Battle of the Islam Movies

Mar 31st, 2008, in IM Posts, by

The battle of the Islam movies, Ayat-Ayat Cinta and Fitna, and which gives a better picture of Islam.

True Islam - Love

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono watched the Islamic soap-opera-romance movie Ayat-Ayat Cinta on 28th March and said he was moved to tears several times.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Tearful.

He said the film was a good example of how Indonesians should struggle to show the true face of Islam to the world, as a religion of peace, harmony, and tolerance.

SBY watched it at Studio XXI, EX Plaza, Jakarta, along with Tourism minister Jero Wacik, Religion minister Maftuh Basyuni, Trade minister Mari Elka Pangestu, Womens' Empowerment minister Meutia Hatta, presidential spokesman Dino Pattidjalal, Public Welfare minister Aburizal Bakrie and State Secretary Hatta Rajasa, as well as 107 Jakarta-based diplomats from 53 countries, and some of the stars of the film, Fedi Nuril, Rianti Cartwright, Carissa Putri, Melani Putria, and Zaskia Adya Mecca. antara

False Islam - Lies

Another film about Islam, Dutch politician Geert Wilders' Fitna, has provoked a rather different reaction.

A Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) leader, Kholil Ridwan, says the government should try to block access to the film on the internet.

He also advised Indonesians to boycott Dutch products.

MS Kaban of the Partai Bulan Bintang (PBB) said Wilders should study Islam and learn the correct form. antara

Abdillah Toha of the Partai Amanat Nasional (PAN) said he had already contacted the Information ministry and asked them to block the websites Youtube and LiveLeak, where Fitna can/could be viewed. antara

Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) leader in North Sumatra, Abdullah Syah, says that the website which shows Fitna, "www.xxxxxxx.com" (probably YouTube.com) also shows sexy video clips. The purpose of www.xxxxxxx.com showing videos of naked women was to accustom the youth of Islam to looking at naked female flesh. He also asked that the government block websites that screen Fitna. republika


Excitable Iraqi cleric, part of whose speech here appears in Fitna.

Teuku Taufiqulhadi of the Partai Persatuan Pembangunan (PPP) asked the government to file a case against Geert Wilders at the International Court for violations of human rights. antara

Maverick politician and religious leader Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur) however says that under the Indonesian constitution Fitna, and any other anti-Islam film, should be allowed to be distributed freely. detik


53 Comments on “Battle of the Islam Movies”

  1. avatar Teng says:

    How come if there is a terrorist attack, or when catholic schoolgirls are beheaded… we shouldn’t blame all muslims… yet when ONE dutch asshole makes a bad movie… suddenly all Dutch have to be accounted for it.

    He also advised Indonesians to boycott Dutch products.

    You don’t see other governments banning all Indonesian products for the Bali bombings.

    In my eye a “movie” with some clips of radical imams and terrorist is still a bit less shocking then blowing 200 innocent people up.

  2. avatar rima says:

    ayat ayat cinta sucks, so does fitna.

    The first sucks because it is ridiculous and absurd, fitna sucks because it will cause yet another unrest and I am sure there will be innocent victims as a cause of the movie. I just hope that the victims be a company that loses millions rather than a civilian being beheaded or killed.

    And I agree with Teng, it’s not fair how Muslims keep on preaching how their religion is one of tolerance, peace and harmony while on the other hand, one minuscule ‘attack’ on its belief, and blood thirsty swords will be drawn out looking for the first blasphemous infidel it can find.

    As I have written in my blog, this film is a wake up call for Muslims, they should rise up to the challenge and show the world how peaceful and tolerant their religion really is. Talk is cheap, action speaks louder than words.

  3. avatar Ralph says:

    Hi,
    I am Dutch myself and feel ashamed that so-called politicians like Geert Wilders are sitting in our national parliament. On the other hand, we live in a total democracy, in which everyone can speak out his ideas. It is one of our great human rights.
    But the message of this amateuristic ‘copy-paste-put together’ powerpoint presentation is completely missing any intelligence or sense of facts. It’s completely put out of it’s context, and I do believe it is only made as populistic act, just to raise rumour.
    I am living in a high populated country, in which people like Wilders easily can get misunderstood. I was raised as a free-minded Christian, grown up with respect to other nationalities and religions, but what do I have to say to my children now? That this behaviour of this politician is normal? I don’t think so, I tell them the opposite: respect yourself and others, regardless believe or colour. That’s the one and only pure message I can give to them.
    This summer I will travel with my mother and two sons to Indonesia, and I am sure we will experience the warmth and joy of this country and broaden our horizon of how people can live together at the other side of the world. So we can forget the rumour in our little country a bit.
    I hope that the people who feel offended by this ‘movie’ keep their dignity and remain calm and intelligent, and behave not as stupid as Wilders does now.

    Ralph

  4. avatar Murphy says:

    @ Rima and Teng

    I can see the pattern here.

    People you don’t like are generally bad. Muslims are bad. So you called them with generalisations: “muslims”. Forget that the article mentioned individual’s opinion and none of them promoted hate. One proposed an economic boycott and the other proposed legal action. One even called for releasing the movie. None of them called for Wilder’s head.

    But in the ears of those drenched with hate those civilised words sounded like “blood thirsty swords will be drawn out looking for the first blasphemous infidel it can find”. Wow. Rima, you should co-direct the movie with Wilder. I’m sure it will receive more thunderous applause than what it currently has.

    On the other hand, people you like are generally good. The Dutch are good. The bad guy is just that, “One Dutch Asshole”. Forget the fact that thousands of Dutch elected that asshole to the parliament or that the same asshole receives thousands more support from the Dutch just because he produced this movie. But no, it’s not the Dutch. It’s just “One Dutch Asshole”.

  5. avatar Rambutan says:

    Battle of Islam movies?? Patung, sir, you make up a battle where there is none. These two movies have nothing to do with each other. Just by coincidence they were released at more or less the same time.
    Regarding reactions to Fitna, I think it is about time to praise the majority of Indonesians who reacted very level-headed. Stupid comments from people like ABB or our friends at MUI are to be expected. Political parties are already in full election campaign mode so comments from Islamic parties are to be expected, too. However, the majority of Indonesians doesn’t like Fitna but is clearly aware that it is the attempt of an individual to provoke and not a global conspiracy against Islam.
    So far one demonstration took place, by approx 100 FPI members at the Dutch embassy. That’s it. So we shouldn’t blow the reactions by some figures out of proportion.

  6. avatar FO says:

    Murphy,

    Economic boycott and legal action are already way over the line. As for “None of them called for Wilder’s head”, you might want to add “yet” to that statement. Remember van Gogh?

    ===========

    Indonesians really need to learn the meaning of “free speech”. Yes, free speech does entail the right to insult anyone, anytime, anyplace. It does not mean that such actions are good, but that verbal abuse is not at the same level as physical abuse, and thus should not be met as such. (Except in the case of children; but that is another matter.)

    Fitna should be allowed to run in theaters nationwide. Let the people watch it, and then decide, peacefully, whether the film is rubbish or not. Blocking the showing of the film implies fear of its message. If all those holier-than-thou religion-affiliated leaders are so sure of their faith, peace, and righteousness, why be afraid of letting us watch the movie?

  7. avatar rima says:

    @Murphy: I do think he (Wilders) is an asshole. He is a political cheat racist who will blame the Muslim minorities for things that are wrong in his country. It doesn’t make his film a good film, it doesn’t make it right, but it is his freedom of expression.

    But my prediction is, Muslims in Indonesia, will react violently. My friend Colson, told me that in fact, the Muslims in The Netherlands, are shrugging off this controversy. His exact words of comment in my blog were “Our Muslim community showed the way: some shrugged their shoulders having seen the movie, some made sensible comments, some became political active and some cabaretiers (stand-up comedians) ridiculed him.” Which shows how mature they are in handling this situation.

    Unfortunately many of them in the world, especially in Indonesia, are resorting to a more harsh reaction, which is a disadvantage to themselves. That’s my point. I am not saying I am good or Muslims are bad, I am just saying that ignorance and violence extremists be it from Islam, Christianity or whatever other denomination/religion/cults, are fools.

  8. avatar ecky says:

    He also advised Indonesians to boycott Dutch products.

    Kholil Ridwan is joking right?

  9. avatar Pena Budaya says:

    yeah, of course..typical MUI. When there is a documentary movie like Fitna that showing the facts of the result of Islamic fanaticism, then Indonesia has to ban it. I wish Fitna also includes Ba´asyir´s speech about beating up foreigners-tourists so Indonesians know that Indonesia has these fanatics around and should be aware of it.

    Boy, get real MUI’ers! Ayat ayat cinta is a fiction (get real please!!) and Fitna is a fact!

    but Submission by Hirsi Ali and van Gogh is still the best of all!

  10. avatar rima says:

    I think Gus Dur rocks!

  11. avatar Lairedion says:

    No worries about a ban. Fitna is spreading like a virus on peer-to-peer networks and torrent sites and I have online storage available from where anybody can download the movie. If anyone wants to have it I’ll provide the link.

  12. avatar rima says:

    lairedion, be careful.. the MUI’s gonna getcha!

  13. avatar fatur says:

    It is true that the movie of Fitna spread the notion of enmity to Islam. But, we have to be moderate in responding this movie.

  14. avatar Lairedion says:

    rima,

    Can I hide with you then? It’s only a short drive from Holland to Belgium… 🙂

  15. avatar Teng says:

    None of them called for Wilder’s head.

    No, but the FPI is calling for his head, while throwing rotten eggs at the Dutch embassy.

    However I personally do have faith in the majority of Indonesian muslims. The FPI is always out for trouble, no matter what… they don’t even count.

  16. avatar rima says:

    @ lairedion: ha.. it is a short drive.. are you an amsterbonner? lol

    My Indonesian friends, the few that I know who are living here, have watched the film. Their reaction? They just shrugged it off, they think it’s just an ignorant piece of crap. They won’t even bother talking about it. That’s a very healthy attitude which surprised me. I hope more people in Indo are acting that way.

  17. avatar Andrew says:

    I just watched the movie; I don’t see anything wrong with that. It’s a compilation of various clips from real events; the only thing that’s not is the message at the end of the movie.

    While I don’t believe all Muslims are radicals, I think the movie has a point. It definitely is not a piece of crap. If every single Muslim were tolerant, there wouldn’t be such a movie.

  18. avatar M.F says:

    I haven’t seen Ayat-ayat Cinta yet, but I’d love to see it just to see what is all the fuss about? I kept reading it everywhere that one of the character convert to Islam. I was just wondering how if it’s vice versa, the main character convert to Christian. Will this movie consider as a good example of tolerance? Just curious.

  19. avatar Murphy says:

    @ Rima and Teng.

    When we started to address specific group or person like FPI or Baasyir, I am optimistic that we will end up having a healthy discussion. I am all for locking this people with the Ragunan’s orangutan for the next 100 years; don’t get me wrong.

    But when you started to use the word “muslims” as generalisation, that’s when discussion turned to hate speech. That’s the line crossed by Wilders.

    Just like it’s not OK to blame all Dutch (12 million people?) for what one person is doing, it is also bad to paint “Muslims in Indonesia” (190 million people at last count) with one colour.

    @Andrew

    It’s your kind of response that justifies why even the UN Secretary-General needed to issue statement about this movie.

    The real danger of the movie is when they are watched by ignorants. They don’t bother to question what the verses are really all about or why there is terrorism in this world. They simply believe that Wilders “has a point” because it makes sense to their simple mind. But that’s exactly what propaganda is, isn’t it? Whether it’s true or not, it must make sense to the gullible mass.

    Anyway, after watching the movie, I started to agree with most of the views here. It’s so full of rubbish that banning it will only give it respect it doesn’t deserve.

  20. avatar djoko says:

    Wow wasn’t Fitna massive disappointment. A 15 minute youtube job pretty much. I’ve seen homemade anime music videos which are more interesting. Not to say that it shouldn’t be shown, its up to people whether they want to watch it or not, rather than having the state act as a nanny for them, but after having seen it I get the feeling that Wilders must have taken a few lessons from the George Lucas school of ‘massive hype, massive disappointment’.

    The only thing I have been thinking about is that some people are watching Fitna, and either coming to (or otherwise reaffirming their own) conclusion that Islam is pure evil. If then for example I was to do a similarly dodgy youtube job and mix together “nice” verses from the Qur’an with everyday sermons given by preachers (I’ve been going on Fridays in Indonesia for the past almost a year and I’m yet to hear a fiery sermon about ‘kill all non-Muslims’) or dare I say positive messages by preachers, spliced in with images of Muslim organisations in Indonesia providing free clinics, bazar murah, education and so on would people come to the conclusion that Islam is a religion of peace? Would they care at all? It would be no less ‘factual’ than Wilder’s ‘movie’ (in that yup, those verses are from the Qur’an, and yep those are Islamic preachers talking and yup those are Muslims doing nice things), but would people honestly care, or would it be dismissed as an ‘apologia’ for Islam?

  21. avatar Rambutan says:

    FO said

    Indonesians really need to learn the meaning of “free speech”. Yes, free speech does entail the right to insult anyone, anytime, anyplace. It does not mean that such actions are good, but that verbal abuse is not at the same level as physical abuse, and thus should not be met as such. (Except in the case of children; but that is another matter.)

    I don’t think Indonesians need to be lectured about free speech and press freedom. They fought hard to gain it and they are doing a pretty good job at maintaining it.

  22. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:

    rima said

    @Murphy: I do think he (Wilders) is an asshole. He is a political cheat racist who will blame the Muslim minorities for things that are wrong in his country. It doesn’t make his film a good film, it doesn’t make it right, but it is his freedom of expression.

    Whether Wilders is an asshole or a hero is of no importance at all. The only question that is important is: did he lie or did he tell the truth? If he chooses to be the prosecutor then he is damned right to show the facts like he did. It’s up to the defence to counterbalance the facts or find proof of the contrary but not to put the prosecutor on trial.

  23. avatar Murphy says:

    @dewaratugedeanom

    You’re an asshole. Now please counterbalance that fact or find proof of the contrary.

  24. avatar Teng says:

    Just like it’s not OK to blame all Dutch (12 million people?) for what one person is doing, it is also bad to paint “Muslims in Indonesia” (190 million people at last count) with one colour.

    But you see, I totally agree with this. I was merely pointing at the fact that the MUI leader wants to boycott Dutch products and FPI wants to do sweepings. Seems to me they are blaming all Dutch.

    I understand that a majority of muslims do not want to be compared with a guy like Basyir. However I as a dutchman do not want to be compared with Wilders

  25. avatar rima says:

    @Murphy,

    you said:

    When we started to address specific group or person like FPI or Baasyir, I am optimistic that we will end up having a healthy discussion. I am all for locking this people with the Ragunan’s orangutan for the next 100 years; don’t get me wrong.

    But when you started to use the word “muslims” as generalisation, that’s when discussion turned to hate speech. That’s the line crossed by Wilders.

    Just like it’s not OK to blame all Dutch (12 million people?) for what one person is doing, it is also bad to paint “Muslims in Indonesia” (190 million people at last count) with one colour.

    If I was viewed as generalizing Muslims (which I was) I take it back. Let’s change the word ‘Muslim’ in my previous comments with ‘most Muslims’ or ‘many Muslims’
    I still stand by my earlier statement, I will just change the generalization:

    As I have written in my blog, this film is a wake up call for most Muslims, they should rise up to the challenge and show the world how peaceful and tolerant their religion really is. Talk is cheap, action speaks louder than words.

    @dewaratugedeanom,

    Whether Wilders is an asshole or a hero is of no importance at all. The only question that is important is: did he lie or did he tell the truth? If he chooses to be the prosecutor then he is damned right to show the facts like he did. It’s up to the defence to counterbalance the facts or find proof of the contrary but not to put the prosecutor on trial.

    If you want to know what I really think about this, I can’t really comment on this (here).
    It’s not my place (anymore) to say anything (public) about Islam, well, I don’t want to is actually the right answer, because I am no longer in that position.
    But I am sure others will be more than happy to share their view on this.

  26. avatar Lairedion says:

    Murphy, cool it down bro’. And don’t be such an asshole… 🙂

  27. avatar Rambutan says:

    dewaratugedeanom said

    Whether Wilders is an asshole or a hero is of no importance at all. The only question that is important is: did he lie or did he tell the truth? If he chooses to be the prosecutor then he is damned right to show the facts like he did. It’s up to the defence to counterbalance the facts or find proof of the contrary but not to put the prosecutor on trial.

    This is not a court trial. Wilders is an individual attacking a world religion. How the heck is ‘the Islam’ supposed to defend itself and ‘counterbalance the facts’? Please tell me who should talk in the name of Islam? Is there only one Islam? Last time I checked there were numerous denominations of Islam. And where should they do so?

  28. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:

    Murphy said

    @dewaratugedeanom

    You’re an asshole. Now please counterbalance that fact or find proof of the contrary.

    I think I scored a hit.
    Touché

  29. avatar Murphy says:

    dewaratugedeanom said:

    I think I scored a hit.
    Touché

    What hit? You thought you’ve managed to get on my nerve?

    You grossly overestimated yourself, boy.

    I am testing your own principle. If an insult deserves “counterbalance the fact or find proof of the contrary” like you said, then show me proof that you are not an asshole. It’s nothing personal.

  30. avatar Andrew says:

    Murphy said:

    It’s your kind of response that justifies why even the UN Secretary-General needed to issue statement about this movie.

    The real danger of the movie is when they are watched by ignorants. They don’t bother to question what the verses are really all about or why there is terrorism in this world. They simply believe that Wilders “has a point” because it makes sense to their simple mind. But that’s exactly what propaganda is, isn’t it? Whether it’s true or not, it must make sense to the gullible mass.

    You use the usual excuse used by all others. My simple mind did not miss the point, your complicated mind did not get it. The point is, the movie IS a compilation of real life events that happened in this world. Whether or not the verses quoted is relevant or not, it really did not matter – the video clips audio is real and isn’t made up by Wilder.

    Which part of that didn’t you understand, great mind of the civilization?

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