04/01/2008, 00.00
ISLAM
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The film "Fitna" creates scandal among Muslims

The raw Dutch short film displays the connection between violence, terrorism, and the Qur'an. It has been condemned by Indonesia, Malaysia, and Syria, in addition to the Dutch government and the UN secretary general.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The film "Fitna" by Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders continues to meet with rejection and criticism from the Islamic world.  Yesterday, Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono banned the distribution of the film, and said that its creator will be denied permission to enter the country, a former Dutch colony.  News about the film, reported by Indonesian television stations, produced some protests by students and small groups in front of the Dutch embassy in Jakarta. Susilo called upon the demonstrators not to give in to acts of violence, because "Islam is a religion of peace".

The short film "Fitna" (in Arabic: contest, struggle) shows images of terrorist attacks in conjunction with passages from the Qur'an that incite violence.  The film displays disturbing footage from the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York, on the London metro, and on the train in Madrid, in addition to some decapitations and murders.  All of it is intercut with images and verses from the Qur'an.  Executions of adulterous women and homosexuals are also shown in order to criticise sharia, again accompanied by quotations from the Qur'an, and the exponential growth of the Muslim population in Holland and Europe is shown.  At the end, a hand turns the page of the sacred book of Islam, and in the darkness the sound of a page being ripped is heard, together with the message: "Enough with Islamisation.  Defend our freedom".

"Fitna" has been condemned by the Dutch government, and the national television channels have preferred not to show it, but the short film continues to spread over the internet.  UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has declared it "offensive and Islamophobic".

Some experts think that the film will have the same impact as the cartoons against Mohammed published by a Danish newspaper, which two years ago unleashed uprisings, clashes, demonstrations, and boycotts all over the Islamic world.  So far no violence connected to the film has been noted.  But the grand mufti of Syria has condemned Wilders, leaving open the possibility of violence against him.  In Malaysia, the Islamic opposition party has sent a note of protest to the Dutch embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and is implementing a boycott of Dutch products.  Other condemnations have been issued by Iran and Bangladesh.

In Pakistan, Altaf Hussain, head of the Muttahida Qaumi movement, has condemned the film as "contrary to the sentiments of Islam".  The creator of the film now lives under guard, having received many death threats.

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