Will Wilder's Film really weaken Islam?

Category: Americas, World Affairs Topics: Netherlands Channel: Opinion Views: 5978
5978

Geert Wilders' ten-minute film attacking Prophet Muhammad, and the Quran has become the talk of Muslim circles. Some are suggesting an intellectual response and others are saying that a entire Friday Khutbah be dedicated to the subject to scientifically refute the allegations.

Wilder is a member of the Dutch parliament and a leader of a far right party that views in the growing hostility between Muslims and Christians in Europe an excellent opportunity for its success in the coming elections.

Wilder's accusations against the Quran and Prophet Muhammad are not different than those raised by many Europeans backed by religious and political groups in the last five hundred years. What is new is the way Muslims have chosen to respond to the issue. 

Europe has produced more than 10,000 anti-Islamic and anti-Quran books in its long relations with Muslims. One can at least count more than 131 movies produced by various European filmmakers ridiculing Islam and the Quran. The passion play in Spain mocking Muslims and celebrating the victory of Christians over Moors is an annual reality. Yet, Islam has survived all the negatives spreading over a few centuries. Islam, can certainly survive the 10 minute movie degrading the Quran. Muslims must never consider that their religion is so weak that its foundations can be demolished by a hate monger's 10 minute film.

How should Muslims respond to such provocations. The best response is silence. Ignore the movie and it would die on its own. The second best response is to produce films that would highlight the true normative ethical framework of the Quranic teachings. The third best response is to live the Quranic message of love and compassion. It is this response that can counter all the negatives reproduced by anti-Islamic forces. We must realize that we have many people in the world who hate others for no reason. Don't some Muslims in different parts of the world hate Americans because they are Americans? Don't some Muslims hate the Jews simply because they are Jews. Similarly, among Christians, Jews, Hindus, and secularists there are many who hate Muslims simply because they are Muslim. This does not mean that a majority of people belonging to different faiths have an inherent inclination to hate others. What is important is to realize that despite the hate mongers, people of different ethnic and religious and political groups have learned to live in peace and harmony with each other. The web of complex relations that exist among nations of the world in all aspects of life clearly demonstrate that.

Muslims should also realize that they do not enjoy a favorable reputation in most parts of the world. Because of the actions of a few of them, they are subject to all sorts of ridicule, biases and wrongs. Some among Muslims feel that by condemning anti-Muslim propaganda, they would win over the masses to their side. However, mere condemnation does not resolve any issue. What helps overcome the negatives is a consistent effort to change the perception by changing the reality.

If Muslims are seen by people around them as compassionate, kind and caring people, no matter how many films are released against the Quran, people would have a hard time to believe them. If Muslims are seen as part of campaigns to eliminate environmental hazards, nuclear arsenals, homelessness, poverty and other social ills of the society at all levels, there would not be many who would buy the anti-Quran propaganda. 

Blowing up fellow Muslims inside mosques belonging to opposite sects is also not unusual in countries like Pakistan and Iraq. These and similar incidents like these may reconfirm some of the stereotypical images that anti-Quran movies often tend to project.

The responsibility of improving their image lies upon Muslims and not others. By convincing themselves that they are a compassionate people, they would not be able to change the perceptions of others. They have to carry out a discourse with others and through action prove that their love and compassion are not confined to their religious texts but are reflective in their actions too. That is the only way films such as Wilder's will become meaningless.


  Category: Americas, World Affairs
  Topics: Netherlands  Channel: Opinion
Views: 5978

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Older Comments:
S. HUNT FROM CANADA said:
The choice given to me when writing this is, I am indifferent. But I am not indifferent. I am very concerned. As a non-Muslim, I have read the Koran and studied Islam and the history of the Prophet Muhammad, May Peace Be Upon Him. I found the writings to be peaceful, bent upon justice, full of wisdom and insights. Some aspects I did not understand, but when I researched the history of 600 A.D. Middle East, I began to understand. I think the answer lies partly, in educating the ignorant. Now that I have a larger knowledge than most other western persons, I can engage in a more fulfilling way with my Muslim friends - and I can embrace their love,friendship and individual cultures. Unfortunately, I'm a bit of an anomalie, in that I took it upon myself to learn. So perhaps Dr. Abdullah is correct that it leans upon Muslims to start the education process. I didn't have to go far before I was hooked. Although I am not Muslim, I do believe the Koran is inspired from above.

There is no doubt in my mind that this film will NOT weaken Islam in the least. And as far as the word "tolerance" goes, I loathe it. It means "putting up with something you dislike". I love my Muslim friends and embrace them. There is no "tolerance" involved.

Thank you for the opportunity to express my views.
2008-03-11

KRIS MACPHERSON FROM MALAYSIA said:
Assalamualaikum and greetings,

Dear Yohan Dahal, Though there were times that I had disagreed with you, I cannot help but respect the manner in which you write in most of your posts, it reflects the man and his sense of regards for others.

Well Dear Yohan, if you opine that Islam is not evil, in fact then you said that Islam aught ( the correct spelling is ought ) to become an icon for those turning from darkness to light, then please consider studying Islam in depth, with openess and sincerety. I respect your choice of faith in Christianity Yohan, but again I see some contradictions in you.

Of course I could be wrong because only you yourselves knows what lingers in your heart.

Trying perusing through the Quran and especially the Chapter of Mary ( surah Maryam ) and judge upon yourselves what Islam stands for in matters of Jesus ( Jesus - peace be upon him ). In Islam Jesus is very much reverred and the messiah ( al-masi ) has a special place in the hearts of Muslims. But again he is not the son of GOD, he ( J-pbuh ) is loved because of his devotion to ALLAH, and notwithstanding the hardship, Jesus ( J-pbuh ) had endured it in order that mankind may accept the true guidance from GOD. In Surah al-Ikhlas, ALLAH mentions that HE has no off spring and HE is not born and neither does he has any begotten child ).

Think Yohan, Muslim loves Jesus ( J-pbuh ) and they showed it by reciting prayers for him and the rest of the messengers of GOD. It hurts Muslims if the name of and Jesus himself ( J-pbuh ) is disrespected and dishonoured.

Regards,
2008-02-02

IMRAN FROM USA said:
We Muslims never learn. Patient pays.

Many years ago we picked one third rate Indian writer better known only in British literary circles and took him to the top of the charts.

In Pakistan police opened fire and killed their own people protesting his book maligning Islam and the Prophet (PBUH).

Now we have Mr. Abdullah telling the whole world what some third rate European politician has done.

Would it not have been better not to publicize this "worst of created being's" movie.
2008-02-02

IMRAN FROM USA said:
Sura Al Ahzab Verses 56, 57, and 58 have ALLAH'S answer to those who mock HIM and HIS Prophet (PBUH).

So who are we to worry about such things.

Leave it to ALLAH (SWT).
2008-02-02

YOHAN DAHAL FROM BHUTAN said:
On opening the article, it reads in bold "ISLAM IS EVIL". To this I do not consent. Islam is not evil. Islam is perfectly good and aught to be an icon for those turning from darkness unto the glorious light of God that shone from the face of ISA (the Lord Jesus Christ) for all mankind of this planet.

The forceful perverters of true Islam in their pursuit of majoring on the last prophet are evil. I would form my own judgment if I saw the said film myself whether it was spiteful or truthful.

Shalom.
2008-02-01

DCGEORGE FROM USA said:
The so-called 'civilized' Europeans are racist with implementation of their anti-bigotry laws...otherwise, this guy would not be allowed to publish this filth. Of course, the end result of his actions will be that European Muslims who probably were straying away from their faith feel reinforced to return, alhamdulillah.
2008-01-31

SEYED ISMAIL FROM HONG KONG said:
i'm with the author,ignore these ppl, nothing will happen to islam by these Rusidees,Islam is God's Religion.we do'nt market these ppl and make them hero among facist.
2008-01-29

ABU OMAR FROM USA said:
Your words seem to enforce what GOD has already stated in the Quran. "Never will GOD change a people's condition until they change it thmeselves first"

We need to spend more time looking in the mirror and less time pointing fingers. Anti-Islamic speech, films and other mediums will only begin to decline if we stand together as ONE ummah. All muslims (sunni & shite) who profess the belief in the one GOD and Mohammed (p.b.u.h) is his prophet We need to demonstrate not only our love for all muslims but non-muslims as well. We need show people by our ACTIONS not just our talk that Islam is the only true religion. I know that is easier said than done sometimes. But do we think GOD will give us paradise or we have to earn it. GOD knows best!
2008-01-29

KHADEEJA FROM USA said:
Good Article.
2008-01-29

KIRANA FROM MALAYSIA said:
I agree with this, and I hope Muslims overwhelmingly have the
sense to do so as well. the answer is given in the Quran, and the
history of our Prophet, to ignore the fools and to live out the
beauty of the religion. if the ummah lives out the religion the
way it is commanded by God, no amount of hate mongering will
succeed, because it will be evident to all that, based on their
own experience with Muslims, it cannot be true. besides, many
people already think that wilder is a racist person anyway. to do
as the Quran tells us will only confirm this and refute what he
says. and without us having to say a word.
2008-01-28

BABANDI A. GUMEL FROM U.K said:
Who does greater wrong than one who forges falsehood against Allah, even as he is being invited to Islam? And Allah Guides not those who do wrong.Their intention is to extinguish Allah's
Light with their mouths but Allah will complete His Light even though the Unbelievers may detest.
It is He who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth.That He makes it prevail over all religion even though the Pagans may detest (it). So Allah has promised that His Deen would prevail as He would protect His own Deen.So the Quran is there more than 1400 years nobody can change a word either by substitution or deleting any part of the Holy Book remaining as it was revealed.You can bring any Arabic Quran from any Country and compare it with others you will never find any change or inconsistency discrepancies. It remains the same as it was revealed during the Prophet more than 1400 years back.Who is doing it is Allah so why worry? As they said silence is the best answer to a fool as one brother suggested.They are only doing so deliberately to provoke us.So when provoked or agitated they may find means or excuses of using it against Islam and Muslims.So let us not bother ourselves with those racist silly remarks.They cannot harm Allah or His Prophet it is they who are the losers. The more they embark on such evil propaganda with a view to distorting the teachings of Rasulullah the more we cling to the same teachings. It would certainly increase our resolve and Yakeen to follow those teachings making us even more and more steadfast.We should pray for them to see the light like Sayyidina Umar who came out with sword with the intention to slain the Prophet but in the end Allah gave him hidayah.Similarly Allah is Muqallabil Qulub Who can change the heart of any person towards guidance.Once person gets guidance he will realise his folly. May Allah give all of us the real Guidance to see the truth as truth and accept it and see falsehood as false and avoid it Amen.
2008-01-28

ISSE FROM USA said:

I think, this is a chance that needs not to be missed. I think, we need to organize people from Indonesia to Morocco and show those evils groups how united and against we are to their abuses and insults.
But these walks should be led by the respected so as to not let few start violence. Moreover, we can combine the two. Protest marches led by the respected in muslim countries while launching awareness movies or weeks.
2008-01-27

AHMED ASGHER FROM BAHRAIN said:
The Persians have a saying: The answer to the fool is silence.

Quran confirms this: The the faithful addresses the ignorant by remaining peaceful (or saying peace).

They are truly ignorant of the message of Islam. Pray for them to see the truth. What they see is the propaganda, reinforced by the conduct of certain fanatical groups who use any from of violence in the name of Islam. That is the fodder for the media. Majority of Muslims are peaceful and want to live a peaceful and happy life.

If we are such peaceful models and promote peace, that would be the best response to those in the West who look upon us as fanatics and terrorists. If we are consistent in our belief, they would eventually come to see the true face of Islam.

If each one of us touch one life during our lifetime, the world will eventually come to us and our religion for what it is: Rahmatan lil alameen.

Each one of us are ambassadors for Allah's message of peace to the world. The world has changed and is changing and wars, retaliations and aggression has no place within civil society. It does not matter who is right and who is wrong. We have tremendous wealth at our disposal and should use this in a positive way. We are supposed to be the people of the 'middle'. A just and balanced people.

Truth eventually prevails if we believe in Divine Justice AND apply it in our daily lives.
2008-01-27

EUGENE S. JONES FROM UNITED STATES said:
As the article implies, action speaks louder than words. Allah give us love.compassion and understanding.
2008-01-26

BRIAN CAMPBELL FROM USA said:
Threats and attacks by muslims/Islam will only give Biblical Christians more opportunity to spread Biblical Christianity.
2008-01-26

HILAL SHAH FROM USA said:
I agree with Dr./Br. Aslam Abdullah. However, I would go one step ahead. We as Muslims should be thankfull to people like Geert Wilders for spreading negative propaganda about Islam. Belive me, no one has born yet to harm Islam nor there will any body be born ever to harm Islam. Don't we Muslim know what Allah (sw) has revelaed in the holy book of Quran. That Islam is going to superceed every way of life no matter how much Kafreen hate it. Look what results 9/11/2001 brought. The entire event was a conspiracy to hurt Islam, but it brought unparallel sucess to spread Islam in USA. If these so called enemy of Islam don't understand this phenominon that the more they spread their venom of Islamophobia, the more they are helping Islam to spread, then let them be devil's advocates. Donn't worry Muslims, what others are saying or doing to harm Islam. They can not bring even an iota of scrach to Islam let alone harm it. Islam is the way of life chosen by Creator for his entire Creations. Our best response to any negative propaganda is to live Islam.

2008-01-26

KHALID JAN FROM CA said:
http://www.icssa.org/article_detail_parse.php?a_id=1261&rel=305,303,301

SADIST DUTCH MP'S HITLERIZED PERCEPTION OF THE KORAN
2008-01-26

DR.NAIYER HABIB FROM CANADA said:
Welldone Dr.Abdullah. Muslims should ignore and use their energy in their constructive work for the Muslim nation and Islam while continue to make positive contribution to the land that they live. An effort should be made to remove the slavery of the people by west appointed Kings and dictators.
2008-01-26

AHMAD SIRAJUDIN FROM MALAYSIA said:
Let those who condemn Islam read the Quraan to find out what Islam is all about. This I can say. If they really read the Quraan without any prejudice, they will become Muslims! Want to give it a try?
2008-01-26

ABDIFATAH SULEIMAN MUSSE FROM USA said:
Asalamu aleykum warah matulahi wa barakatuh

Bismilah,That is what I thought: Be silent (ignore the ignorant), be patient, be compassionate, practice your beautiful faith, and show that Islam is for the good doers.
Read carefully what you are being told by brother Dr. Aslam Abdulah (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) in this article, insha Allah.

Islam is the answer to all problems and guide to a peaceful world and paradise in the here after. Asalamu Aleykum warah matulahi wa barakatuh
2008-01-26