Wednesday, April 2, 2008

FITNA : An anti-Islam film ?

Since the film Fitna was released by Dutch Freedom Party chief (lawmaker & politician) Geert Wilders (pic on the left) last week, there has been various reactions by the Muslim community throughout the world. They strongly condemn the irresponsible act of airing online the Fitna film.

The 15 minutes documentary film portrays Islam as a religion advocating extremism and violence. It links images of extremist attacks to verses from the Quran. It repeatedly juxtaposes verses from the Quran with videos of terrorist attacks and extremist imams preaching hatred of non-Muslims. It is not only misleading and erroneous, but also considered as a disregard and disrespect for Islam and the sensitiveness of the Muslim world.

But the question now is : How can Muslims effectively take action against the culprit for releasing such a film that puts Islam in a bad light ? Some even suggested that the Muslim world should unite and boycott products from Holland (The Netherlands).
But is this gonna work ? One may also ask : is it fair to do so ? since the man behind this issue is Geert Wilders and not the entire nation of Netherlands, or this is only Geert's personal view and not that of his government. Bear in mind that there are also many Muslims living in Netherlands ... so is it fair to boycott the whole nation ?

By doing so (the boycott), Dutch's product exports could be hurt and her economy possibly collapse. But for this to happen, the effort has to be a concerted one. And with a 1.3 billion Muslim community throughout the world, may be this is possible.
Businesses such as Shell, Philips and Unilever are easily identifiable as Dutch companies. Other Dutch products include Dove, Lipton, Cif, Sunsilk, Rexona, Lux, Snuggle, Omo, Elida, Vaseline Intensive Care, Klover Vaseline, Axe, FereroRoche, Planta, Lady's Choice, Knorr, Sunlight, Radiant, Rexona, Ponds, Danone and DutchLady.
Mydin stores nationwide have even gone to the entent of placing red labels on products from the Netherlands as a sign of protest. The red labels which were written with the words "Product from the Netherlands" were put on the shelves and posters were pasted around the mall and cashier counters to urge shoppers not to buy the products. As alternatives, consumers can choose other products instead.
As a Muslim I don't hate other religions. It's the people that cause trouble, not the religion. So we should respect all religion, cultures, beliefs and values ... be it Islam or otherwise.
I think the creator of Fitna needs attention from the people all over the world. May be he lacks love from his parents, wife or children. He tries to be famous by means of this cheapest method. But it's a wrong method ! It makes many people angry, especially the Muslims. So I sort of "pity him" actually ...

On the other hand, there are people who feels that the extremists are also to be blamed for giving Islam a negative image. In a way, they have indirectly influenced public opinion into seeing all Muslims as hate-filled extremists. Their "extreme actions" have caused some Westerners to view Islam as a violent religion, a religion of war and intolerance (which is not true at all) !

Muslims, just like others, do not condone violence. The attacks committed by the few extremists in the name of Islam against some Western countries was never against Christianity or any other religion, but a form of retaliatory acts against Western imperialism. The jihadists see it as an act of self-defence. One has to look at the root or source of the problem to understand this issue.

I believe the most pressing issue now is how to break this vicious cycle. ie the provocation by the West and the counteraction by the radical Muslims.

Let's all pray that Allah will open our hearts to the straight path, the path of whom He has favored, not the path of those who earn His anger, nor of those who has gone astray.

As to the question of whether "to boycott or not to boycott", think first whether it is worth the while or not - weigh all the possible repercussions. In fact, I am certain that Wilders is counting on such knee-jerk reaction from Muslims, with maybe some riots or spontaneous murders which may kill innocent bystanders.
The decision and action is in your hands. I feel we need to improve our capacities economically, politically and scientifically, then only a united front can be established over the banning of goods, diplomatic relations, honor and respect.
I remember one hadith meaning roughly like this : "If you see a wrongdoing, try stop it with your hands (physical actions). If you're not able to do that, then try to stop it with your mouth (words). If even that is not possible, then stop it with your heart (ie. not condoning it). That will be the weakest level of iman".
If we are not sure, I guess the very least we can do is to pray for Allah to decide what's the best Judgement for those who have gone astray. Hasbunallahu wani'mal wakiil. Takbir - Jihad fii sabiilillah !

No comments: