Template:Infobox Film Fitna is a 2008 short film by Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders. The film explores Qur'anic motivation for terrorism, Islamic universalism, and Islam in the Netherlands.Template:Cn The film's title comes from the Arabic word fitna, which is used to describe "disagreement and division among people" or a "test of faith in times of trial".[1]

On March 27 2008, Fitna was released to the Internet on the video sharing website Liveleak in Dutch and English versions. The following day, Liveleak removed the film from their servers citing serious threats to their staff. On March 30, Fitna was restored on Liveleak following a security upgrade, only to be removed again shortly afterwards by Wilders himself for copyright violations. A second edition was released on April 6.

Production[edit | edit source]

Template:Section-stub The Friends of the PVV foundation commissioned the film. It contracted a production company credited in the film as "Scarlet Pimpernel Productions", a name adopted for fear of reprisal.[2]

Release[edit | edit source]

The exact nature of Fitna's release had been uncertain up until its official launch. This was due to concerns of the legality of its content and anticipated acts of terrorism. The Dutch press centre Nieuwspoort offered to release the film, on the condition that Wilders would pay for the increased security required during the press conference and the weeks after it. Wilders declined to do so, citing prohibitive costs.[3][4]

Having failed to successfully negotiate a transmission of the film with any Dutch television station,[5][6][7] Wilders created a website, www.fitnathemovie.com, on March 5, 2008 with the intention of releasing the film.[8][9][10] However, this was subsequently suspended (see below).

On March 22, the Dutch Muslim Broadcasting Association (NMO) offered to air the film, on the proviso that it could be previewed for any possible illegal material and that Wilders would take part in a debate with proponents and opponents afterwards.[11][12] Wilders declined, quoted as saying "No way, NMO."[13]

Wilders released the film on March 27 2008 at 7 p.m. CET on the video website Liveleak.[14] The following day, Liveleak removed the film from their servers after receiving threats which they described as being "of a very serious nature".[15][16][17] The film soon appeared on various BitTorrent and video sharing websites.[18]

Liveleak reinstated Fitna on March 30, after security upgrades offering increased protection to its staff had been implemented.[19] Soon after, Wilders withdrew the film[20] to make some minor edits, such as removing the copyrighted Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons[21] and the photograph of Salah Edin, a rapper wrongly identified as Mohammed Bouyeri, in response to lawsuits.[22] Kurt Westergaard, the cartoonist, was pleased with the news and believed the lawsuit would be dropped.[21]

A revised edition, containing a new cartoon in place of the contentious one, and a corrected picture of Bouyeri, was released on Liveleak on April 6.[23]

Plot[edit | edit source]

The movie shows a selection of Suras from the Qur'an, interspersed with newspaper clippings and media clips with The Arabian Dance and Åses død as an underscore.[24][25][26]

Themes[edit | edit source]

Wilders said the 15-minute film show how verses from the Qur'an are being used today to incite modern Muslims to behave violently and anti-democratically based on those verses.[27][28][29] He later described the film as “a call to shake off the creeping tyranny of Islamization,”[30] and a push for a Leitkultur, a culture that “draws on Christian, Jewish, humanistic traditions and that poses a challenge to the Islamic problem.”[31]

The Qur'an and Terrorism[edit | edit source]

File:Fitna surah 8 verse 60.png

Al-Anfal 60 is shown next to a video of the attacks of September 11.

The film starts with a warning to the viewer that the movie contains "very shocking images".[32] A caricature of the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb on his head is shown next to a timer counting down from 15 minutes.[33]

Suras are juxtaposed to video clips of Imams stating Islamic teaching, and videos of violent atrocities committed in the name of Islam, including major terrorist attacks.[34]

The first Sura of the film, Al-Anfal verse 60Template:Cite quran, is translated as: Template:QuoteFootage of the September 11 attacks are shown, followed by the Madrid train bombings.[35] An unidentified Imam rises above the smoke and declares "Allah is happy when non-muslims get killed." Stills taken from the 7 July 2005 London bombings show an exploded bus and the underground train.

The next Sura, An-Nisa verse 56Template:Cite quran, is shown as a justification for Islamic antisemitism. Sheikh Bakr Al-Samarai is shown raising a sword while declaring: "If Allah permits us, oh nation of Mohammed, even the stone will say Oh Muslim. A Jew is hiding behind me, come and cut off his head. And we shall cut off his head! By Allah, we shall cut it off! Oh Jews! Allahu Akbar! Jihad for the sake of Allah!"[36] An auditorium of several hundred people respond with approving chants and fist shaking.[37]

Following this, a three year old Muslim girl, says that Jews are "apes and pigs"[38] because "Allah" said so "in the Qur'an"[39] in an interview on Iqraa TV.[40] More antisemitism is shown by an unidentified Imam, who says: "The Jews are Jews. They are the ones who must be butchered and killed."[41] Child soldiers are shown holding guns in uniform.

Sura 47, verse 4Template:Cite quran is shown in relation to the murder of Dutch film director Theo Van Gogh, committed by Mohammed Bouyeri. Bouyeri is reported as saying: "If I had the opportunity to get out of prison, and I had the opportunity to do it again, what I did on November 2nd, Allah I would have done exactly the same."[42] Protesters are shown supporting Van Gogh's murder, warning others to heed the lesson or "pay with your blood".

Dutch newspaper headlines are reproduced, outlining intimidating threats of murder to prominent critics of Islam,[43] followed by footage of Eugene Armstrong's beheading. Armstrong's decapitated head is shown held up by Al-Qaeda terrorists.[44][45][46]

The Qur'an as a Means for Islamic Universalism[edit | edit source]

File:Fitna Ali Meshkini Friday Sermon 2004-07-02.png

Ayatollah 'Ali Meshkini speaks at a friday sermon, declaring "Islam is a religion that wants to rule the world. It has done so before and eventually, will rule it again".[47]

Sura 4, verse 89Template:Cite quran is heard, and translated here as: Template:Quote This is shown through a Vox pop: "If someone converts to Christianity, he deserves the death penalty," which refers to the punishment of death for apostasy in Islam. An unidentified Imam declares: "Islam is (more) superior than the Jews, than the Christians, than the Buddhists, than the Hindus. The only (law) Allah accepts is Islam.Template:Fact" A short video clip shows ethnic Albanians attacking a Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo during the 2004 unrest.[48]

Headlines concerning assaults and death threats to former Muslims Ehsan Jami, Salman Rushdie and Ayaan Hirsi Ali are shown.

The final Sura used in the film is Sura 8, verse 39Template:Cite quran: Template:Quote

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran is quoted as saying:

Template:Cquote

Ibrahim Mudeiris is seen speaking to a congregation. He says: "We have ruled the world before, and by Allah, the day will come when we will rule the entire world again! The day will come when we will rule America. The day will come when we rule Britain and the entire world!"[49] Abdul Rahman Saleem speaks in English: "You will take over the USA! You will take over the UK! You will take over Europe! You will defeat them all! You will get victory! You will take over Egypt! We trust in Allah!"[50] Demonstrators outside the Danish embassy to Britain are shown holding signs that read: "Islam will dominate the world" and "Freedom go to hell".[51][52]

Islam and the Netherlands[edit | edit source]

File:Fitna future netherlands women 2.png

The film's depiction of a Muslim woman being strapped down in preparation for female genital cutting.

The final segment of the film deals with issues related to Islam in the Netherlands, under the heading: "The Netherlands under the spell of Islam".[53] These issues include opposition to democracy, Islamic views on homosexuality and women's treatment in Islam.[54]

An unidentified person claims that "The mosque will be part of the system of the government of Holland", in an apparent refusal to accept liberal democracy. Wilders juxtaposes a newspaper headline "Cabinet: no ban on burqa" against a Muslim woman fully covered up. A graph illustrating the number of Muslims in Holland since 1909 is shown against a background of Muslim women.[55] Dutch police are shown removing their shoes before entering a mosque. A Dutch Muslim expresses his desire to enact an honor killing if his mother or sister commits zina, the Islamic concept of extramarital sex. Another condemns homosexuality, saying "Islam considers something like that a crime."

A postcard is shown, ostensibly from Holland, with pictures of mosques in place of visitor attractions, with the words "Groeten uit Nederland" (Greetings from The Netherlands) superimposed.[56]

Audio recordings that are said to have been taken from mosques in Holland show Imams denouncing political parties, "worldly concepts like liberalism [and] democracy." Another states that adulterers must be "stoned" to death. A graphic image of gays being hanged, under Sharia law[57] is a depiction of a possible future dystopian Holland. Children of Shia muslims are shown with blood covering their faces,[55][58][59] having been cut with knives by older people as per the tradition of the Day of Ashura. A series of clips show Female genital cutting,[60][61] a decapitated woman's head lying on a floor,[62] and a woman dressed in a burqa being shot through the head by a man.[63]

Finally, a succession of newspaper headlines are shown, containing stories related to Islam in the Netherlands, their views, actions, ambitions and politics.[64] Some verified headlines are:

  • "Sudanese demand execution of British 'miss teddy bear'" (see Sudanese teddy bear blasphemy case)
  • "Almost half of young Moroccans anti-western"[65]
  • "Moroccans throw gay in water"[66]
  • "Throw gays from tall buildings"[67]
  • "Al-Qaeda proclaims death penalty Jihad against Wilders"[68]

The movie ends with a hand seen gripping a page of the Qur'an and a call to action from Wilders to defeat “Islamic ideology”, likening it to Communism and Nazism.[69][64]

Suras[edit | edit source]

File:Fitna surah 4 verse 56.png

An-Nisa 56, translated here as: "Those who have disbelieved our signs, we shall roast them in fire. Whenever their skins are cooked to a turn, we shall substitute new skins for them, that they may feel the punishment; Verily Allah is sublime and wise."

The following Suras are mentioned in Fitna in order of appearance:[70]

Sura Title Verse
8 Al-Anfal (The Spoils of War) 60 Template:Cite quran
4 An-Nisa (The Women) 56 Template:Cite quran
47 Muhammad (Muhammad)   4 Template:Cite quran
4 An-Nisa (The Women) 89 Template:Cite quran
8 Al-Anfal (The Spoils of War) 39 Template:Cite quran

Differences between First and Second Release[edit | edit source]

The first edition used copyrighted Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons without permission. These were removed from the second edition.

Also in the first edition of the film, and removed from the second edition,[23]when referring to the murder of Theo van Gogh a picture of the Dutch rapper Salah Edin is displayed instead of the murderer Mohammed Bouyeri.[71][72][73] The picture was shot for the rapper's album 'Nederlands Grootste Nachtmerrie' (Netherlands' Worst Nightmare), which according to the singer's website, was shot to be 'exactly like the mugshot of convicted killer Mohamed B'.[74] A 2007 article by Dutch newspaper De Dag had captioned an article about the killer with the shot. On that occasion, Salah Edin's received an out-of-court libel settlement for the publication.[75] The photo was said by the rapper to be intended to depict "the way the average white Dutch citizen sees me, as a young Moroccan Muslim radical. That's why I chose to do this picture and use it for the front cover of my album. It is in no way supporting the deeds of Mohamed B".[75] Edin has accepted a settlement of 25,000 for copyright infringement.[76]

Reaction[edit | edit source]

Main article: International reaction to Fitna

International reaction to Fitna consisted of condemnation in the international community, a Fatwā by Al-Qaeda against Geert Wilders, and attempts by Southeast Asian countries to censor the film.[68][77][78] The Dutch government immediately distanced itself from the film.[79] Several Muslim organizations and political parties have organized boycotts against Dutch products.Template:Cn

Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country, has conducted a ban on several web sites, such as YouTube, MySpace, Rapidshare and Metacafe, as directed by the Ministry of Communications and Informations.[80] On April 11, the Indonesian government lifted the ban. Indonesian communications minister Muhammad Nuh apologised to the public for the inconvenience.[81][82]

Geert Wilders' film failed to generate much controversy in Iran although the government did express its outrage on the day of its release and conservative websites complained about it for a while. By and large, Fitna elicited indifference among the general public. There was an anti-Fitna demonstration, but just 30 people turned up and they were carrying signs that had nothing to do with the film.[83]

In response to the movie on Sunday March, 30 an op-ed by the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maxime Verhagen, was printed in the Arabic Newspaper Asharq al Awsat. In the article, he asks of the readers to "keep the head cool and the relations warm". He urges the need of dialogue, instead of provocation, as a means to bridge the differences between cultures.[84]

On April 1 2008, a debate was held about the movie in the Dutch parliament. In this debate, the government and Geert Wilders accused each other of lying about facts of their previous communication. According to various members of the government, Wilders had told in previous conversations about his intentions to tear parts out of the Qur'an and setting them on fire. Wilders denied this.[85]

Legal actions[edit | edit source]

One of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons was included in the film without the permission of the artist, Kurt Westergaard. Westergaard has asserted that this infringes his copyright and is considering taking legal action against Wilders.[86].

Various Dutch people filed an official complaint against the movie, after it was released. The Dutch Ministry of Justice is determining whether any statutes will be broken by the publishing of the film. According to some experts, prosecution is without any chance, because Wilders has been aware in advance of legal possibilities and impossibilities.[87]

Contra Movies[edit | edit source]

On March 28 a contra-movie was released by the Arab European League, named Al Mouftinoun.[88] There was also a call to submit a contra-movie to a special Geert Wilders Film festival.[89] The movie Ashkar [90] was declared winner on May 3rd 2008.[91] A Saudi blogger made a contra-movie in April, named Schism.[92]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Template:Reflist

External links[edit | edit source]


Template:Muslims and controversies footer

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zea:Fitna (film)

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