Arnoud van Doorn, who came to modest prominence as a Dutch politician for the anti-immigration / anti-Islam PVV party, had a remarkable change of heart recently. He has seen the light, the truth, and the way — and it is Islam, van Doorn has decided.
In other words, the Dutchman is a convert to the very religion he justifiably made a career out of criticizing and lampooning.
Formerly a close associate of PVV head honcho Geert Wilders, with whom he made the 16-minute movie Fitna (below) to show that Islam is an inherently violent faith, van Doorn now distances himself from Wilders, the PVV, and Fitna.
Last month, when he broke the news of his conversion with a Tweet that said “there is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his Prophet,” most people thought it was a prank, some comedy performance whose punchline would soon be revealed. But if van Doorn is playing a hoax on us, he has the stamina — and the cojones — of a prize bull camel.
Over the past couple of days, the newly-minted Dutch Muslim visited the prophet Mohammed’s mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia, and then traveled on to Mecca for meetings with Islamic officials who presented him with a deluxe copy of the Qur’an. According to local media, van Doorn not only “wept in repentance” for his “evil deeds”; he also shed “tears of remorse.”
Yesterday, the Saudi Gazette published this photo of van Doorn:
The caption reads:
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.
Van Doorn understands people’s surprise over his 180-degree turn, he told Al-Jazeera.
“In my own close circle people have known that I have been actively researching the Qur’an, Hadith, Sunnah and other writings for almost a year now. In addition, I have had numerous conversations with Muslims about the religion.” …
“I have heard so many negative stories about Islam, but I am not a person who follows opinions of others without doing my own research,” he said. “Therefore, I have actually started to deepen my knowledge of Islam out of curiosity.”
After that, there was more crying (emotionally, van Doorn may well be the Dutch twin of perennially teary House Speaker John Boehner):
“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 [Mohammed’s mosque, TF], my eyes were full of tears as I had the feeling that I am in a part of the Paradise.”
But that’s not all. Van Doorn announced that he will soon make another movie: a positive and reverential one about the Muslim warrior-prophet he has come to love. It’ll be the antithesis of this:
The Moral Compass team will let you know when his exciting new film debuts. We’re sure there won’t be a dry eye in the house, least of all van Doorn’s.