Customer Review

16 of 41 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Massive disappointment, 20 July 2007
This review is from: Islam: What the West Needs to Know [DVD] [2007] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Upon seeing that I have only given this film two stars, you might think that I am one of those PC types who believes this documentary about Islam is full of hatred, takes the Qur'an out of context, and so on. In fact, the opposite is true. The information presented in this film is 100% accurate; I agree with all of it and I think the West really does need to know this stuff.

However, I would not encourage anyone I know to watch it, and this is why: it is tremendously boring. This documentary could not have been any less inspiring if it tried. The editing and pacing are chronic. Rather than flit about between details in a fast-paced and interesting way, the whole documentary is esssentially just a series of interviews with the various experts, interlinked occasionally with overlong archived news clips. The edits between each interview clip, rather than straight cuts, always slowly fade to black and then slowly fade back in again. It all moves at a complete snail's pace.

It's almost as if they TRIED to make it boring. The film offers nothing to hold the interest; just people talking at you for an hour in their most boring voices. Bat Ye'or, as brilliant a historian as she is, is intolerable. Her voices is witchlike and her English is so broken that all of her scenes have subtitles just so we can make it out...if we haven't lost the will to live already. Similarly, passages from the Qur'an and hadiths are read out by a man with probably the most atonal voice I have ever heard. It's just diabolical.

Once again, don't get me wrong. I have awarded the documentary two stars because its message is so important. Westerners really do need to know that Islam commands Muslims to wage war on non-Muslims, that these laws have never been revised by any Islamic authority, and how Islam spread by the sword. But this film will not persuade anyone of that. Of course, many people wouldn't have listened anyway, but I envision people being so bored while watching this that they will just lose interest and not listen.

This film, which features some brilliant and brave scholars of Islam, as well as ex-Muslims who as apostates are putting their lives on the line by being featured in it, is a huge disappointment. I want everyone to know and understand the film's message, but even so I would never encourage them to watch it. It's just too painful.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Nov 2008 09:15:20 GMT
Acle says:
You wonder whether this DVD was made purposely boring. I wouldn't use the word "boring", but I do think there was an intention to make the style considered, thoughtful, unsensational, even academic in the way it supports its assertions with references to Islamic scripture. Other videos about Islam, such as Fitna and Obsession, I feel lost intellectual credibility through being too sensational.
And make no mistake, IWTWNTK is a valuable work of reference for all time. I just hope the West takes some notice.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Aug 2009 14:31:14 BDT
Last edited by the author on 14 Aug 2009 14:39:50 BDT
gadgetbadger says:
Entirely agreed: having watched this film - free of the rhetoric and sensationalism which would otherwise drive the thoughtful and considered away from its fundamental premise - I find it's a refreshing, intellectually-engaging product that treats its viewers with respect and diplomacy. It must necessarily take time to articulate distinctives about Islamic theology and history to an audience which, make no mistake, needs methodical instruction, an audience which must perforce be considered ill-equipped and largely ignorant. I am thankful the programme makers do not take 'us' for granted but neither do they adopt a patronising, nor condescending tone in spelling out to their western counterparts that which we simply do not hear through our media, nor our politicians or - at a populist level - our institutes of learning: it IS a triumph of content OVER style.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jan 2010 10:46:39 GMT
NotMyUsualid says:
This is not intended to be Hollywood at it's finest - this is a documentary, and the most important one we have ever seen.

So refreshing to see people finally coming out and exposing Islam for what it is. Remember, there are peaceful Muslims, but there is no peaceful Islam.
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Review Details



B. D. Wilson

Location: UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 121,167