Thursday, April 3, 2008

Two views of Fitna the movie: A Donnybrook


Tom Carew's Israel News article on Fitna, the Geert Wilder's movie, cautioned against accepting the premise of the movie at face value and insisting that all Muslims are Jihadist fanatics. Hugh Fitzgerald has attacked Carew:
All those tom-carews of this world have been attacking Fitna because they wish to retain the support, as they see it, of some "moderate" Muslims, which "moderate" Muslims are simultaneously our "allies" in "this struggle." But why? Shouldn't they too wish Infidels to be apprised of what is in the Qur'an and, indeed, in other canonical texts of Islam? Isn't that the best way to ensure that Infidels will cease to assume the posture of the "pre-emptive cringe" -- in J. B. Kelly's phrase -- and, in recognizing what is wrong with those texts, be firmer and therefore more steadfast in dealing with what Tom Carew devoutly hopes and wishes to believe is merely the "bad" version of Islam as opposed to the "good" one about which he, Tom Carew of Dublin, is knowledgeable, and which he, Tom Carew of Dublin, finds so impressive and its existence so comforting?
That's about the mildest part of Fitzgerald's text. Fitzgerald goes on to confute Tom Carew with the likes of Esposito and other publicists for Islamism. The rest of the attack is here. A veritable Donnybrook in the liveliest tradition.
My own comments on Fitna are in Religious hatred: the movie. Carew is right. Regardless of what it says or does not say in the Quran, the main point is that Wilders' movie is a reactionary political statement that is intended to stir up primitive prejudices against all Muslims in Europe. Widlers is entitled to his opinion, and his opinion is not that Jihadism should be fought and prohibited, but that all Muslims should be expelled from Europe. Wilders is preaching a doctrine that is philosophically about as evil as Jihadism, though he doesn't seem to advocate violence. The movie is designed to attract converts to that cause. "Fitna the movie" is not fit for human consumption.
Below is Tom Carew's response.
Ami Isseroff

Comment from Tom Carew re views of  Hugh Fitzgerald:

There is not now, and never was in the past, any such fixed entity as **Islam itself**.  Neither Islam-as-understood, nor Islam-as-lived.

And I can only wonder whether Hugh Fitzgerald has spent half as much time pondering and evaluating the actual writings of non-toxic Muslims, some of whom I instance, or on the brave role of many current Muslim defenders of freedom, as he has dwelling on a plethora of secondary literature from commentators on the originals, who mostly concentrate on the toxic stream.

Just as Judaism, or its Brooklyn or Israeli versions, are certainly not reducible to, or identifiable with,  the toxic ideology of the maverick mass murderer, Dr. Baruch Goldstein, slaughtering 29 worshipers in the Hebron Ibrahimi Mosque on Feb 25, 1994, nor is Christianity reducible to the Inquisition or the Crusades. The Judaism I admire is that of the Warsaw Ghetto Rising in 1943, the Sobibor and Auschwitz Revolts, the  Jewish Legion  [under Irish Col John Henry Patterson ] in WW I, and the  Jewish Brigade in WW II, or the profound philosophy of Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig, while the assassin of PM, Lt-Gen  Yitzhak Rabin, Yigal Amir, is no reason to reject or dismiss the entire Jewish people or tradition.

The toxic appeasement by many, indeed by most Lutheran and Roman Catholic bishops in Nazi Germany, or of Nazi Austrian, Bishop Alois Hudal, or Croatian Ustashe fascist Rev Dr. Krunoslav Dragonovic, both based in Rome and notorious for organising the flight of fugitive Nazi war-criminals to South America,  contrasts with the Christian martyrs, like Protestant Pastors Dietrich Bonhoeffer and WW I veteran
 Paul Schneider, or Roman Catholic Dean Bernhard Lichtenberg of St Hedwigs Cathedral in Berlin, who died in Dachau Camp, and Jesuit Alfred Delp or Rev Karl Leisner, or with those clergy aiding escaped anti-fascists, persecuted Jews or Allied Prisoners of War [ like Scottish Presbyterian **Tartan Pimpernel** Rev Donald Caskie or executed Catholic Abbe Pierre Carpentier in France, or Irish Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty and 18 more clerics in his network in Rome ]. The voices and courageous witness that have become influential and been rightly honored, have been those of the resisters, not the collaborators, or the craven appeasers.

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