Posts Tagged ‘Geert Wilders’

Response to My Letter About Fitna in The Star

April 8, 08

Come and read this ‘reply’ which is de-facto-not-at-all-a-reply to my letter to The Star about anti-Fitna protests.

MOHD SHAH ABDULLAH completely mischaracterizes the message of Fitna as ‘West vs. Islam’. That is not what Fitna and my letter are about. See his letter below.

To find out what the true message is, see the letter to the Star I sent which has not been printed as of yet. It follows MOHD SHAH ABDULLAH‘s letter, and its contents are not exactly 100% Politically Correct for Malaysia, so no surprise if it never sees print.

And then after that, watch me mock his argument and rip his letter to shreds… Intellectually, of course.

Friends of MOHD SHAH ABDULLAH, make sure to tell him that his letter is on my blog, and I’m busy showing him up for all to see.

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From MOHD SHAH ABDULLAH to The Star Letters 6 April 2008:

    BlameTheWestAgain1    BlameTheWestAgain2

Vicious cycle must be stopped

I AM having difficulty understanding Scott Thong’s view “Extremists must be taken to task too” (The Star, April 3) that moderate Muslims condone violence because they have never expressed any sense of outrage at the violence committed by the few so-called Muslim terrorists.

Muslims, just like others, do not condone violence committed not only by fellow Muslims but also those committed by others in many parts of the world. The outrage against Geert Wilders, on the other hand, is not by all Muslims because of his propaganda to vilify Islam instead of the terrorists.

The term “moderate Islam” was invented by the West immediately after the Cold War with Russia. Islam suddenly became a new enemy of the West, and a litmus test was set up to establish if a Muslim country or individual could be regarded as moderate.

They are considered moderate if they do not promote or condone violence, do not possess WMDs and adopt a democratic system of government. They know that most Muslim countries could not pass this litmus test, but the same goes for the West.

The term moderate Islam is a convenient jargon to classify Muslims, so that Muslim countries and people are seen to be either with or against them.

Prior to this, I have not heard of this dichotomy of moderate and jihadist and there were no animosities between Muslims and the West. The violence committed by the few extremists in the name of Islam against Western countries was never against Christianity but against Western imperialism.

Radicalisation of Muslims started in the early 19th century in British India when the British imposed their values and religion on Muslims and Hindus.

The British introduced the concept of pre-emptive strike, now adopted by the Americans, against the moderate Mughal and installed a puppet regime, also known as a regime change, which could serve their political and economic ends.

According to William Dalrympl author of The Last Mughal, the jihadists take what they see as an act of self-defence.

It was at about the same period that radicalisation of Muslims also occurred in Egypt, during the construction of the Suez Canal where development was for the benefit of the imperial West.

I believe the most pressing issue now is how to break this vicious cycle, i.e. the provocation by the West and the counteraction by the radical Muslims. The making of Fitna and its circulation do not help matters.

MOHD SHAH ABDULLAH,
Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.

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Scott’s reply to the above letter:

They would kill mefor who I am
As Mohd Shah Abdullah replied to my letter, I wish to reply to him in turn, in order to clear up some misunderstandings.
 
He seems to have misinterpreted my letter as focusing on what constitutes a ‘moderate’ Muslim, when the clear intent of my letter was simply that those who condemn Geert Wilders for tarnishing Islam with his film Fitna should also condemn the Muslims caught on film tarnishing Islam with their hate-filled rhetoric.
 
I do not wish to argue about whether the West is to blame for stirring up discontent and anger. I do not condone aggression or warmongering by any nation or philosophy.
 
But what I would like to point out is this: The radicals shown calling for war and murder in Fitna would kill me.
 
Me. Scott Thong.
 
Not just Geert Wilders. Not just George W. Bush. Not just Westerners who mock their religion and invade their nations. But me.
 
Why? I am a Malaysian of Chinese ethnicity. I am not a Westerner. I am not an American or a Briton or a Dutchman.
 
What did I ever do to deserve their hatred? I have never taken part in or condoned slander or insult or war or imperialist occupation. I have done nothing to provoke the sentiments of these radicals who call for my murder with full conviction and fervor. Absolutely nothing.
 
Yet the radicals recorded on film in Fitna would still behead me… Simply because I am a Christian. Simply because I do not share their specific beliefs. Simply because I do not submit to their power and control. Simply because I do not join in their jihad against the West.
 
They would kill me, simply because I am not a Muslim.
 
That is what I want Muslim leaders to denounce when they denounce Geert Wilders. That is what I want Muslim groups to protest when they protest Fitna. That is what I want ‘moderates’ to unconditionally condemn and reject.
 
Strifeful, combative and blood-spilling division between Muslims and non-Muslims - that is what I want my peace-loving, tolerant and understanding Muslim friends, neighbours and national leaders to condemn and reject.
 
Moderate or radical? I believe that the distinction is very clear to see, Western-invented classifying jargon or not.
 
Denounce the murderous radicals as well as those who would provoke them. That is all I ask of you.

SCOTT THONG YU YUEN

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And now, the pwnage:

1) MOHD SHAH ABDULLAH totally misses the very simple, straightforward and clear message of my letter:

If you’re going to denounce Geert Wilders for his film Fitna, you should be also denouncing the Muslims calling for war on all non-Muslims. - Scott Thong, right here and right now

Instead, he goes off on a red-herring tangent about his skewed view of West-Islam history. Which I dissect below.

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2) He says that:

They are considered moderate if they do not promote or condone violence, do not possess WMDs and adopt a democratic system of government. They know that most Muslim countries could not pass this litmus test, but the same goes for the West.

I say that in my understanding, anyone of any religion or culture is considered ‘moderate’ if they don’t want to kill me for offending them, for not submitting to them, for not converting to their religion.

THAT is the core issue here, MOHD SHAH ABDULLAH. Not what the West chooses to label a Muslim nation, but whether a Muslim wants to cut off my head just because of the fact that I am not a Muslim.

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3) He says that:

Prior to this, I have not heard of this dichotomy of moderate and jihadist and there were no animosities between Muslims and the West. The violence committed by the few extremists in the name of Islam against Western countries was never against Christianity but against Western imperialism.

I would kindly point him to the following animosities which all happened without just cause on the part of the Muslim aggressors, long before any such notion of ‘Western imperialism’ existed, but during a time when Christians were considered kaffirs (infidels) :

And these animosities also happened way before the Crusades (First Crusade began 1095 A.D., so he can’t blame it on ‘provocation of the West‘)… Which by the way, were restricted to reconquering territories that had formerly been Christian before the Muslim imperialist conquerors came along.

See full list at Christianity vs Islam – Who Started This Whole Mess?.

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4) He says that:

Radicalisation of Muslims started in the early 19th century in British India when the British imposed their values and religion on Muslims and Hindus.

I say: What about the Muslims who carried out the invasions I just mentioned in Point 3? Were they radical, or non-radical?

If radical, then how are the 19th-century British to blame for 7th-century ‘radicalization’ of some Muslims?

If not radical, then what are you yourself implying about Islam as a whole?

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5) He says that:

According to William Dalrympl author of The Last Mughal, the jihadists take what they see as an act of self-defence.

I say that, according to the Crusaders, their invasion of Jerusalem was ‘just an act of self-defense’ after 400 years of Muslim invasions of the previously Christian Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe.

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6) Strangely enough, after dismissing the classifying term ‘moderate’ by saying:

The term moderate Islam is a convenient jargon to classify Muslims, so that Muslim countries and people are seen to be either with or against them.

…He finishes his letter by classifying some Muslims as ‘radical’:

I believe the most pressing issue now is how to break this vicious cycle, i.e. the provocation by the West and the counteraction by the radical Muslims. The making of Fitna and its circulation do not help matters.

And need I point out, to these ‘jargon classified as radical’ Muslims, the rest of the world is already seen to be ‘either with them or against them’. Or haven’t you as a learned Muslim heard of Dar al-Islam vs Dar al-Harb? (Territory of Islam vs Territory of War. The latter includes all non-Muslims, including non-Western me.)

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7) He still manages to not condemn the kill-all-non-Muslims-terror-mongers featured in Fitna. Congrats on that, Mr. Moderate (except that according to yourself, Moderate is just a false label).

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PRE-CONCLUSION

MOHD SHAH ABDULLAH is the typical one-side-of-the-story wannabe historian who thinks that the West is basically to blame for every problem in the world.

Never mind that if you want to play the ‘Who is first imperialist to blame’ game, expansionism-by-the-sword Islam is clearly the culprit. (Muslims invasions in 632 A.D. Middle East and in 711 A.D. Europe versus 1095 A.D. First Crusade, it’s basic maths, sir).

Never mind that if you go far back enough in history, all these ‘Muslim lands’ that the jihadists use to claim ‘self-defense against the Western imperialists’ were once non-Muslim lands that failed to defend themselves from the imperialistic, warmongering, proto-colonial caliphates of Islam.

Just like Abdullah Badawi, MOHD SHAH ABDULLAH cannot comprehend that the West is not always to blame for everything… And that sometimes, you really should start taking responsibility for a change.

Start taking responsibility now, good sir. Denounce unconditionally the Muslims who call for the death of all Christians, Jews, atheists, polytheists, Muslims of a different sect, Muslims who are insufficiently pious, Muslims who even associate with the former groups…

…You get the picture.

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CONCLUSION

Fitna is not about the West versus Islam. It is about Muslims who claim to follow the Koran and Hadith, and use those scriptures to justify killing me.

Me. Scott Thong. 

Not Geert Wilders. Not Tony Blair. Not G.W. Bush. Not Ariel Sharon. Not the Americans and the Zionists and the Jews.

But me… And all my family and friends. Why?

I am a Chinese Malaysian. I have nothing to do with the West, with America or Britain or the Dutch or Zionist Israel or the Crusaders.

Yet the Muslims shown preaching, chanting, mobbing, killing in the footage of Fitna would still kill me… Because I am a Christian. Because I do not partake of their jihad against whoever their enemies may be. Because I do not bow down and submit to them.

Those Muslims will kill me, because I am not a Muslim.

That is the crux of the argument. That is the point here. That is the message of Fitna (have you even watched it?).

So, MOHD SHAH ABDULLAH , how would you justify the ‘self-defence’ of the jihadis who would kill non-Western, non-imperialist Scott Thong?

Fitna: Making Dutch Companies Lose Money = Good, Losing Money Yourself = Bad

April 4, 08

Related to these posts:

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From The Star 4 Apr 2008:

Boycott won’t hurt ties with the Netherlands

KUALA LUMPUR: The boycott of Dutch products in protest of the controversial short film, Fitna, will not affect ties between Malaysia and the Netherlands.This was because the Malaysian Government did not initiate the boycott, International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.“Consumer groups and a supermarket chain initiated the boycott. We leave the matter to them. If they feel that they should not buy Dutch products, that is their decision. We will not stop them from boycotting,” Muhyiddin told reporters after an official visit to the Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Bhd (MIDF) here yesterday.Fitna is a 15-minute film produced by Dutch legislator Geert Wilders which paints a negative image of Islam by linking the Quran with violence. It has angered Muslims worldwide and protests have grown in the country.

Dutch Ambassador to Malaysia Lody Embrechts said the film did not in any way reflect the perspective or policy of the Dutch Government.

Asked whether the boycott may affect the country’s exports to the Netherlands, Muhyiddin said: “I hope not. The Netherlands is a very important market for us.”

He said the country was the largest export market for Malaysia with exports amounting to RM2.07bil.

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Uh huh.

So let me get this striaght… If Malaysians boycott all trade with the entire Netherlands over a 15-minute film by a lon, independent individual…

Malaysia stands to lose much more. Oh, teh ironiez!

Just like the case in Sudan where the government itself called for a boycott of Danish goods in response to reprintings of the Mohammad cartoons.

Showing their incredible rage-induced myopia, the Sudanese government failed to notice that Denmark only exports around $23 million worth of goods to Sudan.

Meanwhile, Sudan received $26 million in Danish aid in 2006 and a $100 million humanitarian and reconstruction package is planned through 2009.

Denmark thus responded as you would expect anyone to respond to ingrates… They stated that they would oppose any debt-relief for Sudan, which owes Denmark $405 million.

Just goes to show that you really should measure yourself up before taking on economic heavyweights. 

But luckily for Malaysia, the Dutch are unlikely to hold a grudge against our consumers and refuse to pay us that lovely RM2.07 billion.

…Right?

The Star Opinion: Extremists Must Be Taken To Task Too (Not Just Fitna and Geert Wilders)

April 3, 08

If you have no idea what this is all about:

Watch: Michelle Malkin or Moonbattery or The Jawa Report

Read: Wikipedia on Fitna

Related to this letter to Malaysia Today and this comment on Haris Ibrahim’s blog.

And as for Dr. Chandra’s hope that Muslims will react peacefully, sorry to burst your bubble (but as if you don’t already know what’s gonna happen)…

 

How do these protests all the way over in Malaysia and Indonesia even have any impact on a far-away Dutchman?

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From The Star Opinion 3 April 2008:

   ExtremistsToo1   ExtremistsToo2   ExtremistsToo3

Extremists must be taken to task too

HAVING read Dr Chandra Muzaffar’s letter “Film is fitnah indeed” (The Star, April 1), I agree with his conclusion that Geert Wilders’ film intentionally misrepresents Islam as a religion that discriminates against non-Muslims, although I do not see why Dr Chandra considers Wilders’ views as racist when Islam is a religion, not an ethnicity.

Joining him in protest are Muslim groups and leaders worldwide, including former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Barisan Nasional Youth, the National Fatwa Council and the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia. They are all saddened by the film’s wrong portrayal of Islam as inherently violent and intolerant.

But I am also saddened to note that even as the Muslim leaders are outraged at Westerners deemed to be mocking Islam, not a peep is uttered about the extremists who call for hatred and death against non-Muslims – as captured on video in the Dutch film.

The only reason Wilders’ film is considered to be smearing Islam is because it repeatedly juxtaposes verses from the Quran with videos of terrorist attacks and extremist imams preaching hatred of non-Muslims.

If so, then why aren’t moderate Muslim leaders and groups condemning the extremists who interpret those verses as justification for their hate-mongering? Without their antics, Wilders’ film would have little material to cause provocation with.

These extremists are the ones who cause some Westerners to view Islam as a violent religion. These extremists are the ones hijacking and re-branding Islam as a religion of war and intolerance in the public eye.

In my opinion, such extremists are far more to blame for giving Islam a negative image than lone individuals such as Wilders. Who is more likely to give a religion a bad name – some mocking “outsider” who has an ulterior political motive or violent “insiders” who actually claim to follow that religion?

Yet, none of the moderate Muslim leaders denounce or reject the violent, hateful extremists even as they protest against a film prominently featuring them.

Instead, more calls for boycotts and more protests are made against Wilders – a man whose image of Islam is undoubtedly coloured by those very extremists. What image does this portray when every time, Muslim leaders attack the messenger (Wilders or newspaper cartoons), but not the message that they are noisily proclaiming – about extremists who are successfully using Islam as a rallying cry for violence and hatred?

In fact, I am certain that Wilders is counting on such a knee-jerk reaction from Muslims, with maybe some riots and spontaneous murders of innocent bystanders thrown in (such as what happened with the Jyllands-Posten controversy), in order to prove his point to the world.

If his aim is to influence public opinion into seeing all Muslims as hate-filled extremists, then I’m afraid that the prominent Muslim moderates are unwittingly aiding his agenda with their very selective denouncements.

SCOTT THONG YU YUEN,

Ipoh.

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Here is Dr. Chandra’s letter that I used as an excuse to send in mine:

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From The Star Opinion 2 April 2008:

   ChandraFitnah1   ChandraFitnah2   ChandraFitnah3

Film is ‘fitnah’ indeed

ANOTHER European has done it again. Anti-immigration right-wing Dutch politician Geert Wilders has made a15-minute film called Fitna (defamation) that features violent imagery of terrorist attacks in New York and Madrid set against passages from the Quran that are taken out of context. The film has been posted on Internet sites.

The film is indeed a fitnah against Islam and the truth. It deliberately attempts to project the Quran as a scripture that justifies and legitimises terrorism and violence perpetrated against innocent civilians.

This is a calumny against the Quran that warns against wanton violence and prohibits aggression.

While Fitna is being posted on the Internet, a theatre in Potsdam, Germany is planning to stage a play based on Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses that also misrepresents the Quran and Muslim history and had provoked Muslim reactions almost 20 years ago.

In 2006, a Danish newspaper published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad linking him to bombs and terror. Earlier this year, some Danish newspapers republished the offensive cartoons.

Is it just Islam that is under attack? Isn’t it true that Jesus has also been vilified through films and books? In fact, damning and defaming religion in general is the pastime of a segment of secular Europe. Among religions, the targeting of Islam appears to be more systematic and consistent.

There is a reason for this. It is part of the drive by the centres of power in the West to impose their hegemony over the Muslim world. As we have pointed out so often in the past, control over oil and strategic sea-lanes, the majority of which border Muslim countries, is the motivating force.

However, to establish this control and dominance, the centres of power also have to target Islam and its followers. Islam has often served as the ideological inspiration for resistance to Western hegemony. This is why hegemonic forces have invariably sought to malign the religion in order to destroy resistance and dominance.

Predictably, a number of Muslim governments and religious leaders have issued statements condemning the film. The secretary-general of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu,has described the film as “incitement for hatred and an act of defamation of religions, solely intended to provoke unrest and intolerance among people of different religious beliefs.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also condemned the airing of Fitna “ in the strongest terms” and added “ there is no justification for hate speech or incitement to violence.”

The Dutch government, it should also be emphasised, has distanced itself from the Wilders’ film.

Muslims in different parts of the world have been holding demonstrations to protest against the film.

It is important that protests remain peaceful. Otherwise, Muslims would be playing into the hands of those who are hell-bent on portraying Islam and Muslims as violence prone.

More than organising protests, the substantial Muslim population in the Netherlands should mobilise resources and produce films that tell the truth about the Quran, the Prophet, and Muslim history. These films should be shown in cinemas and posted on the Internet.

The Dutch people should be made aware that there are references to violence in most scriptures – the Torah and the Talmud; the old and new Testaments; the Quran and the Hadiths; the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha. What one should not do is to take them out of context, distort and misinterpret them.

There has been a proposal to boycott Dutch products in Malaysia. It is worth considering. Middle and high-income Muslim countries import a lot of foodstuff from the Netherlands.

As an immediate measure, it may be more feasible for Muslim governments to subject to a thorough review all current projects and contracts with Dutch companies.

Both a consumer boycott and a review would serve to persuade Dutch citizens that it is in their own interest to isolate of racists like Geert Wilders.

DR CHANDRA MUZAFFAR,

President,

International Movement for a Just World (JUST).

Malaysia Today Letters: Muslim Leaders, Denounce The Extremists As Well As Geert Wilders!

April 2, 08

If you have no idea what this is all about:

Watch: Michelle Malkin or Moonbattery or The Jawa Report

Read: Wikipedia on Fitna 

My first letter to Malaysia Today, regarding the same thing I griped about in Protests Against Geert Wilders’ Fitna and What Message Moderate Muslim Leaders Are Sending.

I am suitably proud. Thanks to the e-mail Discussers who finally influenced me to become a Malaysia Today member (you know who you are!).

This other letter-sender notes something along similar lines.

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From Malaysia Today Letters/Surat, 2 April 2008:

   MuslimLeadersDenounce1   MuslimLeadersDenounce2

Muslim leaders, denounce the extremists as well as Geert Wilders!       

Posted by Vineeth Menon    
Wednesday, 02 April 2008
 

Recently, Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders released a controversial film called ‘Fitna’. The film is widely viewed as intentionally insulting and provocative towards Islam.

Muslims worldwide have protested and denounced the film, including Malaysia’s own Dr. Mahathir and the BN Youth. Local stores are boycotting Dutch products, at the behest of the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia.

They are saddened by the film’s misportrayal of Islam as inherently violent and intolerant.

I too am saddened to note that even as the Muslim leaders of the world are outraged at Westerners deemed to be mocking Islam, not a peep is uttered about the extremists who call for hate and death against non-Muslims – as captured on video in the Dutch film.

These extremists are the same ones who cause Westerners to view Islam as a violent religion. These extremists are the ones hijacking and ‘rebranding’ Islam as a religion of war and intolerance in the public eye.

Yet none of the moderate Muslim leaders denounce or reject them.

Instead, more calls for boycotts and more protests made are made against Wilders – a man whose image of Islam is coloured by those very extremists.

What image does this portray when every single time, the Muslim leaders of the world attack the messenger (Wilders or newspaper cartoons), but not the message (extremists who are successfully using Islam as a rallying cry for violence and hatred)?

I’ll make an educated guess on the above question: In this post-9/11 world, Westerners will suspect that the moderates secretly support the views of those extremists. If not, then why do the moderates spend so much time denouncing a filmmaker, but spend no time denouncing the extremists?

In fact, I am certain that Wilders is counting on such a knee-jerk reaction from Muslims, with maybe some riots and spontaneous murders of innocent bystanders thrown in (like what happened with the Jyllands-Posten controversy), in order to prove his point to the world.

If his aim is to influence public opinion into seeing all Muslims as violent extremists, then I’m afraid that the prominent Muslim moderates are only aiding his agenda.

Muslims of the world, show the West that the those who preach hate are not the true stewards of your faith – denounce the extremists along with Geert Wilders!

SCOTT THONG YU YUEN

Protests Against Geert Wilders’ Fitna and What Message Moderate Muslim Leaders Are Sending

March 31, 08

The following is my comment as posted on Haris Ibrahim’s blog, but I believe it is a sombre and serious message for all Muslims who may come across this post.

If you haven’t seen even seen the film or read the summary, please do before you go off and protest too!

Watch: Michelle Malkin or Moonbattery or The Jawa Report

Read: Wikipedia on Fitna

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From http://harismibrahim.wordpress.com/2008/03/30/fitna/#comment-12447:

Sir Haris, I too am saddened to note that – yet again – the Muslim leaders of the world are venting their outrage at Westerners deemed to be mocking Islam by portraying it as a violent religion…

Yet not one of them utters a peep about the extremists who call for death and jihad against nonMuslims as featured preaching hate in the film – the same ones who cause Westerners to view Islam as a violent religion.

Those extremists are the ones hijacking and ‘rebranding’ Islam as a religion of war and intolerance in the public eye. Yet none of the moderate Muslim leaders denounce or reject them.

Instead, they issue more calls for boycotts, more protests, perhaps more fatwas against Wilders, a man whose image of Islam is coloured by those very extremists and their multiple death threats against him (even before the film).

What image does this portray to the West when every single time, the Muslim leaders of the world attack the messenger (Wilders or newspaper cartoons), but not the message (extremists who are successfully using Islam as a rallying cry for violence and hatred)?

I’ll make an educated guess on the above question: Westerners will suspect that the so-called moderates secretly support the views of those extremists.

In fact, I am certain that Wilders is counting on such a knee-jerk reaction from Muslims, with maybe some riots and spontaneous murders or innocent bystanders thrown in (like what happened with the Jyllands-Posten controversy), in order to prove his point to the world.

If his aim is to influence public opinion into seeing all Muslims as violent extremists, then I’m afraid that Mahathir and all the rest of the prominent Muslim moderates are only aiding his agenda.

Muslims of the world, fix this PR disaster now – denounce the extremists featured in Fitna along with Geert Wilders!

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Related news links:

Yahoo News: Malaysia’s Mahathir says Muslims ‘annoyed’ by Dutch film

The Star: BN Youth condemns Dutch film

The Star National Fatwa Council rules Fitna an insult, calls for boycott of all Dutch products

The Star: Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia calls for boycott of Dutch goods

The Star: Mydin stores mark Dutch products so consumers can avoid them

Reuters: Muslim nations condemn Dutch MP’s provocative film

Michelle Malkin: Fitna follow-up: The usual suspects do the usual thing

Wikipedia on reactions to the film’s release


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