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I think many of you are confused as to why Ayan Hirsi Ali decided to
write this film and what she believed it would do for Muslim women. It
is no secret that all religions seem to have a flaw within them. They
also have a tendency to leave women out and treat them as unequal. I
happen to be married to a practicing Muslim man who lived in Egypt
until he was 10 years of age. We are newly weds and currently live in
the united states while I finish school. I can truly say that many
Muslim men don't beat, and abuse their wives. In fact a large portion
love them to death. However, Don't TELL me that Islam doesn't condone
Ayan Hirisi Ali's point was that honor killings are occurring in nations where police forces and governing bodies are at large. They are taking place in overly tolerant nations that have become morally blind. This I believe is a misplaced respect. You should not be allowed to shoot your daughter or slit her throat because she's wearing eye shadow and talked to a Christian boy. Progressive western nations such as Holland, Germany and the UK weren't punishing these "honor killers". In many cases they even received reduced sentencing for things that the nation deems unacceptable behavior. Ayan Hirsi Ali wanted to put a stop to that.
what better way than a film. Film is one of the most powerful ways of evoking a response out of a group of people. Once initial shock is over action hopefully takes place. Thats what Ms Hiris Ali desired. Now All of these western civilizations are scrambling for an answer. London is cracking down on their police force and training them to deal with honor killings. Holland is implementing legislation on protection of Muslim women, and Germany is discussing new integration laws.
The point is she opened this topic up before the world through the majesty of film. The power of art, written word and human voice combined. She had been fighting for this cause for awhile however before the film submission little had been done.
I read one comment earlier and this is my response to them - I don't believe Ayan Hirsi Ali wrongly executed her quest for better treatment of Muslim women by seeking out Van Gogh. Politically it was a brilliant choice. She was not trying to evoke a response from Holland's male Muslim population she was trying to reach the rest of Holland. So by having the controversial Van Gogh direct was a great idea. ( If You think she was actually going to change a conservative Muslim's opinion on honor killings through a 12 minute film than your being naive. Van Gogh was respected and admired by thousands. She wasn't trying to change Islams views. She was trying to awaken the rest of western europe. Think about it. It was well thought out.
My thanks for posting my comment and I hope everyone finds something they can draw out of it. I really have enjoyed the comments from all.
While this movie might not be the best movie ever produced about Islam,
it is absolutely amazing to find so many "tolerant and moderate" Muslim
people so upset about it.
How many movies are there out there which show the negative side of Christianity? How many Nazis-Christians, pedophile-Christians and just-plain-evil-Christians movies are out there? How many movies are out there which show Jesus from a "blasphemous" perspective? We have seen Jesus as a homosexual, a sex fiend, a dope smoking hippie and many other potentially offensive angles. Yet, every time Christian extremists raise hell (ha ha) about it, most of us ask them kindly to chill out and to respect freedom of speech as well as artistic freedom.
How come we do not hold the Muslim community to the same standard? I don't understand why so many people find it OK for so called moderate Muslims to demand that movies like Submission be censored. We would not tolerate it if "moderate" Christians demanded the same about any of the flicks that might portray Christianity from a negative point of view.
If you know anything about Islam and Muslim women in general, if you have actually talked and met with Muslims who practice their faith, you will have to at least agree partially with what is shown in this short film.
Obviously, this doesn't mean that all Muslim men abuse their women or that all non-Muslim men are nice guys. As a matter of fact, I just watched a short documentary on women abuse in Spain, a traditionally Catholic country.
The murdering of Van Gogh proves the value of the movie. It proves that
there are Muslims out there that behave just like the movie tells us.
The reactions of several Muslims in other comments here at IMDb also
prove the value of he movie. They show that no comments are allowed to
be made about Islam, any comment, any critique, is bad and evil and is
considered (by Muslims) to be offensive to Muslims.
Islam is a totalitarian religion, Muslims are totalitarians. They accept no comments on their ways, on their religion. They respond with violence, with death threats, with loud protests. They do that over and over again, like they did against Ayaan Hirsi Ali, like they did at the time of the Danish cartoons. They can't control themselves, it seems.
They use the Qurân to show they are right for using violence. Suicide bombings bring Muslims to heaven. Killing Theo van Hogh brings the Muslim who killed him to heaven. A Muslim who would kill Ayaan Hirsi Ali (or Salman Rushdie) would go to heaven. Hitting disobedient wives is allowed by the Qurân. Killing non-believers (heretics) is allowed by the Qurân.
They? Not all of them. Indeed. But too many do.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Theo van Gogh are heroes for making this movie.
Are there laws in Denmark against beating women? In most civilised
countries, there are. This is what Hirsi Ali was expressing: that women
are often abused in Muslim households and are often powerless to stop
it. You may consider it blasphemous to fight for women's rights, but
Hirsi Ali would disagree.
You call it propaganda... So is the Diary of Anne Frank (or any other book written about a person's experience) propaganda? It, like Submission, also describes the experiences of one person, as they experienced the world. Submission is an expression of what Hirsi Ali has seen/experienced. You insult yourself when you say it is generalising about all Muslims because nowhere in the film does it say every Muslim abuses every woman. Does every piece of work always have to represent everyone? If I write a play about a Dane, does he have to represent all Danes? If he commits a crime, are all Danes criminals?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (www.vpro.nl) has lived in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Kenya. In my opinion, she understands what goes on in Muslim countries better than someone in Denmark. Furthermore, this piece is a combination of what happened to many women she encountered as well as herself. There were a few people who thought that Ms. Ali knows nothing about Islam. If you know anything about her, you would inevitably disagree. I commend you, gentlemen for not beating your wives... and ladies who are able to work in Egypt and other Muslim countries. In fact... I think you should write a play glorifying Islam's treatment of women (and hope you don't get stabbed). I just want to know why you think your experiences are representative of everyone else's in the Islamic world?
To conclude... even if Ms. Ali is lying, making up stories, etc., in Holland/Western Europe, she has every right to do so. If you are offended by it, change the channel. If you think this is the first time a piece of film misrepresented a people... go watch a Country Western, observe the savage Indians hopping around on horses, making bird calls. However, no one seems to raise their voice about how Native American culture is 'misrepresented' or try to stab John Wayne in broad daylight on a busy street.
It's actually funny how some people here ( Muslims ) go all out against this movie for all the wrong reasons. This movie is about how some men abuse their religion. Not about how the religion abuses women. This problem exists in all religions because some people are just plain bad people, whether they are Muslims or not. This short movie was made to address that specific problem. In the 80's/90's there were a lot of movies about Christian ( or at least white ) women being raped of abused. At the time people didn't say ..."ohhh all Christian men abuse women". NOR should they say that no one does this. The same goes about this movie. I work around a lot of Muslims and yes i find it a very honourable religion but there are always people that don't allow their woman to talk and other strict rules. So why do people here overreact? Because people think their religion is flawless and every Muslim is a good Muslim... and that was what this movie was made for, to show people CAN be bad too in any religion, but no one dared to say it because of fear of being called a racist. He dared ( even though he did go a bit too far sometimes) and paid the price for it. Try to keep an open mind en learn from the movie.
Why is it so hard for Muslims to self-reflect? I do have Muslim friends who are highly educated and clearly not fanatical and just good people but even with those friends I cannot openly talk about Islam and the issues of women in Islam. On the other hand I can talk to my Catholic or Hindu or Jewish friends about the problems and issues in their religion and yet they are open about it. They may not agree with me but clearly they do not get offended. Common we are in 2007, we have walked the moon, taken trips in space, cloned animals. How can we still adhere to the religious laws that were written centuries ago? They probably worked centuries ago but these laws/rules have to be shed. Centuries ago we all had tails and now the only thing that has remained of it is a atrophied tail bone. We evolved and so now our old traditions need to be evolved. Education for Muslim women in every part of this world is utmost necessary. Only then we can get out of this vicious cycle of fanaticism and narrow-mindedness!! What are some of these Muslim men afraid of? They have to be so utterly insecured, so utterly inconfident that the only way they get their confidence is by their physical strength and oppression of women. It is responsibility of every educated Muslim to have an open discussion about the status of women in Islam. Just because it does not happen in your family, it does not mean it does not happen!! Wake up my Muslim brothers and sisters!!
A lot of muslims were offended by this movie. But it is not about the
Islam in general. Van Gogh was not a Islam hater or a racist. Read his
books. He was a provoker and he was an atheist with a sharp tongue and
a advocate for freedom of speech but that was it. He was a clown but he
sometimes overdid his act so a lot of people were offended. He did
offend people, don't get me wrong. But I found a lot of his pieces
amusing and I think he wanted people to see the relativity in things.
In this movie is not show how bad the Islam is, but how men can use the Islam as an excuse for their deeds. That is what Ali en Van Gogh were fighting for and don't give me that crap about the somalic background of Ali. It still surprises me how many people just don't see this and still think they wanted to offend a complete religion. It is just like how Ali said herself. She said something like that no matter how you formulate, when it comes to Islam (or any religion) they will always find it offensive.
For most of us, the worst thing that could happen after making a movie is complete commercial and critical failure. For Ayyan Hirsi Ali, it is death. And after her director and co-producer, Theo Van Gogh, was murdered late last year, this is a very real possibility. Their courage and conviction to be heard (no matter how controversial the opinion) is an inspiration to me. That being said, I'll attempt to defend controversial films on a more general level: I have never seen a movie that has literal changed my lifestyle, and don't think it is even possible. We are bombarded with too much information for something as short and singular (no matter how visceral) as a movie. But what they can do is begin the process of thinking, and evaluating our own lives. So regardless of whether or not you agree with a film, if it gets you thinking about a particular issue, then you should consider it a success. Thank you for your time. Take care.
It is hard to speak about the state of women in Islam without being told to keep quite,sometime the ultimate price has to be paid.That is the nature of this film. It may not make for friends but it gets things in the open so that changes can take place so human rights can be respected. There have been very few films about Islam as a religion.I do not know of any about the human right tragedy in the Sudan.I wish to see more films about Islam but am afraid that filmmakers will be leery after this.That is why I hope that filmmakers will not be afraid of death threats,because information about Islam is needed especially since 911.WE must realize that the Dutch are very tolerant and that this atheist filmmaker did have a right to make films that is the bottom line.I hope that the film will energize Islamic men to correct abuses as much as they can.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This statement and comment is also to the Muslim-man, who claims he is
from Denmark. First of all let me tell you all that he is a liar, the
right-winged politician he talked about, Pia Kjærgsgård, have NEVER
stated anything that was that racist - NEVER. She has NEVER used the
word "Perker", which is a very offensive word. I am not trying to
defend her (not at all). But I am just trying to fight ignorance and
lies from Muslims and Nazis who are trying take down the free society
of the West. Here on the internet it is easy to spread lies.
Now to the movie: It is GOOD. It is so good, that everyone in the world should see, just to get a view of how some of these extreme religious people think (not only Islam, but all religions). A shame that Theo Van Gogh had to die because of this documentary. One of the only documentaries that show the TRUTH about Islam: a truth that every single person on the planet should know. I remember when Theo Van Gogh was brutally murdered by an extreme Islamist. The worst things was that Muslims around the world, and also in my home-country of Denmark, Muslims didn't seem to be appalled by the murder; no I would say quite the opposite, some said the murder was justified, others partied and was happy and some even said they were glad he died and that it was his own fault. I couldn't and still can't accept what all those people said. Then I saw the documentary: and it is good, first gave it 8 out of 10. But then I saw what lousy grade it had received - then I decided to give it 10 out 10, just to even out all the votes that aren't correctly used. I am 100 % certain that all those grades of 1 have been placed by Muslims that haven seen the picture - but they never accepts anything that speak against their own believes: very Un-European of them. I will get all my friends to vote 10 out of 10 on this documentary, just so it gets its reel grade - and not a vote which is to be managed by religious dogmatism, that dates back to the middle Ages
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