Friday, 28 March 2008

Geert Wilders - Fitna: Alienating the Progressive Voices

Published in the Scottish Herald: Monday 31st March 2008

Listen to Voices of Reason, Not Zealotry

Geert Wilders’ film ‘Fitna’ has been creating the usual flurry amongst Muslims globally, ‘Dutch MP releases film attacking Islam’, and so I decided that I would only comment on the film after viewing it. Having seen the short film I have to say that this is nothing new in the long line of one-sided propaganda that alienates the progressive voices in Islamic societies. I found the film both disturbing and depressing. Disturbing to see the pain and death that ill-informed Muslims have caused in the world and depressed that Islam for some has become a political pawn for global domination, both are far from the essence of God and scripture.

The Qur’anic passages which he has highlighted are passages which are problematic to understand in our contemporary world but, for me, they are a test of faith for Muslims to place them within a context which advocates peace, love, diversity and upholding good. The Qur’an was revealed in a historical context and that context needs to be understood to understand the passages that Wilders highlights. There are just as many passages within the Qur’an that should drive a Muslim to peaceful co-existence with the other. Why are they not being highlighted? Unfortunately,

Wahabbist/political Islam has swept the Muslim lands and suffocated the creative, reasoned beautiful thinkers. The bitter after taste of colonialism has embedded an ‘us’ and ‘them’ mentality within many Muslims globally and it is a challenge for us all to move forward, united in creating a progressive society. We must accept that there are just as many problematic passages in other sacred scriptures such as the Bible, which have led some to take up arms in their sacred struggle, the Crusades are one such example. But there will always be voices of reason against religious zealots and wealthy leaders such as Wilders should focus on the former if we truly wish for a peaceful world.

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