Arnoud Van Doorn , who was one of the Dutch producers behind Fitna, an anti-Islam film that caused worldwide outrage from Muslims, has accepted Islam.
The former leading member in far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders’ party has embraced the very religion he once contemptuously criticized. Van Doorn also visited Medina, which is the second holiest city in Islam and the burial place of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) to apologize to God and repent for associating himself with the blasphemous movie in the past.
Fitna was released in 2008 on the internet, a short film by Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders. It is an approximately 17-minute movie that attempts to demonstrate that the Quran directs its followers, the Muslims, to hate all who violate Islamic teachings and code of conduct. The movie shows selected excerpts from the verses of the Quran which were manipulated with media clips and newspaper cuttings describing acts of violence and hatred by the followers of Islam. The offensive film’s release was followed by worldwide protests and condemnation from the Muslim community.
Van Doorn said that the emotional association of Muslims with Islam that led to the worldwide demonstrations against Fitna was the main reason he converted.
Just finished #Umrah. I am really happy and grateful to be here :-)— Arnoud van Doorn (@ArnoudvDoorn) April 21, 2013
He went to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah, which is a Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, and met imams of the Prophet’s Mosque in Makkah including Maher Al-Muaiqly.
For the former member of a party notorious for its extreme anti-Islam rhetoric, the journey from an Islamophobe to a Muslim has not been an easy one. In the Netherlands, the news of his conversion has received mixed reactions. Given his past contributions in blasphemies against Islam, it is difficult for some Muslims to accept that his conversion is something to be believed.
While some people have their doubts, Arnoud Van Doorn has also received a lot of appreciation and praise for his new-found faith. He first publicly announced his decision on his Twitter account which was first taken as a joke but then he posted a tweet citing the Kalima which is the obligatory verse for accepting Islam.
He left The Party for Freedom and has joined as regional advisor at the City Hall in The Hague. He has reportedly sent a formal application to the mayor of the city to allow him to perform obligatory prayers for Muslims during his work hours.
Van Doorn said in one of his interviews that he had always been very skeptical of his political party’s extreme perspective on Islam. Therefore he decided to do research on his own and eventually found solace in Islamic teachings.
On his Twitter page, various pictures of his recent trip to Saudi Arabia can be viewed.
Gift from Prof. Dr. Abdullah Al-Zahrani, Scholar of Hadith Sciences and Professor at Um Al-Qura University in Makkah twitter.com/ArnoudvDoorn/s…— Arnoud van Doorn (@ArnoudvDoorn) April 18, 2013
Meeting with Professor Dr. Abdullah Alzahrani, Scholar of Hadith, Professor at Um AlQura University in Makkah? twitter.com/ArnoudvDoorn/s…— Arnoud van Doorn (@ArnoudvDoorn) April 18, 2013
I had the Honor and privilege of sewing The Cloth for the Holy Kabah which will be put on the Kabah this year. twitter.com/ArnoudvDoorn/s…— Arnoud van Doorn (@ArnoudvDoorn) April 22, 2013
So what is your reaction to Arnoud Van Doorn’s conversion to Islam? You can share your thoughts in the comments section.