I felt ashamed standing in front of the Prophet’s grave. I thought of the grave mistake which I had made by producing that sacrilegious film. I hope that Allah will forgive me and accept my repentance.
Arnoud van Doorn has proven extremism is self defeating. Who would have thought this producer of that once vilified film Fitnah which demonized and slandered Muslims would one day embrace them as his equal but his story is proof that our destinies are not solely ours and neither is the knowledge of our future. My hope is van Doorn will be a committed Muslim and citizen of his country who will effectively counteract the bigotry and racism of his countrymen.
Robert Salaam of the blog The American Muslim(yes there are two blogs by that name and both are excellent) asks an interesting question that should be raised in light of the recent terrorist bombings in Boston. His question is the media responsible for some of the anti-Islamic backlash directed towards Muslims and Muslim organizations and places of worship. Take a look at a brief excerpt
What caused a 52-year-old former Marine to leave his home in Indiana and drive for 2 hours to a Mosque in Ohio, with the intention to burn it down? According to Randy Linn, it was television’s constant portrayal of Muslims as wanting to do nothing more than kill Americans. After some heavy drinking, Linn made his way to the Mosque, carrying a firearm. He broke in and started the fire. He went room to room presumably to do God only knows what. Fortunately no one was at the Mosque at the time. Also fortunately, the sprinkler system kicked in and extinguished the flames. Randy Linn was later caught after being identified in surveillance photos.
In court, when asked whether he thought all Muslims were terrorists, Linn responded in affirmation.
As a Muslim and former Marine, this hate crime disturbs me. It disturbs me not so much because Randy Linn—by his own actions and admissions—betrayed that sacred trust and dedication to the values we Marines hold so dear. Instead, it disturbs me because his reasoning behind the betrayal of not only our Marine Corps values, but also the boundaries of common decency and citizenry.
It’s telling and worth noting that Randy Linn, like many others who use terrorism as means of vengeance against Muslims, often cite the Media as a major source in the influence of how they perceive members of the Islamic faith. Some anti-Muslim terrorists like Anders Breivik, who murdered 77 people because of his anti-Muslim beliefs, go so as far as quoting and identifying popular anti-Muslim antagonists by name in their writings such as Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, Daniel Pipes, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Geert Wilders, and many others as the inspiration behind their beliefs. Each of these individuals has found television, print, and political success with their extremist ideologies.
Salaam’s point is a good and valid one. Muslims are always on the defensive, pushed to deny and condemn even the slightest indiscretion made by any Muslim anywhere in the world. Even if the condemnation is accepted it rarely finds any traction in major media, and even more rarely are Muslims given a platform to weigh in on matters that affect the national conscience. However, people with very definite patterns of hate speech and really incendiary rhetoric that borders on hysteria, designed to take the country over the edge to brink of civil war, are given repeated voice in media to promote division among Americans which in the case outlined above drives people to violence. Yet they are not held responsible for this invisible crime and are given a “pass” by the media….nay, some would say an audience. Such is the hypocrisy of American politics and news reporting; be careful America. Don’t give voice to hatred and division. Fix this!
Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician who seems to attach every act of evil perpetrated on the earth to Muslims, Islamist, or whatever else he calls members of the Islamic faith and has won the support of such American racist bigots as Daniel Pipes, Frank Gaffney, et.co will have a stretch to explain the latest news out of Holland regarding the death and destruction visited upon the citizens of his country by some whacked out white dude who was from Holland who wasn’t Muslim but was a member of a gun club and used a “machine gun” to kill 7 people including himself.
Racists xenophobes like Wilders accentuate the most minute details or imperfections in everyone but themselves or “their kind” so no doubt this horrible act of murder will not even get an honorable mention from him. My sympathies to the victims of this crime and I don’t believe that all white males are homicidal, evil people hell bent on destroying civilization, although that case might be made by some. However, this is the type of fear mongering that Wilders and people of his ilk engage in everyday to the whoops and cheers of many who have fallen prey to the dark side of human division and racism. I’m reminded that two world wars were fought on the soil of Europe because someone over there engaged in just such rhetoric.
So we have one of the most tragic events to happen in the Netherlands where 7 people died and it wasn’t done at the hands of a Muslim. Geert, do you get it yet? Evil is an equal opportunity destroyer. The seven deadly sins, which “murder” is not considered one but pride is, are color blind. You are a good example of that.
Western pundits are trying to determine how to stop the spread of Islam in their borders. Surely, stemming the tide of immigration can do that, or so they say, but what do they do about the number of citizens in the country who convert to Islam and become Muslims? That is the dilemma for Islamophobes and the reason why they have increased their rhetoric, to include talk about companies that offer choices to consumers as somehow abetting terrorism, or ballot initiatives that are unconstitutional, in order to demonize not just Muslims who we envision as being foreign evil, looking hostile types but people who look just like you or me or are members of our own families. Indeed, look at the headline of this article, which seems to suggest at first glance an invasion of Britain by Muslims but which merely points out that people are adopting this faith, by choice, inspite of all that’s being said and done to get them to do otherwise.
What western democracies want to do and for now can’t, is restrict the choice it offers its citizens to live their lives. In some ways, France has already done that for Muslim women, making the scarf in public schools and some jobs, or certain swim wear at public pools and beaches illegal and in the process France has become a secular, un-democratic society. In order to continue such draconian measures, propagandists in conjunction with circles inside government are launching the ‘demonization campaign’ to make Islam as unpalatable as possible to the population, and if that doesn’t work then institute laws much like France’s to make it illegal to practice Islam. In the not too distant future it won’t be long before these western “democracies” become communist countries in all but name just to stop the appearance of Islam on their shores, and most likely that will be completely acceptable to all but the adherents of the faith.