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Web Letter

Fitna is a clear example of a devil citing a Scripture for his hate-mongering purpose. One finds lots of hateful passages in the Old Testament; the Office of Global Anti-Semitism under the US State Department views the New Testament as hate speech; while the Talmud clearly takes the cake in professing hate not just of any other religion but of all mankind (a k a Gentiles) except the "Chosen People."

A thorough reading of the Quran reveals passages that suggest anything but hate: Chapter 2, Verse 62: "Lo! Those who believe (in that which is revealed unto thee, Muhammad), and those who are Jews, and Christians, and Sabaeans--whoever believeth in Allah and the Last Day and doeth right--surely their reward is with their Lord, and there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve."

Chapter 2, Verse 256: "There is no compulsion in religion."

Chapter 3, Verse 3: "He hath revealed unto thee [Muhammad] the Scripture with truth, confirming that which was [revealed] before it, even as He revealed the Torah and the Gospel."

Chapter 10, Verse 99: "Had your Lord willed, all the people on earth would have believed. Do you want to force the people to become believers?"

Apparently, hatred feeds on ignorance. This applies to some misguided Moslems as well.

Anatoly Panov

Moscow, Russia

Apr 15 2008 - 2:25pm

Web Letter

I thought Fitna was a very good film--it gets the point across rather well. "Like insurgent propaganda, Fitna aims to embolden the extremes to the detriment of the moderate middle"--please, what a crock. The extremist leaders use these passages in the Koran precisely to justify their murder and atrocities against non-belivers. They are driven by Islamic theology plain and simple, and they use this to attract followers.

The only permanent solution is for Islam to undergo a reformation much like the Christian religion did long ago. It is up to the moderate Muslims to force this. Until then, there will only be war or submission--I will not submit.

Sam Pyeatte

Everett, WA

Apr 13 2008 - 5:44pm

Web Letter

Thanks to Aziz Huq to write this article. Geert Wilders is as one-sided as any filmmaker trying to compress reality into a documentary film. His film is as anti-Islamic. The hostility does not lie in the eye of the beholder, but rather in the nature of the film's subject. Islam may not always be a peaceful religion, and invariably there is the threat of violence, but if the insult should be apologized for, regardless of whether it was made by the pope, a politician or a poet.

Geert Wilders is in the wrong of flouting yet another feature of the current harmony. He opted to act, not just react. Since announcing his film three months ago, he has been defining the course of the debate, driving his opponent away from him. What he wanted to accomplish had already been accomplished. He showed the free West to be a paper tiger. The Dutch government distanced itself from the project and asked its ambassadors in Muslim countries to explain to their host governments the situation in their home country, where the government is not as omnipotent as it would like to be. The EU, wanting to please all sides, issued a statement that emphasised the importance of freedom of speech while at the same time said, "We believe that acts such as (Geert Wilders') film serve no other purpose than inflaming hatred." Even UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon chimed in to condemn the Wilders film "in the strongest terms." He said that nothing can justify hate speech or incitement to violence. "The right of free expression is not at stake here. ... Freedom must always be accompanied by social responsibility."

This is the kind of tone that one waits for in vain when Islamists call for jihad, fanatics massacre non-believers. The only objective of these exercises is to prevent a repetition of what happened in 2006, when a dozen caricatures of Hazrat Muhammad (S) caused a blaze of indignation in the entire Islamic world. At the time, many Western politicians called to reduce the level or intensity of the dangerous situation. The call was not aimed at the arsonists who were burning Danish flags and destroying embassies, but at the Europeans, who were watching the jihadists in bewilderment, in a bid to not pour more oil on the flames.

A similar thing happened recently when a cartoonist in Bangladesh named a puppy or pumpkin Muhammad, and in Sudan, when a British woman named a teddy bear Muhammad, or when Salman Rushdie was knighted by the British queen. Muslims were outraged and Europeans sought cover until the storm had blown over. Geert Wilders is not a fan of movies and moviemaking, and his film is certainly no masterpiece. It is, however, a brute challenge to the Europeans to at least recognise reality, and become sensible, and not to take up the appeasement policy.

Sirajul Islam

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Apr 13 2008 - 2:01am

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