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Author Topic: Koran Film: 'The Day Will Come When We Will Rule America'  (Read 4020 times)
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« on: March 29, 2008, 02:33:57 PM »

Koran Film: 'The Day Will Come When We Will Rule America'
By Patrick Goodenough
CNSNews.com International Editor
March 28, 2008

(CNSNews.com) - It wasn't an April Fool's joke after all: Dutch politician Geert Wilders has posted his short film on the Koran online, as promised, before the end of March. Within hours, millions of people had accessed it.

The film juxtaposes graphic images of Islamist terrorism -- including bombings and beheadings -- with verses from the Koran, footage of Muslim clerics endorsing violence, and newspaper headlines dealing with various aspects of radical Islam.

In recent months reports on the planned film, entitled Fitna (an Arabic word in the Koran translated as "strife" or "ordeal"), have prompted reactions in the Islamic world ranging from allegations of blasphemy and diplomatic maneuvers to angry street demonstrations.

European authorities warned of more violence to come, and the Dutch government urged Wilders to drop the plan. Dutch television channels declined to broadcast his film.

Wilders' earlier attempts to post the movie on a Web site he registered for that purpose ran into trouble when the U.S.-based hosting company suspended it, citing complaints, even though the site was merely a holding page with no accessible content.

The right-wing lawmaker subsequently succeeded in getting the film posted on the British video sharing site, LiveLeak. Despite a few hitches overnight, as of early Friday morning (U.S. eastern daylight time) the English version had been viewed more than 2.5 million times and the Dutch one 2.7 million times, according to figures on the site.

LiveLeak said in a statement it did not endorse the views expressed in the film, and that many of those involved with the site found some of the material offensive. But, it added, "our being offended is no reason to deny Mr. Wilders the right to have his film seen. Pre-emptive censorship or a discriminatory policy towards freedom of speech are both things we oppose here."

Earlier, weeks of delays in the film's expected release sparked some speculation that the whole thing was an experiment or elaborate hoax, with Wilders using the threat of the film to draw out reactions -- from Muslims and European governments alike -- and so prove his contention that Islam brooks no criticism, and that Western governments will bend over backwards to appease radical Muslims.

Fueling the hoax theory was a Web site set up with a similar URL to Wilders' -- and since taken down -- where a message read in part: "It should be fairly obvious by now that there is no 'Fitna' movie ... we all know the month of April starts with the 1st April and that day is famous for (practical) jokes ... if you are here to find the Famous Fitna movie I guess you have been had. On the other hand, if you are worried about how much unrest the rumor of a 15 minute movie about Islam can create, maybe it is time to identify and deal with the issues at hand."

But Wilders last week assured supporters and detractors that it was not an April Fool's joke, and on Thursday the film was finally available for people to view and judge for themselves.

'Tear out the hateful verses'

Running at just over 16 minutes, it begins with a warning about shocking images to follow, then gives a glimpse of the most infamous of the 12 "Mohammed" cartoons published by Danish newspapers in 2005 -- the one depicting the prophet's turban as a bomb with a lit fuse.

A digital clock starts ticking down, and a translation of a verse from the Koran (sura 8:30) appears: "Prepare for them whatever force and cavalry ye are capable of gathering to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies ..."

Newsclips then show hijacked planes being flown into New York's World Trade Center in September 2001, people fleeing in fear, falling bodies, and a voiceover of a phone conversation with a terrified person inside the building.

Scenes of Islamist bombing attacks in Madrid (March 2004) and London (July 2005) follow, as do images of victims' bodies, interlaced with quotations by radical Arab and Iranian clerics.

"What makes Allah happy?" one asks. "Allah is happy when non-Muslims get killed ..." Declares another: "Annihilate the infidels and the polytheists ... Allah, count them and kill them to the last one."

"We have ruled the world before, and by Allah, the day will come when we will rule the entire world again," a preacher tells his congregants. "The day will come when we will rule America."

The film also shows a three-year-old Muslim girl saying Jews are "apes and pigs," images of protesting Muslims holding signs such as "Be prepared for the real Holocaust" and "God bless Hitler," and a clip showing terrorists beheading a Western hostage in Iraq.

Among the scenes featured is one of Albanian Muslims desecrating a church in Kosovo, taken from a video posted by Cybercast News Service in 2005 (see earlier story; see earlier video).

Wilders' film features fragments of interviews with the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, a critic of Islamism who was murdered by a Muslim extremist in 2004, and newspaper headlines relating to Islamic death threats against others, including British author Salman Rushdie, former Dutch lawmaker Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Wilders himself.

Interspersed with the images are other verses from the Koran, including 4: 56 ("Those who have disbelieved our signs, we shall roast them in fire"); 47:4 ("Therefore, when ye meet the unbelievers, smite at their necks ..."); and 8:39 ("Fight them until there is no dissension and the religion is entirely Allah's").

Wilders then turns to his own country, which he says is "under the spell of Islam." The film notes that the number of Muslims there has risen over the past century from 54,000 to 944,000 in 2004, having more than doubled in number since 1990 alone. (The total population of the Netherlands is around 16 million).

One of the rumors circulating about the film in recent months held that it would feature Wilders tearing up a copy of the Koran.

Towards the end, the film shows a hand turning a page of an Arabic Koran. Over a blank screen, a ripping noise follows, and then the words, "The sound you heard was a page being removed from the phonebook. For it is not up to me, but for Muslims themselves, to tear out the hateful verses from the Koran."

Wilders ends by noting that Nazism was crushed in 1945 and Communism fell in 1989. "Now," he concludes, "the Islamic ideology has to be defeated."

Koran Film: 'The Day Will Come When We Will Rule America'

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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2008, 02:36:41 PM »

Dutch Gov't Repudiates Koran Film
By Patrick Goodenough
CNSNews.com International Editor
March 28, 2008

(CNSNews.com) - Bracing for reaction, the Dutch government late Thursday distanced itself from a lawmaker's newly released film linking the Koran to violence and terrorism, saying the problem was "not religion, but the misuse of religion to sow hatred and intolerance."

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, whose government earlier urged Geert Wilders not to release the provocative film, said he rejected its equation of Islam with violence. The film was posted on the Internet on Thursday (see related story).

"The vast majority of Muslims reject extremism and violence," Balkenende said in a statement read during a press conference. "In fact, the victims are often also Muslims.

"We therefore regret that Mr. Wilders has released this film. We believe it serves no purpose other than to cause offence. But feeling offended must never be used as an excuse for aggression and threats."

Wilders late last month accused the prime minister of cowardice, saying he appeared to be so fearful of the consequences of the film that was willing to capitulate, rather than defend democratic freedoms.

On Thursday, he conceded that Muslims may be unhappy with his film, and said he hoped it would not spark disturbances.

Radio Netherlands quoted him as saying the film was not intended to provoke disruption, but to make clear the dangers, and he hoped it would lead to debate in the Netherlands and elsewhere.

Wilders is the leader of the Freedom Party, a small right-wing party he formed in 2004 under the slogan "Stop the Islamization of the Netherlands." It holds nine seats in the 150-member Dutch parliament, the Tweede Kamer.

Wilders has lived with security protection since the 2004 murder of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, who was targeted for making a documentary about the treatment of women under Islam.

Dutch security officials this month raised the national risk level to "substantial" and Dutch embassies have been circulating statements on the government's view of the film, amid concerns about a possible backlash against Dutch nationals and business interests.

The Dutch Council of Churches Thursday called the film a "caricature" of Islam, and a Dutch lawyer, Els Lucas, lodged a legal complaint against Wilders, accusing him of inciting violence and discrimination. Lucas has in the past filed complaints against Wilders, charging that his stance on Islam violates Dutch law.

In a separate legal challenge, a Dutch court Friday is due to consider a petition, brought by the country's Islamic Federation before the film's release, asking whether the material breaches hate-speech laws.

Early reactions among Dutch Muslims to the film's release reportedly were muted.

When the film went online, it was late at night or early Friday morning in large parts of the Islamic world -- including Pakistan and Indonesia, where protests against the film took place earlier.

The Web sites of many major newspapers in the Middle East and South Asia were slow to pick up the story, although leading Arabic television networks al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya on their English-language sites carried wire service reports on the release of the film.

There was no immediate reaction from key Islamic bodies such as the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which has been leading a drive to have the "defamation" of Islam outlawed.

(Hours before the film was released, the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva passed a resolution, proposed by Islamic states, urging governments to prohibit the defamation of religions, and expressing "deep concern at attempts to identify Islam with terrorism, violence and human rights violations." The vote was 21-10, with European countries and Canada leading the opposition.)

Reaction may be forthcoming this weekend from the Arab League, which begins a summit in Damascus. Some key leaders are staying away because of Lebanon's drawn-out political crisis, but the Koran film's release could provide the participants with an issue to rally round.

The Arab European League (AEL), a Belgium-based party, accused Wilders of collaborating with "Zionists" to make the movie.

"His political agenda and his attacks against Islam and Muslims co[m]bined with his unconditional support to the Zionist project in occupied Palestine is welcomed and supported by the majority in the Zionist camp."

The AEL was founded in 2000 by a Lebanese-born political activist. Recent postings on its Web site praise the assassinated Hizballah terror chief Imad Mughniyah, and call last month's murder of eight Israeli religious students "a heroic attack," congratulating the "resistance martyrs" responsible.

'Unfair translation'

Comments by Muslims carried on the Islam Online Web site reacting to the film's release included accusations of Islamophobia, warnings of the fate awaiting "infidels," and allegations about "unfair" translations of the Koran used in the film.

Different translations of the Koran do differ slightly. For instance, one of the cited verses, 4: 56, is translated in the film as: "Those who have disbelieved our signs, we shall roast them in fire ..."

The same lines appear in different translations as:

-- "Those who reject our Signs, We shall soon cast into the Fire." (Yusuf Ali)

-- "Lo! Those who disbelieve Our revelations, We shall expose them to the Fire." (Pickthal)

-- "(As for) those who disbelieve in Our communications, We shall make them enter fire." (Shakir)

Also, whereas the film's translation of 8:60 urges Muslims to "strike terror" into the hearts of Allah's enemies (the same words are used in Yusuf Ali's translation), others use verbs like "dismay" (Pickthal) or "frighten" (Shakir).

The film does not indicate what translation Wilders used.

Some Islamic scholars say that any translation of the Koran from the original Arabic is no longer the literal word of Allah.

Dutch Gov't Repudiates Koran Film

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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2008, 03:10:15 PM »

Muslim nations condemn Dutch Koran film
Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:50pm EDT

By Niclas Mika

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Muslim nations on Friday condemned a film by a Dutch lawmaker that accuses the Koran of inciting violence, and Dutch Muslim leaders urged restraint.

Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-immigration Freedom Party, launched his short video on the Internet on Thursday evening, prompting an al Qaeda-linked website to call for his death and increased attacks on Dutch soldiers in Afghanistan.

"The correct Sharia (Islamic law) response is to cut (off) his head and let him follow his predecessor, van Gogh, to hell," a member of Al-Ekhlaas wrote on the al-Qaeda affiliated forum, according to the SITE Institute, a U.S.-based terrorism monitoring service.

Dutch director Theo van Gogh, who made a film accusing Islam of condoning violence against women, was murdered by a militant Islamist in 2004.

Wilders' film "Fitna" -- an Arabic term sometimes translated as "strife" -- intersperses images of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and Islamist bombings with quotations from the Koran, Islam's holy book.

The film urges Muslims to tear out "hate-filled" verses from the Koran and starts and ends with a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad with a bomb under his turban, accompanied by the sound of ticking.

The cartoon, first published in Danish newspapers, ignited violent protests around the world and a boycott of Danish products in 2006. Many Muslims regard any depiction of the Prophet as offensive.

"The film is solely intended to incite and provoke unrest and intolerance among people of different religious beliefs and to jeopardize world peace and stability," the 57-nation Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the film as "offensively anti-Islamic" and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour said it was "hateful".

Iran called the film heinous, blasphemous and anti-Islamic, and Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation and a former Dutch colony, said it was an "insult to Islam, hidden under the cover of freedom of expression".

The Saudi Arabian embassy in The Hague said the film was provocative and full of errors and incorrect allegations that could lead to hate towards Muslims, news agency ANP reported.


Dutch Muslim leaders appealed for calm and called on Muslims worldwide not to target Dutch interests. The Netherlands is home to about 1 million Muslims out of a population of 16 million.

"Our call to Muslims abroad is follow our strategy and don't frustrate it with any violent incidents," Mohammed Rabbae, a Dutch Moroccan community leader, told journalists in an Amsterdam mosque.

The Dutch Islamic Federation went to court on Friday to try to stop Wilders from comparing Islam to fascism.

Pollster Maurice de Hond found that only 12 percent of those questioned thought the film represented Islam accurately, but 43 percent agreed Islam was a serious threat to the Netherlands over the long term.

Wilders has been under guard because of death threats since the murder of van Gogh and Freedom Party support rose in anticipation of the film to about 10 percent of the vote.

The Dutch government has distanced itself from Wilders and tried to prevent the kind of backlash Denmark suffered over the Prophet cartoons.

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said he was proud of how Dutch Muslim organizations responded to the film but that it was too early to draw conclusions about the international consequences: "There are reasons for continued alertness."

NATO has expressed concern the film could worsen security for foreign forces in Afghanistan, including 1,650 Dutch troops. A Belgian government spokesman said security had been stepped up at Dutch diplomatic missions in the country.

Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard objected to the use of his drawing of the Prophet Mohammad, saying it was shown out of context and that he had taken legal action to have it removed.

SITE said responses to the Wilders film on al Ekhlaas and another al-Qaeda affiliated website, al Hesbah, were significantly lower in volume compared to the cartoons uproar.

Muslim nations condemn Dutch Koran film
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