The Arrivals - Documentary or Entertainment?

exclusive by Tahir Hussain

If you haven’t seen the YouTube documentary***“The Arrivals”*** (also aired on ARY Digital) then I’m certain you know someone who has seen it, such has been its impact. It has entered the homes of many families and people have been impressed by what it brings to the table. For this reason I decided to write this as I find it surprising how people have swallowed up this documentary without questioning the anti-intellectual garbage it presents.  Shaykh Hamza Yusuf in one of his talks said “we have become a nation of listening  . . . “.

Why do we not contemplate what we’re being fed by these documentaries — from what you just heard, what ideas were projected on you?  Some latch on to conspiracy theories as though they are facts. Why does this happen?   Why are we so fascinated by such documentaries to the extent that it blurs any rational thinking of the ideology it presents? This is the effect of intrigue of sensationalist theories. But why do we support them? Quite simply because they support your perspective of the world, it gives you the sense of we’re right everyone is against us, we’re victims, it’s us against the world. Is this a good thing? Not when your friends tell you that if you haven’t watched “The Arrivals” then you know nothing.

This documentary is problematic for many reasons.

First, I’m saddened that my generation no longer thinks for themselves. I don’t question what “The Arrivals” presents as far as the state of the world goes — not at all.  My issue is with the Islamic theme it intertwines in to this all the while distorting it with conjecture contradicting Islam imposing anti-intellectual thought all the while reeking of hypocrisy.

Second, what is this documentary actually saying?  Such conspiracy laden documentaries advocating that “Freemasons” run the world make the believer feel like a powerless pawn in their master plan. It depresses the Muslim. It pushes forward the emotion of helplessness, a “we can’t do anything, they run the world” mentality. Instead of looking at our shortcomings, our problems as a nation, as a people, as an ummah we give them power as though they’re invincible and responsible for all the ills of the world and the state of the ummah. Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406) the famous historian wrote in his magnus opus,“The Muqaddimah”  that *“throughout history many nations have suffered a physical defeat but that has never marked the end of a nation, but when a nation has become a victim of a psychological defeat then that marks the end of a nation”*and this is exactly what these documentaries are are pushing forward, whether intentionally or not.

Third, the way in which the documentary draws you in.  It brings selective authentic ahadith to the table.  Now, I’m not questioning the ahadith (narration/speech/deeds/actions attributed to Muhammad (saw)) but this is exactly how it draws you in.  You are now comfortable with the premise, and in the zone.  When the documentary producers begin interpreting ahadith for their agenda and all the while you’re comfortable supporting the conjecture as the viewer thinks the interpretation is as authentic as the ahadith is itself when the fact is it isn’t!

Lastly, the combination of pictures showing you immoral acts with dramatic music is what stirs your emotions in*“The Arrivals”*. Have you tried watching it on mute? Try it and see the difference. How many times does it have to show you images of Madonna kissing Britney Spears and other such clips to drive home a point? It’s an unprofessional cut and paste job. It constantly uses music while stating the evils of music, does no one see the irony in this? Yet what’s more ironic is that it warns you about brainwashing and mind control and how you’re susceptible to influence through these mediums yet you come away brainwashed by this documentary which has a **sickening **underlying tone of making you doubt the Companions. This is poison to the ummah and for those saying“bro check this documentary out it’s next level”, you’re helping inject this poison in the ummah!  From being judgmental about who killed whom in early Islamic history to mentioning the FACT that Starbucks funds the terrorist state of Israel, you look forward to the next part thinking give me more, but the more and more it’s drawing you in, the more and more you’re being set up to be hit with beliefs we do not uphold and you do not differentiate because of your comfort.  It distorts using half truths and it does it in such a subtle way — that one can easily prescribe or advocate the same theology.

The counter-argument would be that it has benefits and some people have woken up as a result of it. But why did it take*“The Arrivals”* to make one realise that we have problems? Why did this documentary awaken the realisation that sexual references in music/movies visual/audio is bad? Do you know how ridiculous that sounds?  We don’t need “The Arrivals” to explain what’s going on in the world today — do you need to physically go to the North Pole to realise it’s cold there? I’m sick of hearing how entertainment (music/movies) is riddled with subliminal messages of Freemasonry and we need to watch out for such messages. What a trick — do you seriously believe someone making a triangle with his hands is having an effect on your subconscious? Do you really believe a compass and ruler combination (Mason symbol) will trigger something in your subconscious later in life? This has to be said, it’s absolute nonsense! Subliminal messages do not produce a powerful, enduring effect on behavior according to psychologists, it’s a placebo!

I’ve noticed how through this method, you’re explicitly being told or shown through these mediums and instead has us concentrating and looking for signs and symbols as though that’s the prime problem. My point is when was the last time someone came up to you and said “bro, have you heard how Jay-Z degrades women, boasts about materialism, promotes immoral activities, uses bad language etc.”? It sounds funny if you actually imagine someone coming up to you and saying that right? Just imagine it, no one has EVER said such a thing to me. Why? Because such things are an accepted norm, it’s no longer seen as strange/wrong amongst my peers. However, when was the last time someone said to you “bro! Jay-Z is a Freemason Devil worshiping rapper, you see how he makes a triangle with his hands and if you backtrack his music you can hear Satan references bro!”. What about the explicit half naked women running around in his videos? What about the content of his actual lyrics!? All that is now overlooked like it’s not the problem but him being a Mason is, this is a sensationalist coated theory which attracts the intrigue of our people and takes away the actual focus of the problem with someone like Jay-Z. It’s almost as though saying let’s move on to the next rapper because Jay-Z is a Mason and that’s what’s the problem is with him but other rappers are not Masons so they’re okay!

It is not Freemasons that are the problem.  If you want to focus on those creating tribulation in the world, then it is the wealthiest people of the world who want ownership of everything.  It is the lobbying groups, the media, the corrupt Government officials, those stealing our Muslim identities, they’re the problem not Freemasons or these concoctions of the unseen people running the world! I’m not denying the that an elite group retain power,  but it’s the notion that it is Freemasons which bothers me, these unidentifiable individuals just thrown in to a group. When the victims of the Flotilla for Gaza were murdered, locked-up and terrorised to ensure they couldn’t give their stories was this due to Freemasonry? No, it was an Israeli campaign which was successful — yes, these are the facts, and not some Kabbalah-practicing Masons. Drop this anti-intellectual garbage, I mean “The Arrivals” says specifically designed buildings consisting of domes, arches or pyramids open dimensions and are capable of harnessing good or evil energy? Really? What nonsense. Anyone can make the same argument against Muslims by showing mosques with domes and then equating it with clips of ignorant people talking about killing people in the name of Islam thus supporting the t
heory that this is the reason masjids use domes, to harness evil energy. Now you’re not going to agree with that because it doesn’t support your position and more importantly you know it isn’t true right? What I said is contextually manipulated but then why do you buy it when it supports your view though it uses the same fallacious method?

But still people will say,“The Arrivals” has benefits. I don’t deny this, I’m not being biased, really I’m not. It is just entertainment, pure and simple.  Nothing to do with fact, and definitely nothing to do with any kind of action or plan for the betterment of the ummah or the world.