The movie Fitna, which has generated much publicity and controversy within the media, and much of the Islamic world, is a seventeen minute short film made by Dutch filmmaker Geert Wilders. The film aims at proving that the religion of Islam is a religion which preaches violence and intolerance toward all non-Muslims. But as we shall soon see, not only does the film maker fail miserably in his attempt to prove his main point, but he also exposes himself as an intellectually dishonest deceiver.

Before we begin allow me to quickly speak on why I decided to write the response so long after the film’s original release date. Many, if not all, of the responses were from the various schools of thoughts within Islam. Though there responses were good and thorough, I thought it best that another addition, this time from the perspective of the Jaffari school of thought, be added.  Also much discussion has been surrounded about whether Islam does in fact preach intolerance and violence, so this article will also be used to address a more general claim.

The first verse presented in Fitna

The first verse posted in Fitna is Surah 8 Verse 60 which states:

[8:60] Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of God and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom God doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of God, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly.’’

Now Geert Wilders quotes the following verse while playing a video in the background of planes flying into the twin towers. Now for arguments sake does anyone see this verse commanding Muslims to kill civilians and to fly planes into civilian buildings? The verse in no way commands such a thing; it should be quite evident that Geert is only playing to emotions to prove his point.

Now when was this verse revealed? This verse was revealed during and about the battle of Badr, which is why many people call this chapter Surah Badr (Light of the Holy Quran exegeses). With that said in times of war, or for this case before war, what does one do?  Most people would prepare all of their weapons against the oncoming army. This verse in no way is commanding Muslims to go and slaughter non-Muslims and crash planes into buildings, rather it is telling the Muslims to ‘’ make ready your strength’’ in order to defend yourself against the oncoming attack.

Though that would suffice a response allow us to quote the verse right after verse 60, which Wilders does not do, and see what it says:

 [008:061] But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in God: for He is One that heareth and knoweth (all things).

So as we can see if the enemy (during or before war) inclines toward peace than the Muslims are commanded to incline towards peace. As we have already noted the context of this Surah (most of it) is during the battle of Badr.

To further re-iterate my point, allow me quote the Pooya Ali Tafseer of this verse:

  ‘’ The preparation is to maintain peace by preventing the enemy to commit aggression against you. If you are fully ready to counter their attack they will think twice before launching an offensive adventure. If the enemy offers peace, rely on Allah and accept it.’’

 (Pooya Ali Tafseer)


Second Verse presented in Fitna

Irrelevant to whether Islam is a violent religion. Like Christianity, God will punish those who reject the message of Islam in the afterlife with a severe punishment.

Third verse presented in Fitna

[047:004] Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been God’s Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of God,- He will never let their deeds be lost.

The third verse Geert quotes is from Surah 47 verse 4.

This is where the deception of Geert Wilders truly comes to surface. He quotes Surah 47 verse 4 as follows:

Surah 47 verse 4: ‘’ Therefore, when ye meet the unbelievers, smite at their necks and when ye have caused a bloodbath among them bind a bond firmly on them’’

The proper translators, in fact all the major translators, have translated the verse as:

Yusuf Ali ‘’Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks…’’

Shakir ‘’so when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks…’’

Sher Ali ‘’ And when you meet in regular battle those who disbelieve, smite their necks…’’

Pickthall ‘’ Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks…’’

I can quote much more, but I think the above is sufficient enough.

So had Geert Wilders been more honest to his viewers he would of seen that this verse is only applicable to those you meet in battle.  

 Even though we have already exposed the deceptiveness of Geert and have actually understood what this verse says and when it was revealed let us just for the sake of knowledge examine this verse a little bit more using the Pooya/M.A. Ali commentary:

‘’ This verse commands every believer to kill or be killed when he fights disbelievers… The ordinance to kill the disbelievers is applicable when they launch an attack on the believers, not when they have surrendered. Islam prescribes effective defence in the event of an unprovoked aggression… When the enemy is brought under control, the release of prisoners with or without ransom is recommended. The slaughter of captives was never allowed by Islam. How a believer deals with the captives is a test. Some take ransom, some let them go for the sake of Allah; and some take care of them, shelter them and feed them with no strings attached’’

Fourth verse presented in Fitna

[004:089] They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of God (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks;-

One again Geert Wilders fails to quote the proceeding and preceding verses.

Let us read the entire section of Surah 4 verse 89 and expose deceitful tactics of Geert Wilders:

 [004:088] What is the matter with you, then, that you have become two parties about the hypocrites, while Allah has made them return (to unbelief) for what they have earned? Do you wish to guide him whom Allah has caused to err? And whomsoever Allah causes to err, you shall by no means find a way for him.

[004:089]  They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah’s way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.

[004:090] Except those who reach a people between whom and you there is an alliance, or who come to you, their hearts shrinking from fighting you or fighting their own people; and if Allah had pleased, He would have given them power over you, so that they should have certainly fought you; therefore if they withdraw from you and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah has not given you a way against them.

Even though the deliberate cherry picking of Geert Wilders has been exposed let us analyze what the verses say in order to get a better understanding. The verse right before verse 89 is speaking about hypocrites who claimed to be Muslims in front of the Muslims and when they went to their pagan friends they then claimed to be with the pagans and not Muslims. As we all know Medina was not only a state governed by the law of Islam but was also a political and military state, and these pagans who were double faced, acted as spies on the Muslims. For that very reason (protection of the state against infiltrators) the Muslims were commanded to kill them. Though that would suffice a response allow us to continue on. Then verse 90 came down (verse 85-91 were all revealed together) and says do not fight those who ‘’offer you peace’’ and ‘’ do not fight you’’ or those who have joined a group in which you have already made an alliance with, or those who fear you.

So in the latter portion of the verses we see:

1)      The Muslims in this context cannot fight those who offer them peace

2)      Who do not fight them first

3)      Who make an alliance with a group whom the Muslims are already in an alliance with

4)      And who fear the Muslims

Fifth verse presented in Fitna

[008:039] And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily God doth see all that they do

Now this verse if anything proves that Islam is indeed a religion which advocates for the ending of oppression and tumult.  As the verse clearly states:

‘’And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression’’

Now the problem which I think Geert was trying to emphasize on, was the last section of the verse in question which states

‘’… and faith in God altogether’’

His suggestion is obvious: which is that he believes the religion of Islam forces its faith upon all. But is that really the case? Or has Geert Wilders painted a tainted picture?

Muslims in the verse are commanded to fight those who were oppressive not only to the Muslims but also to the citizens of the state. As we all know girls were buried alive (something which the Prophet Muhammad (saw) abolished), men and women were killed over water and so on.

In this verse the Muslims are not commanded to fight until the Pagans (whom this verse was referring to) converted to Islam, but were commanded to fight until there was no more oppression.

In fact Surah 2:191 is directly connected to this verse and it states:

[2:191] Turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter

This verse in its simplest terms refers to the oppression of the Pagans and the need to revolt against the tyranny.

In order to further prove that there is no compulsion in religion, or rather in Islam, all me to quote directly from the Holy Quran:

[002:256] Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand- that never breaks. And God heareth and knoweth all things.


As we have clearly seen, not only is the film fitna based upon lies, but the film director shows no shame in blatantly misquoting the verses he uses in his film. We hope in the near future that critics of Islam would show a bit more honesty and avoid the intellectually dishonest tactics of Geert Wilders.

Not only does the religion of Islam not endorse violence, hate, intolerance, genocide, and oppression, but the only way for a person to come up with that conclusion is for them to misquote, lie, or deceive their audience.


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