As I noted yesterday, the reactions of Muslim moderates to Fitna are illuminating in many ways. And so here is another, “The real Fitna,” by the English convert to Islam Yusuf Smith (“Indigo Jo”) at his blog (thanks to Jihad Watch reader Esther):
The flaws are not hard to spot. This is basically Jihad Watch or Little Green Footballs as a film, and is not intended to try and convince anyone not of that mindset.
Interesting. I didn’t know that Yusuf Smith was a confidant of Geert Wilders. But how otherwise could he know what the film was “intended” to do?
For a start, only a small minority interpret the verses Wilders cites to justify the acts depicted; the majority of Muslims in the world simply do not behave like this and mainstream scholars reject such interpretations.
There is no doubt whatsoever that the majority of Muslims in the world simply do not behave like jihad terrorists. But how many of them actually and actively disapprove of those jihadist deeds? How many are working against the spread of the jihad ideology within Muslim communities?
And who are the “mainstream scholars” to which Yusuf Smith refers? Ali Eteraz offered a list of Muslims condemning terrorism that included Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who has endorsed suicide attacks against Israeli civilians; Sheikh Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, who has also endorsed such attacks; Mohamed Elmasry, who has limited the legitimacy of such attacks to Israelis over the age of 18; CAIR, which has been named an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case and has had several of its officials convicted on various terror-related charges; and Siraj Wahhaj, who testified as a character witness for the jihadist Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, mastermind of the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.
Can Yusuf Smith do better than that? Or must we resign ourselves to the proposition that Muslims who condemn terrorism may be involved with it themselves, or approving of it in other contexts?
The context of the verses’ revelation is simply not discussed in this film (there are no words, other than those written on the screen or those spoken by people in the footage). There are shots of demonstrations in London with offensive banners (behead those who insult Islam, etc) and similar shouted slogans, but the fact is that these demonstrations were tiny, organised by a well-known and disliked small group of Muslims, and widely condemned within the community.
Great. How nice. The demonstrations were condemned. Were the sentiments condemned?
Let’s remember, after all, that Yusuf Smith is the gentleman with whom I had a memorable exchange here a few years ago. I said: “I would like nothing better than a flowering, a renaissance, in the Muslim world, including full equality of rights for women and non-Muslims in Islamic societies: freedom of conscience, equality in laws regarding legal testimony, equal employment opportunities, etc.”
Yusuf Smith responded: “So, you would like to see us ditch much of our religion and, thereby, become non-Muslims.”
In other words, he saw a call for equality of rights for women and non-Muslims in Islamic societies, including freedom of conscience, equality in laws regarding legal testimony, and equal employment opportunities, as a challenge to his religion. This makes me wonder whether his quibble with Fitna here is with the positions the demonstrators espoused, or simply with the demonstrators themselves.
In the “under the spell” section, the future of various groups such as women, children and gays are speculated on, and in the section on women there are images of girls who have just undergone genital mutilation, which most Muslims do not practise.
In short, it is a montage of the most violent stereotypes of Muslims.
But of course, women do undergo genital mutilation, by the millions, in countries in which the practise is justified by reference to Islam. Is it then simply a “stereotype” to call for an end to this barbarity? Should Yusuf Smith be directing his indignation toward Muslims who justify genital mutilation on Islamic grounds rather than against Geert Wilders, who is simply noting that some Muslims do this?