"Nazarenes and Jews are the terrorists": Islamist video responds to Dutch film
DUBAI (Reuters)-Fri Apr 25, 2008
An al Qaeda-linked website has posted a 10-minute film showing civilians killed or maimed in U.S. and Israeli air strikes as an answer to an anti-Koran film released by Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders last month.
The video, billed as a "response to the film called 'fitna' produced by the hateful crusader Wilders", is dedicated more to criticizing the U.S.-led "war on terror" than Wilders himself.
Wilders' film, titled "fitna" or "strife" in Arabic, warns that Muslim immigration is undermining Western values and urges Muslims to tear out "hate-filled" verses from the Koran. It mixes images of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and other bombings with quotations from Islam's holy book.
Muslim nations condemned Wilders' film as offensive and the Dutch government distanced itself from him to avert the kind of backlash Denmark faced over the publication of cartoons lampooning Islam's Prophet Mohammad.
The response, posted on an al Qaeda-linked website that has carried videos from Osama bin Laden, paints U.S.-led wars as modern-day Crusades led by President George W. Bush, a devout Christian whose two terms in office were won with strong backing from the religious right.
One in four U.S. adults count themselves as evangelical or "born again", giving them political clout in the United States.
The film was described as an Al-Muraiqib production but its makers did not identify themselves further. It opens with marching soldiers before cutting to a poster reading "Jesus Camp: America is born again".
The first half is a compilation mixing clips of bombs hurtling down from U.S. military planes with images of mangled corpses or wounded children in countries from Iraq to the Palestinian territories, Afghanistan and Vietnam.
In a swipe at the U.S. president, it shows an image of a Crusader knight dubbed with Bush's comment about "this crusade" against terrorism. The remark, made after the September 11 attacks, evoked for many Muslims the military campaigns by medieval Christians against Islam.
"Nazarenes and Jews are the terrorists and their past and their present bear witness to this," read a statement presenting the film. "The true enemy of Islam is the Crusader Pope, God curse him, and the leader of the Crusader campaign Bush."
The film's second half quotes intellectuals from Mahatma Ghandi to Leo Tolstoy and George Bernard Shaw praising the Prophet.
Wilders, leader of the right-wing Freedom Party (PVV), posted his short video on the Internet in March.
His film starts and ends with a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad with a bomb in his turban. Caricatures of the Prophet, first published in Danish papers, ignited violent protests around the world in 2006.
(Editing by Catherine Evans)