Egypt: Bloggers Divided over Geert Wilders

Date posted: January 23, 2009


Amsterdam Appeals Court decided that Geert Wilders, Dutch MP, will be put on trial for his views on Islam. Wilders, and his movie had caused a huge anger wave last year, with both sides denouncing each other. While Perwin Ali thought he deserves to be tried, An Egyptian is blogging for his release. Perwin analyzed Wilders documentary Fitna,:

Personally, I thought his movie was a one-sided, biased look at Islam, that could be easily refuted, and shown for how out of context it really is, by anyone who understands Islam properly. His documentary is filled with half truths. For example: When he quoted Surah 8 Verse 60 "Prepare for them whatever force and cavalry ye are able of gathering to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies, of Allah and your enemies." He didn't continue to the very next verse, Verse 61, of the same Surah "But if they incline to peace, you (also) incline to it, and put your trust in Gof. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower"

Perwin gave more examples of how Wilders took the verses out of context and went on to refute his argument:

On the flip side, just like there are all the verses that Wilders used, there are others that talk about, things like, freedom of religion, talking (and not fighting) as method of persuasion, patience, and acceptance of others to name a few supposedly "humanitarian" ideals (as Wilders likes to call it). For example: Surah 109 "Say: O ye that reject Faith! I worship not the which ye worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship. And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship. Nor will ye worship that which I worship, To you be your Way, and to be mine."

She also found him guilty of what he was denouncing:

While he is shocked from the decision and deems it a black day for "freedom of expression" in his country, I think he should pause and look at himself. He is doing exactly what he's denouncing. Other than the fact that he's acting just like all the fundamentalists he's against (albeit with a fancy suit, and hair color), he too is not allowing others to be free and live as they choose. He basically wants to remove Islam, and everything about it from Europe, just because it doesn't meet with his outlook on life. I re-watched his BBC interview after reading the news update. The guy is a thinly veiled bigot and supremacist. He is also a politician who needs to be controversial to thrive in the public eye. He does not believe in Islam therefore it shouldn't exist in his country.

He also says "We should learn to be intolerant with the intolerant." He believes in giving conditional tolerance, meaning he'll tolerate you only if he likes you and agrees with you, if you don't agree then he won't tolerate you. Well that's not really tolerance, that, at best, is hypocrisy and double standards.

Standing on the fence, Perwin traces the roots of such prejudice:

One of his mistakes, I think, is confusing between the religion of Islam and the misguided fanatics who abuse Islam. Both Wilders and the zealots he's against, seem to forget that Islam is based on dealing with others, otherwise known in Arabic as "al moamala". What Mr. Wilders doesn't know, or didn't research thoroughly, and the extremists hiding behind Islam have lost sight of, is that The Quran (that Wilders, and the like, seem to blame) is broken down (by Islamic fokaha or learned men) into 13 parts: 1 for the dos and don'ts, and the other 12 are for how to deal with other human beings. The movie clearly showed that Wilders does not understand the core of Islam, and merely has a beef with the vocal fundamentalists.

Perwin Ali asks:

Some might wonder why we don't see more grand gestures of good from Muslims like we see from their scary counterparts.

Her reply was:

Well, as habit, terrorists (regardless of their affiliations or religion) are grandstanders. They need an audience, otherwise their objective of terrorizing isn't met. On the other hand, genuine do-gooders don't need an audience, they only need God to know. Whoever believes in God would agree with me when I say that whatever you do, God sees it, hence there's no need for an audience. Try to read what I'm writing with an unbiased eye, you'll see what I mean… You might even be able to accept it without having to agree with it -which is another key trait of Islam and well-balanced muslims.

Taking her post to a personal level, she talks about herself as a Muslim:

Now, I'm not one of the learned in Islam. But… I'm a Muslim. I'm a female. I'm not veiled. I'm free to express my opinions and my choices. I'm free to live my life. I love my religion. I haven't been forced or brainwashed into loving my religion. I believe in it. I respect it. I believe that my religion has more to do with love than with hate. I believe that my religion is forgiving. I also believe that the problems lie with the misguided people not with the religion. Just as it lies with the misguided people of the other religions. I am the exact opposite of what he makes Islam and muslims to be. There are many others like me. Personally, I believe he deserves to go on trial. There's a significant difference between freedom of expression and disrespectful misinformation. It's time the whole world finally learned how to truly exercise the concept of freedom.

An Egyptian does not agree with Perwin as he posted a note titled "Geert Wilders needs your urgent support!":

The Freedom Party (PVV) and Geert Wilders are faced with an all-out assault. Exploding legal expenses might cripple the continuation of the battle for our liberties. The survival of the Freedom Party and Geert Wilders’ struggle for the defense of the West are now in jeopardy. Therefore, we need your financial support urgently.

Then he posted several ways to donate money.

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