This evening, in response to my recent posts about Ehsan Jami and his movie An Interview With Mohammed, a reader who has some familiarity with Shia Islam wrote me an email with his assessment of the film:
It may have a LOT less effect than we’d like to see.
Aside from the somewhat low-budget look (although the audio is clear), Jami is probably losing about 80%+ of his audience almost from the beginning. As I understand it, the call at the beginning is not a normal call to prayer but a separate Shia-specific call — which would probably alienate the Sunni majority viewers at the very beginning.
The image of the face is also an Iranian template, as I understand it, and there are some discussion points which reflect specifically Shia viewpoints rather than general Muslim ones. I don’t know if Jami put them in subconsciously or just from his experience and upbringing, but in general these will probably limit his audience.
That’s one of the main things, but some of the other bits and comments that are used will probably have less effect as well — admitting his own humanity and limitations and the Koran’s non-perfection probably won’t go over too well.
It’s definitely something to pray about because God works through many different tools and this may reach some people. It’s not a bad first step — hopefully Jami can improve from here.
This was my response:
Jami is Iranian, so the Shia stuff is no surprise. I would expect his Islamic references to have a Shia flavor.
I agree that the audience for his movie is small. But, unlike Wilders, he has at least the possibility of subverting young Muslims who are on the edge of secularism or apostasy. His understated and low-key approach has the potential to be very effective.
Also, we can hope that his attempt will encourage similar productions by other apostates, who can undermine Islamic beliefs by getting inside of them and speaking to wavering believers in their own argot.
This will be a long struggle, and each effort is of necessity small. But that doesn’t make it any less worth doing. I play my tiny part, Ehsan plays his, and others play theirs.
This is also about building up the anti-jihad network. Each Rosetta Stone effort inspires more translators to come forward and volunteer. The web of interconnections is thereby enhanced, and extends to additional countries. My goal is to use what time remains to me to help build a resilient Counterjihad web that communicates and coordinates effectively across national borders.
Call it the “Anti-Ummah”.
I see Jami’s movie as a tentative beginning in a process that I’ve been anticipating — the undermining of fundamentalist Islamic belief by mild criticism mixed with a dose of modern Western reasonableness. This is in contrast to the full frontal assault as waged by Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Geert Wilders, which forces a true believer to put up a spirited defense and even to retaliate.
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Obviously, there are many Muslims who will react in knee-jerk fashion with full fury, just as they did to Fitna and the Motoons. But those who actually listen to what Jami has to say before condemning it are vulnerable to having seeds of doubt planted by his words. Most will go on to condemn the movie anyway, but those tiny mustard seeds of doubt may eventually grow into a large tree in whose branches the birds of apostasy will nest.
All of this work, if it is to have any success at all, can only nibble away at the margins. Some of us understand the threat Islam poses to our liberties and to Western Civilization itself, but the consensus among our ruling classes disagrees with us. Most of our leaders have decided that affairs can continue as usual, provided that we take precautions against “terrorism” and make a few modest concessions to the sensibilities of Muslims.
We can shout and rant and froth at the mouth about this as much as we want in our blogs and on forums and in news media comment sections, but none of it will have the slightest effect on policy nor slow by a millisecond our trajectory into Islamization and dhimmitude.
Our little talk shop is preaching to the choir. I report on less well-known news stories, provide useful information when I can, and encourage the faint-hearted among an audience of people who already basically agree with me. I have no illusions about actually effecting any significant change.
But that doesn’t mean change won’t occur. If we are to be successful, it will be through infinitesimal changes at the margins, along the bloody borders themselves.
On one side of the border the Motoons and Fitna perform their function, stiffening the spine of the resistance and opening up the minds of people who might otherwise be uninformed and sleep through their own destruction.
On the other side is the devious anti-taqiyyah of the Anti-Ummah, the mirror image of the dissembling and disinformation spread by the agents of jihad.
Don’t be taken in by the video footage of the masked soldiers of Allah who hold up bloody knives and severed heads while screaming “Allahu akhbar!” This bloodthirsty performance art is designed to induce terror and despair in the infidels, and thereby hasten their submission. The mujahideen would like you to believe that their ruthlessness and brutality display their strength and your weakness.
But the reality is quite different. As an ideological and conceptual worldview, Islam is brittle and vulnerable, and people like Ehsan Jami — former insiders who know the enemy — understand how to exploit its weaknesses.
I want to make the videos of An Interview With Mohammed available in as many languages as I can, to reach as many different sections of the bloody borders as possible. And then repeat the process with the next movie, and the one after that…
Each step is a tiny one. If this effort reaches even a handful of people and makes them doubt for a split second the received truth of Islam, then it will have been worth it.
More tiny steps will come. There will be more dedicated efforts by anonymous people toiling in obscurity. More bright ideas will see the light of day and play their small part in the coming struggle.
There are no opportunities for glory in this work. No fortunes will be made by it. No careers are enhanced by what we do. No front-page news stories will chronicle the heroic efforts of those who resist the Great Jihad.
The best we can hope for is to die in our sleep.
But in the last four years I have seen how much the Anti-Ummah has grown. The networks of the resistance have strengthened and become more resilient.
Our greatest enemy is our tendency to break into subgroups that engage in internecine warfare over small points of doctrine or the purity of one’s moral stance. We’re like the Europeans of 1453 and 1683, plotting, scheming, and sniping at one another even while the hosts of Mohammed break down the gates.
If we continue on our present course, this fractiousness will be the death of us, and it will be 1453 and not 1683 that we can look forward to repeating.
We need to remember what we all have in common: we are the Anti-Ummah.