Saturday, March 11, 2017

PCG's Positive Reaction to Anti-Muslim Film, Fitna (2008)

PCG has a long history of demonizing and scare mongering against Muslims. One particularly troubling article with this topic may be seen in article released in 2008.

Back on March 27, 2008 the controversial right wing, anti-immigrant Dutch politician, Geert Wilders, released a 17 minute short film entitled Fitna, which was presented the Islamic religion in a negative way. Just a few days later PCG published an article about it on their website. The author, Phillip Nice, is today the associate editor of PCG's recruitment magazine, The Philadelphia Trumpet. (Phillip Nice, "Fitna" Film Foreshadows Europe/Islam War, April 1, 2008.)

Nice condemns politicians for supposedly "bending themselves out of shape finding ways to accommodate increasingly belligerent Islamic ideology". Islamophobia is often used to condemn liberals as somehow collaborating with or being negatively influenced by Muslims.
"I don’t hate Muslims. I hate their book and their ideology.” Geert Wilders is a politician, but he’s not politically correct. While many of his Western contemporaries are bending themselves out of shape finding ways to accommodate increasingly belligerent Islamic ideology, Wilders is bent on showing the world “the real face of Islam,” as he told the Observer.
By saying he is not politically correct Nice is showing that the PCG leadership chooses to sympathize with Wilders.

Nice sympathetically describes Fitna as a shrill "SOS save-our-society distress call". One wonders if the society Nice would include Muslims in it? Will they be welcomed in that society like other religious minorities?
Head of the Dutch right-wing Party for Freedom, the outspoken Catholic has consistently made headlines with confrontational anti-Islamic rhetoric calling for radical mosques to be shut down, labeling the Koran “an inspiration for murder” and saying that if Mohammed were alive today, he would have him “tarred and feathered as an extremist and deported if he were in Holland.” His latest and shrillest SOS save-our-society distress call is called Fitna. And if Muslims didn’t hate Geert before, they do now.
Actually Wilders is agnostic.

Although Nice portrays Wilders sympathetically he makes no mention of Fitna's condemnation of the suppression of homosexuals in some Muslim societies. PCG condemns homosexuality as sinful.

Nice then describes the short film and mentions images of horrific violence shown in the film.
Fitna, an Arabic word that connotes a schism or conflict, is a provocative, if low-budget, 15-minute presentation that links six violence-promoting passages from the Koran with footage of Islamist extremist terror attacks. Flight 175 piercing the South Tower in a stomach-sickening orange explosion of fiery shards; survivors of the initial explosion limply hanging out of windows billowing out choking smoke; the falling man. A horrific clip of a thick, bustling throng of commuters at Atocha disappearing in a violent, blazing concussion. Warped wreckage of trains in Spain and double-decker red buses in London. Theo van Gogh’s stabbed body lying in the street. And worse: Executions; hangings; blasted, burned corpses; amputated bodies being dragged through the street; and ghastly beheadings. 
Curiously Nice never seems to wonder why this film would show passages from the Koran which were written long before living memory and these images of violence. This arbitrarily presents different things together. A viewer could think about how the film is constructed and wonder why Wilders and Co. chose to do this in this film. But such thoughts seems to have never occurred to the author.

The problem with showing images from these terrible events with passages from the Koran is that it simplistically implies that all Muslims bear some of guilt with such acts of violence wearing away the distinction between the guilty and the innocent. This also fails to take context into account. These terrible events such as 9/11, the terrorist attack in Madrid, the terrorist attack in London and the murder of Theo van Gogh are taken out of context. These ghastly acts were committed by Al Qaeda extremists and those who think like them.

Those blood thirsty extremists did not develop their warped ideology simply by reading the Koran. Their ideology was partly influenced by the ideas and teachings of Ibn Taymiyyah (1263-1328) and 18th Century Wahhabism. In the modern era Al Qaeda like extremism came into being arising from predecessors such as Sayyid Qutb and Abdullah Azzam. Their ideas developed into the current forms of extremism now familiar to the world through infamous extremists like Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. (More information on this topic may be seen in  the 2008 book Al Qaeda in its Own Words, edited by Gilles Kappel and Jean-Pierre Milelli.)
Sprinkled into this gory, homicidal mix are clips of Muslims crying out: “What makes Allah happy? Allah is happy when non-Muslims get killed”; “Annihilate the infidels and the polytheists”; “Allah, count them and kill them to the last one, and don’t leave even one”; “Throats must be slit and skulls must be shattered”; “[The Jews] are the ones who must be butchered and killed”; “Even the stone will say, ‘Oh Muslim, A Jew is hiding behind me, come and cut off his head”; and “[The Jews] are apes and pigs.” 
Most of the quotes are from fanatical clerics. But that last one was from one of the most beautiful, precious 3-year-old girls you ever could see.
What the 3-year-old girl said is wrong, deplorable and anti-Semitic. But does it not occur to Nice that this 3-year-old girl is saying what she heard from others? She is imitating the adults around her. Why are they ignored in this passage? The author shows a strange naivety with this passage. He mentions what this 3-year-old girl said and it never occurs to him to wonder about what he sees. Does it not occur to him that this girl does not see the world as adults do? How could a three year child do so? He seems to just believe what he is shown and does not analyse what this film shows to him. He takes Wilders' film at face value and never presents any reservations about it.

***

It is a common trope of modern day Islamophobia to vilify mainstream politicians for wanting to live in peace with Muslims. Conciliatory acts and words are hysterically portrayed as somehow submitting and caving in to the political pressure of Muslims.

That trope is evident here as widespread condemnation of Fitna from the European Union, the United Nations and the Foreign Minister of Australia, Stephen Smith, is presented as being like a milder forms of the threats of violence that some had shamefully made against him. It is clear that Nice is not impressed with their criticism. Instead of trying to understand why these persons would be concerned about this film their criticism is presented as ignoring "a growing threat in Islam".
Outraged Islamists have reacted with e-mails, placards and rhetoric advocating a simple precept: Kill Geert Wilders. 
Westerners offered slightly softer denunciations, with the European Union, the United Nations, and political and business leaders criticizing the film as inflammatory and, as Australia’s foreign minister stated, intended to “generate discord between faith communities.” At the same time, many have defended the right to free speech—a right Islamists who carry “Freedom go to hell” signs couldn’t care less about. Although such blunt and provocative leaders as Wilders are toward the fringe of power politics, Europeans are recognizing a growing threat in Islam, and leaders like Edmund Stoiber, Pope Benedict and others are tapping that sentiment.
Nice portrays Fitna as a sign of a future cataclysmic war between Europe and "Islam" (inaccurately imagined as a single political interest). Note the hysterical and emotive language used to incite panic in the readers.
This is why Fitna foreshadows a conflict more dire than Wilders could ever imagine. Islam and historically Catholic Europe are on a collision course. And Europe is beginning to ease off the clutch and onto the gas.
Presumably this is the "Europe/Islam War" mentioned in the title of the article. This idea is quite similar to PCG's false prophecy of "race war," a racist claim that in the near future African-Americans will launch a wave of riots against the white majority in the United States. It seems a similar dire scenario is claimed to soon occur in Europe but instead of scare mongering against African-Americans the villain's role is instead given to Muslim immigrants.

But here "Islam" is inaccurately portrayed as a single political interest. But in reality the Islamic world is composed of numerous nation states which each have their own political interests and even within each of these nation states their differing interests. Some are rich. Some are poor. Some are right wing. Some are left wing. Some are religious. Some are very religious. Some are secular. Some place themselves in the middle. Some are nationalists. But this complex diversity is ignored and instead the Muslim world and Muslim immigrants are imagined as a single political interest which is presented as a sinister and violent threat to white Europeans.

Nice insists that Muslims will not integrate with the Europeans, Intriguingly instead of talking about Muslim immigrants he just uses the name of their religion to describe them. Their individual identities as distinct human beings are ignored.
Islam has integrated with its neighbor/host continent like hot cooking oil and water. Like a hijab-clad figure goes with a Frankfurt Internet cafe. Like ritual cuttings of children goes with a Provence nursery school. Like “honor” killings go with the Zurich evening news. Values and traditions like these seem out of place, to say the least, amid neo—yet classical—Europe.
Nice hysterically imagines that the result of "Islam's" (here meaning immigrants who happen to be Muslim) failure to integrate within Europe will result in Islam dying.
Something’s got to give. Islam cannot and will not be absorbed into Western culture. It will die before it does—literally. Islam will find that it can only push a German-dominated Europe so far.
How strange it is to see Nice making such bizarre and fanciful statements in response to a 17 minute short film from a far right Dutch politician. It seems as though Nice imagines some sort of catastrophe will soon occur to the Muslim world. Elsewhere PCG teaches that Iran will arise as the "King of the South" fated to be conquered by a European military superpower before Christ's return. Consequently it can be inferred that he is alluding to a supposed future war between Europe and Iran. That seems very unlikely. And even if some awful catastrophe were to occur it would not be a sign that PCG's Christ will soon return.

Nice then makes the hysterical claim that "radical Islam" is plotting to take over Europe
This can go one of two ways. Europe can allow the raging fire of radical Islam to push and push until it achieves its goal of taking over the Continent, as it has generously proclaimed well ahead of time. Or: fitna.
What hysterical nonsense. While it is true that some Muslims try to convert others to suggest that Muslims are plotting to take over the continent is quite unrealistic. Even if some Muslims wish to convert everyone it is simply not going to happen. That is an unreasonable fear.
For much of the 20th century, Herbert W. Armstrong forecasted the rise of a Middle Eastern power bloc that would push at and ultimately war against its northwestern neighbor in one of the most consequential actions of the next world war. Today’s headlines are fulfilling the early stages of that forecast on a daily basis. To find out more about radical Islam’s rapidly consolidating power and pushy agenda, as well as Europe’s ultimate response to the conflict, [and he advertises two booklets promoting PCG's dogmas.]
HWA predicted that Christ would return by 2005 in his 1985 book, Mystery of the Ages. PCG has removed that offending passage from their copies of that book. And despite HWA's evident failure to see the future Nice continues to try and convince others to believe that HWA could see the future.

However PCG are but false prophets. There is no need to fear their dire pronouncements about the future.

No comments:

Post a Comment