For those of you who have been following the response to Dutch radical politician Geert Wilder’s film, Fitna, a Saudi blogger named Raed alSaeed has created a 6-minute companion film, Schism, to mock the first.
Fitna starts with a Qur’anic recitation in Arabic, while a split screen shows on the left a translation of a verse from the Qur’an:
“Prepare for them whatever force and cavalry ye are able of gathering
to strike terror
to strike terror into the hearts of your enemies, of Allah and your enemies”
On the right side of the split screen, footage from the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks eventually comes to fill the screen, with transcribed audio recordings of a person inside one of the tower calling an operator and crying that she’s going to die, while the operator urges her first to stay calm so that she can get out, and then tells the frantic woman to say her prayers. It goes on to show footage of hate-filled imams preaching death to the infidels, a pious young Muslim girl saying that she knows from the Qur’an that Jews are apes and pigs, masked men wearing checked kefiyyas and raising their arms in unison, juxtaposed with an image of a protest sign that says “God Bless Hitler”; charred bodies laid out on the ground, blood covered knives raised in the air, newspaper headlines proclaiming that Muslims hate gays, cut women’s genitals, and so on, all juxtaposed with Qur’anic verses and graphs showing the increase in the population of Muslims in Europe. It closes with these words on a screen:
“Muslims want you to make way for Islam, but Islam does not make way for you… Islam wants to rule, submit, and seeks to destroy our Western civilization”
(Rule and submit??!)
“In 1945, Nazism was defeated in Europe; in 1989, Communism was defeated in Europe. Now the Islamic ideology has to be defeated.”
Called “Schism,” alSaeed’s film starts with white writing on a black screen: “The following phrases are from the Bible, the Holy Book that teaches the most barbaric war criminals,” and then quotes from the Old Testament (Samuel, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) urging the ancient Israelites to commit genocide (e.g. “Do not leave alive anything that breathes,” from Deuteronomy.) It is followed with images of soldiers (American? – hard to tell) outside of a desert compound beating several small children. Then it cuts to interviews with 2 American children speaking enthusiastically of dying for God and the peace that comes with it, and an American woman preaching war in a Christian church service (the sect is not specified) while children in the audience weep with emotion and later dance with war paint on. It then cuts to CNN coverage of the “shock and awe” bombing campaign in Iraq. It concludes with more white lettering on a black screen, while the sound of the bombing of Iraq continues in the background:
“It is easy to take parts of any Holy book that are out of content [sic] and make it sound like the most inhuman book ever written. This is what Geert Wilders did to gather more supporters to his hateful ideology. To create schism.”
Both films are extremely disturbing, a pornography of violence. There are several key differences. One is the way the anti-Islam sentiments of the Fitna are overtly intertwined with an anti-immigrant agenda, an angle ignored in Schism. Another is the fact that Fitna shows the extremism of minority groups, while Schism makes tacit links between an extremist version of American Christianity with the brutality of the most powerful military force in the world. The most obvious difference is that Schism is a parody, meant to illustrate that it’s not only Islam that can be portrayed in a violent light, while Fitna appears to have been made in complete earnestness.
(Warning: watching both films together this morning made me physically ill.)