Sunday, November 07, 2004

"Submission" - Theo van Gogh & Ayaan Hirsi Ali

As ReligionNewsBlog once put it: Watch the film Theo van Gogh was murdered for

"Submission, Part I," a short critical film about the treatment of women in Islamic culture, was the product of a collaboration between the provocative Dutch film-maker Theo van Gogh and the Somali-born ex-Muslim, feminist activist, and Dutch Member of Parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali. (Literally, "Islam" means "Submission.") Both received death threats for making the movie, and on November 2, 2004 van Gogh was murdered by a Dutch Muslim fanatic who then used the knife to pin a note with a manifesto and further death threats to van Gogh's body.

This link allows you to watch the original 10-minute Dutch TV presentation of "Submission, Part I," written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali and filmed by Theo van Gogh. This version is in English (with Dutch subtitles, and with the prayers spoken in Arabic).

(Incidentally, this film was shown on the Dutch version of PBS. It's hard to imagine a film like this being shown on PBS here in the US, whether it dealt with Islam, Christianity, or any other major religion.)

Update, June 2005: For further discussion, see the excellent piece by Deborah Scroggins on "The Dutch-Muslim Culture War" (in The Nation).

[Update, February 2008: Several of the links below no longer work. But, as noted above, "Submission" is available HERE.]

--Jeff Weintraub

Watch The Movie
Update, Mar. 16, 2005:

Shortly after the murder of Theo van Gogh, his 10-minute movie, 'Submission,' was posted for viewing or downloading at various websites. Scripted by Ayaan Hirsi Ali and filmed by Theo van Gogh, the short film addresses the abuse of women in Muslim societies. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons it is sometimes difficult to find the film online.

* As of this writing, you can still download Submission at You may need to install a codec for the movie to play. (At this page, download the codec (See under 'description'). Once it is downloaded, double click the self-installing file).
* Submission can also be viewed and/or downloaded - in 4 parts - at this site
* 'Submission' includes some prayers in the Arabic language. These prayers are subtitled in Dutch. The Arabic writings shown are quoted from the Quran. The rest of the spoken word is in English. Read a transcript here.

ยป You may also be interested in this multi-lingual weblog about Ayaan Hirsi Ali

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