Statements on the recently released Geert Wilder film by global Muslim Brotherhood organizations continue to show a notable degree of similiarity. For example, Youssef Qaradawi’s comments in an interview were summarized by a Gulf newspaper as follows:
“Our problem is mainly with the extremist segment in the West which spares no chance to attack Islam and provoke Muslims into battles. It seems they seek gains of some type by raising fears about Islam. We were trying to forget the offending cartoons published by the Danish newspapers. We wanted to turn a new page with the West. But they reprinted them again. Muslims do not seek clashes or conflict”; Qaradawi told the IslamOnline.net website. Qaradawi, who is also the head of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS), told the website that Muslims should not tolerate frequent offences against Islam. “Muslims should demand that their governments implement a united and clear stance on such attacks. They should also boycott products of countries which accept such attacks by their citizens,”; he was quoted as saying.
We, at the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe, with great sadness received the news of the release of the film “Fitna”; by the leader of the Dutch Freedom Party, Geert Wilders. After reviewing its content, we were able to ascertain that the extremist approach espoused by Mr Wilders had stood between him and the exertion of the minimum of effort to find out the truth about Islam from its adherents, rather than seeking with ill-intention and malice to take the verses of the Quran completely out of their context, and force meanings onto them that are unacceptable to Muslims, needless to say others. Moreover, interpreting them in a manner that only serves the objective that he wishes to achieve by his attack on Muslims and what they hold sacred, as pointed out by the Dutch Prime Minister, Jan Peter. This demands of us, today, more than any other time to stand responsibly in face of this minority that has no other ambition, but to seek power, even at the expense of those common and shared values, upheld and accepted by all human beings.
Ahmed Al-Rawi President of MAB highlighted the concerns of the community ‘this video is propaganda in its’; most evil form. In a time when communities across Europe need to unite for the common good, this is yet another unjustified attack against a community. European Muslims have been victimised twice – firstly by being targeted, along with the general public, in the recent attacks on London in July 2005 and on Madrid in March 2004 and then attacked again across Europe by far right and fascist groups. Our political leaders have a responsibility to promote community cohesion rather than hate and evil.”Terrorists target all communities- they don’t distinguish between race, colour or religion, however politicians like Wilders who target only law abiding minority groups in Europe need to be exposed for who they really are – the true preachers of hate and evil in suits.’ MAB has also called on the UK-based website which allowed the film to be posted online to remove the video arguing that this is not a matter of free speech as this video incites religious hatred which could lead to innocent people being attacked and abused. MAB have asked the British police to look into the matter.
These statements follow earlier ones by the Islamic Society of North America and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and echo similar themes- seeking to portray the film as part of an attack on Islam and Muslims as victims of extremism. This serves the Muslim Brotherhood well as it diverts attention from its roles as a global propagator of extremism itself.