Response to Wilders' Anti-Koran Film
Saudi Blogger Releases Christian Version of 'Fitna'
The recent film "Fitna" by the controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders was seen by many as an attack on Islam. Now a Saudi blogger has created a film featuring violent texts from the Bible, with the intention of showing that stereotyping can go both ways.
The film "Schism" by Raed Al-Saeed, 33, is a little over six minutes in length and can be viewed on the Internet video portal YouTube. The film takes verses from the Bible promoting violence, killing and war and intersperses them with provocative images.
These images include a hand-held video of soldiers beating unarmed boys in Iraq as the original recording's English-speaking narrator expresses sadistic satisfaction. Another series of images focus on a female evangelical preacher urging children to kill for their religion as well as the children speaking proudly about being "trained" to be part of "God's Army."
"Schism" responds to "Fitna," a 15-minute film by the Dutch right-wing populist politician Geert Wilders which was released on the Internet last month. That film interposes images of the terrorist attacks in New York and Madrid with verses from the Koran and headlines reporting Islamist violence.
Although "Fitna" has been condemned by many Muslims and has sparked demonstrations, such as those with an
estimated 25,000 participants in Pakistan earlier this week, reactions so far have generally been weaker than many observers anticipated.
At the end of his film, Al-Saeed draws a parallel between his film and that of Wilders. The penultimate screen image reads: "It is easy to take parts of any Holy (sic) book that are out of content (sic) and make it sound like the most inhuman book ever written. That is what Geert Wilders did to gather more supporters to his hateful ideology. To create schism."
Al-Saeed told the English-language Saudi newspaperArab News Thursday that he made the film in less than 24 hours in order to demonstrate that Islam should not be judged by watching "Fitna," which he believes gives a distorted view of Islam. He added that he believed "Fitna" was "based on hate" and reflects Wilders' "racism and hatred."
According to Arab News, Al-Saeed's video was posted on March 1 on YouTube. Administrators allegedly took it down, but Al-Saeed reportedly convinced the site's administrators to allow it back up, arguing that letting "Fitna" remain when his film was not available would be unfair.
A number of similar films on YouTube share the same -- if not occasionally more graphic -- content and even title. Numerous parodies of "Fitna" are also available on the site.