Fitna, Dutch Jews and Dutch Muslims

Muslims increasingly find themselves between two groups of extremists. One group is the Muslims extremists who allege that the Muslims are being targeted by a Crusade that the Muslims extremists by their violence are attempting to repel. The other groups includes non-Muslims who vilify all Muslims and declare the religion guilty for the deeds of a tiny percentage of the world's Muslims.

Added to this mix is the non-Muslim misguided. Those misguided take real issues, such as freedom of speech, and test its limits on Muslims. This is done at a time when the global situation is so tense and there is no need to add more tension. They ridicule and attack the Muslim religion in the name of freedom to insult. Those misguided, unwittingly, end up helping the extremists by providing material to their case that the West is out to "destroy Islam." While the misguided define their works as an issue of freedom, the extremists use these works as propaganda to recruit for the war against the "Crusade against Islam."

The overwhelming majority of Muslims, who are neither violent nor extremists, find themselves between these two groups of people, with the third group occasionally jumping in to make things worse.

But the issue of how Muslims in the West are treated is not only a Muslim issue. It is the issue of “the other.” The classic other in the West is the Jew. The Jewish communities in the West are in a position to understand the situation of the Muslims.

There is an article in Haaretz entitled “Dutch Jews louder than Muslims in condemning 'Fitna' film that captures well the complexities of the situation and the arguments made show that the issue is not only Islam and Muslims but how the other is treated as well as other issues as generalising, fairness, speaking out, and government outreach.” http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/970768.html.

Below are excerpts form this article:

“Ironically, Dutch Jews are more outspoken than local Muslims in their criticism of the newly released anti-Islam film by rightist legislator Geert Wilders, says Dr. Ronny Naftaniel, head of the pro-Zionist Center for Information and Documentation (CIDI).”

"I was surprised by the silence of the local Muslim leaders," Naftaniel added. "If I were a Muslim, I would speak out and I would blame Wilders for this film. I wouldn't stop shouting about it. I don't understand their silence, I really don't. I think they are scared." “The 15-minute film, which drew millions of viewers since its release Thursday, contains footage of Muslim clerics and protesters calling for the slaying of Jews, verses from the Koran, videos from scenes of suicide bombings and executions, illustrations of the demographic increase in the number of European Muslims and archive material from the Dutch media about Islamic terrorism-related incidents.”

Naftaniel stressed that it's not the criticism of Islam that prompted him to condemn the film, but the linking of that criticism of Koran-inspired violence with the demographics. Naftaniel said that is tantamount to suggesting all Muslims are terrorists. "We are never afraid to speak out in the harshest of terms against what we think is wrong, be it against Muslim extremism here in the Netherlands, or the Dutch or Israeli governments," he said. "But this movie portrays all Muslims as The Enemy. And this is just not true."

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