Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, head of the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, delivers a copy of the Holy Qur’an to Arnoud Van Doorn during a reception in Makkah on Sunday as Shahzad Muhammad (right), head of the Canadian Dawa Association (CDA), looks on. — Okaz photo by Abdul Majeed Al-Dowaini
MADINAH – Former Dutch Islamophobe Arnoud Van Doorn unveiled plans to produce an international film on Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Islam.
In an exclusive interview with Okaz/Saudi Gazette, Doorn, who reverted to Islam last month, said that he will devote his life fully to spread the true message of Islam and the Prophet of Mercy through promoting the film across the world.
“I will spare no efforts to protect the rights of Muslims in all European countries as well as to serve Islam and its followers throughout the world. I will try my best to repair the damage that I caused to Islam and its Prophet (peace be upon him) through the film ‘Fitna’,” he said.
Doorn, a former leading member of far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders’ party, visited Saturday the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah to pray and say sorry for becoming part of the blasphemous film. Doorn was among the Freedom Party leaders who produced the film, Fitna.
After visiting the Prophet’s Mosque, he arrived in Makkah Sunday and performed Umrah. Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, head of the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, and other presidency officials received him.
In the interview, Doorn said that he regrets being a part of such an offensive film. “However, now it is a closed chapter and absolutely I don’t want to recall about it. The film that sparked widespread reactions was a totally wrong step on our part as it contains a lot of misleading and incorrect information that are nothing to with this noble divine religion and its Prophet (pbuh),” he said, adding that he wants to do some remedial work so as to minimize the damage caused by ‘Fitna.’
Doorn said he decided, in cooperation with the Toronto-based CDA, to produce an international film aimed at removing misgivings about Islam and its Prophet (pbuh).
“I will use all my experience in producing an alternative film, which will speak about the true image of Islam and all aspects of the personality of the Prophet (pbuh) as well as his great qualities.”
Doorn repented for his involvement in the blasphemous film. “It was unfortunate that I did not make any efforts to know what really Islam is and who is the Prophet (pbuh) before blindly believing in the misinformation campaign being unleashed by the anti-Islamic forces. When I came to realize that it was not Islam, I decided to study about the religion and that led to my conversion,” he said. “Now, I am really enjoying the beauty of Islam and am extremely delighted in Allah’s great blessing to guide me onto His path. It is an explicable experience for me,” he said adding that his former colleagues in the Freedom Party are angry at his acceptance of Islam, which is still a bête noire for them. “The party stands against Islam and its spreading in Europe. Some of them now consider me as a traitor.”
Doorn has a message to those who oppose his reversion to Islam. “Let me tell them that this is my personal decision and I see a new life in Islam that I don’t want any way to give it up. I happened to see on social networking sites several comments, expressing feelings of antagonism and hatred toward me,” he said adding that all these sprang out of ignorance, contempt and animosity against Islam and the Muslims.
He also thanked all those who supported him and commended him for beginning a new life as a Muslim.
Referring to his visit to the holy land, Doorn said: “Had anybody mentioned me about visiting the land of the two holy mosques earlier, I would have called him a lunatic.
“But what happened now is realization of a dream and it is still unbelievable for me that I am now in the holy city that hosted the Prophet (pbuh).” He continued saying: “I couldn’t control my feelings when I stood in front of the grave of the Prophet (pbuh) as well as in Rawdah Sharif, near the pulpit used by the Prophet (pbuh). When I prayed at Rawdah Sharaif, my eyes were full of tears as I had the feeling that I am in a part of the Paradise.”
Doorn said that he was amazed to see the intensity of love and affection the Muslims have for their Prophet (pbuh). “I also realized the intensity of hatred that some Westerners have against Islam and the Prophet (pbuh) and that was based apparently on their ignorance and prejudice.
“Therefore, I decided to make endeavors to repair the damage caused by the offensive film, which was produced with an ulterior motive of creating sedition in between Muslims and non-Muslims,” he said, adding that he took a pledge in front of the grave of the Prophet (pbuh) that he would strive to spread his true message and his great qualities that are instrumental in promoting peace and harmonious relations among the people worldwide.
While thanking CDA for introducing Islam to him, Doorn unveiled his plans to associate with its Dawa wing, which is comprised of several well-known Islamic preachers and scholars.
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