Here’s something you’ve all been waiting for: A Muslim filmmaker has produced a documentary hitting “Islamophobia.” Rizwan Wadan, who was part of the technical crew for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Churchill and The Favourite, has directed a documentary entitled Error In Terror about “Islamophobia,” and is now traveling around with it, spreading peace and tolerance. The only problem is that Error in Terror itself only reinforces why some people are suspicious of Islam in the first place and wary regarding its growth in Western countries.
The problem starts with the term itself. “Islamophobia” is a fraught word, because while it is thrown around all the time these days, few of those who use it to defame and smear others bother to explain what they mean by it. It is most commonly used for two quite distinct phenomena: vigilante crimes against innocent Muslims, which are never justified, and honest analysis of the motivating ideology of jihad terror, which is always necessary. Islamic advocacy groups and their leftist allies have been insisting for years that such analysis, too, constituted “Islamophobia,” and continue to try to drive such analysis outside the bounds of acceptable discourse by conflating it with those attacks on innocent Muslims.
Rizwan Wadan doesn’t appear to take any pains to explain what he means by the term, either. According to a report from Britain’s ITV News Saturday, Wadan is “a talented filmmaker who has worked on blockbusters including Star Wars and The Favourite,” and has now “produced a hard-hitting film which highlights terrorism and Islamophobia in the UK. It is part of his Error In Terror campaign, which he is bringing to different parts of the country to inspire communities and effect change.”
“Growing up as a Muslim, living in the UK,” Wadan explained, “I’ve seen our relationships within the communities deteriorate. And that’s kind of happened – from my perspective – through how Islam and Muslims have been perceived. A lot of that has come through our representation in films, in the news, in newspapers.”
Now come on, Rizwan. Honestly, when did you last see a negative portrayal of Muslims in films, in the news, or in newspapers, except in the case of jihad terror attacks in which the identity of the perpetrator was impossible to conceal? The international media goes to immense lengths to make sure that no one gets a negative view of Islam or Muslims.
One notorious example of this is the fact that in the British media, gangs of Muslims who sexually abused and exploited thousands of British girls for years were universally referred to as “Asians,” despite the protests of non-Muslim Asian groups and the fact, which some of the rapists openly confessed, that this activity was based on Islamic principles. A survivor of a Muslim rape gang in the UK has said that her rapists would quote the Qur’an to her and believed their actions were justified by Islam. Thus it came as no surprise when Muslim migrants in France raped a girl and videoed the rape while praising Allah and invoking the Qur’an. In India, a Muslim gave a Qur’an and a prayer rug to the woman he was holding captive and repeatedly raping. And the victim of an Islamic State jihadi rapist recalled: “He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. He said that by raping me, he is drawing closer to God…He said that raping me is his prayer to God.” In India, a Muslim kidnapped and raped a 14-year-old Hindu girl and forced her to read the Qur’an and Islamic prayers. In Pakistan, another Christian woman recounted that her rapist was also religious: “He threw me on the bed and started to rape me. He demanded I marry him and convert to Islam. I refused. I am not willing to deny Jesus and he said that if I would not agree he would kill me.” Rapists demanded that another girl’s family turn her over to them, claiming that she had recited the Islamic profession of faith during the rape and thus could not live among infidels.
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Islamic jihadis, meanwhile, are routinely referred to as “insurgents” or “militants,” or if they’re lone wolves stabbing people while screaming “Allahu akbar” in the West, they’re “mentally disturbed.”
So what unfavorable media coverage is Rizwan Wadan talking about?
Meanwhile, the excerpt of his film that you can see here features a quote of Qur’an 16:125: “Call them to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching.”
“Wisdom and beautiful preaching” is an appealing phrase; however, in a hadith, Muhammad has been depicted as telling Muslims to follow up the “invitation,” if refused, with a second invitation asking non-Muslims to enter the Islamic social order as dhimmis, with institutionalized second-class status; or if they refuse both, to go to war with them: “Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war.…When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to [accept] Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them…. If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.” (Sahih Muslim 4294)
There is no Islamic tradition that teaches that Qur’an 16:125 supersedes the Qur’an’s exhortations to warfare against unbelievers (8:39, 9:29, 47:4, etc.).
If people are suspicious of Islam, Rizwan Wadan could fight that by confronting, rather than perpetuating, the perception that claims regarding Islam being peaceful are disingenuous and based on an incomplete reading of the relevant texts. Instead, he has produced yet another deceptive endeavor that is just going to create more of the “Islamophobia,” in the sense of suspicion of Islam, that he claims to be trying to stamp out.