a Dutch parliamentarian, was denied entry in Britain to show and discuss this film to MPs and peers at the British House of Lords.

Call it graphic, call it controversial, call it whatever you like. The film can educate, insult or shock although the aim is not clear, it may just as well only wish to inform. What is certain is that it consists of shocking, controversial and indeed graphic pictures and scenes of undeniable violence though the years including 9/11 (New York), Train Bombings (Madrid) and 7/7 (London). And inserted in between are footages and speeches of different people speaking in different languages and more importantly the controversial passages in the Qur’an that are used by Islamic Militants to justify their “Jihad”.

The film only showed us footages and pictures not “extreme anti-Muslim hate” as was suggested by the British Foreign Minister. Whether or not it is balanced is another issue and may be subject to debate, but one cannot deny the truth pictured in this film. It does raise the questions Lord Pearson has accurately pinpointed: “So which way around is the hate? Is it us that hate them? Or them that hate us? And why?” Moreover, it raises the urgency for these issues to be discussed. Other religions are not without fault: Holocaust and even before that, the Witch Hunts in Europe.

Taken in the right perspective it shows how a religion can be distorted to justify violence and terrorism. More importantly it shows how it can be used with hatred. It also shows that hatred should not be fought with hatred at it is only to double the violence. “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind,” so goes a saying. Barack Obama got it quite right in saying that “But no matter what we choose to believe, let us remember that there is no religion whose central tenet is hate. There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. This much we know.”

The film didn’t show us anything that we didn’t already see. It didn’t tell us anything that we didn’t already know. In its entirety it doesn’t shock, it doesn’t impress but merely suggests. What is does is it forces us to sit down and think. It was Tony Blair who said that, “If faith becomes the property of extremists, it will originate discord. But if, by contrast, different faiths can reach out to and have knowledge of one another, then instead of being reactionary, religious faith can be a force for progress.” This film demands that we talk about the issues NOW. It underlines the urgency of faiths reaching out and having a knowledge of each other. This film could’ve talked about just any other religion in the same way but the Islamic Militarism is simply the loudest voice right now.

On a technical note, the ending and opening credits were a nice touch that gave the film an artistic sensibility which it being a “documentary” forgivably lacks. Sadly, that is all that is aesthetically pleasing about the film.

Well, I give this excuse of a documentary a 1/5.

3 Responses to “Fitna: A Review”
  1. Chukwuemeka Iwuagwu says:

    Good piece.

  2. Well, I actually think Wilders’ film was reasonably fair, since it uses already existent film footage taken from actual terror attacks, and ranting extremists quoting THEIR selected parts of the Koran and intermixing, as did the radical fundamentalists when they “preached”.

    I have seen a video countering this one and taking it apart because they say, he has taken the Koran texts out of context.

    Maybe so.

    But here in Britain, where we have now banned a fellow European (Dutch MP Wilders) from our land for saying what HE thinks, the country still has not understood the real threat. They need to know, imho.

    And today 8 men are in court charged with plotting to blow up several planes over the Atlantic in August 2006. After they were detained we have had to travel light with no liquids from that day till now.

    And at the weekend a young British immigrant from Somalia blew himself and 20 policemen up in Somalia after training there. Many others like him, according to recent reports, have returned here to Britain to further radicalise others and/or to commit attacks here.

    That aside – even if all of that is containable by the moderates of the world – MOST of us – for me it is a question of FREE SPEECH that Wilders speaks in Britain.

    Never thought I’d accuse ANY British government of dictatorship, but that’s what we’ve come to this cradle of democracy – mother of Parliaments – Brown’s Britain.

    The government can say they also stop radical Islamicists from entering to try and sound balanced. But that is not entirely true. They have stopped some recently, but many more are still here within mosques. The authorities KNOW about them but are afraid to do anything in case it upsets their communities.

    Who’s running this joint, I ask.

    • As with anything written, different people are bound to have different interpretations. I think this is the case with the verses featured in the film. What it does, imho, is to present the verses in the context of how it is used by Islamic Militants.

      On the subject fairness, I’m reserving judgment until I learn more about the film and the issues around it. When this review was written, I reviewed it as it was presented and I admit I have to learn more to make an analysis. (That is why it’s a review instead of an analysis.)

      Indeed, these are dangerous times and most governments are doing nothing to protect us. While backing down on the threats of Islamic Militants happens almost everywhere, it is alarming that the British government would end up curtailing the right to free speech.

      These extremists seem to speak a common language and that is the language of arms and force and I believe that the coalition acknowledged that talking in their language is the best — if not the only — way to be heard. I’m never a fan of wars but I understand that there were decisions to take. I believe had there been a more effective alternative, Afghanistan and Iraq would not have happened — no one wants to take a decision that may lead to people losing lives but it was a decision that needed to be taken. And we are fortunate that there were those who had the balls to take them — and for a time, it was a comfort to know Britain was one of them. Let us just hope that America would keep its balls because the day that America withdraws to itself and backs down on the threats of these groups would be a very dark day for the world. (And the horizon is looking bleak as America’s strongest ally gives in.)

      In the military they have a saying: “Sacrifice the few to save the many.” Who exactly are the few in this case? Who are the many?

      I think, in the end, the question is: who loses? In this case, we all do. Britain loses. The world loses. A very sad day indeed.

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