Bring on the Mo-movie!
A major Hollywood film about the inventor of Islam is due to begin production in 2011.
Qatar based production company Alnoor Holdings has brought in big-shot producer Barrie Osborne (The Matrix and Lord of the Rings) to make a biopic of Mohammed. The usual restrictions apply: no depictions of the “prophet” or his immediate family.
Wallace Shawn must be bitterly disappointed.
Osborne has apparently swallowed the myth hook line and sinker:
He was a profound genius who founded a religion whose name in Islam signifies peace and reconciliation. This is what our film will aspire to do.
If that wasn’t enough to guarantee a whitewash, they have brought in the demented Sheik “Throw gays from clifftops” Qaradawi as a technical advisor.
In spite of the obvious deficiencies of this proposed project, the appearance of a major film about the life of Mohammed is unequivocally a Good Thing. People, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, are generally ignorant of this semi-historical figure as he is depicted in the source texts of Islam.
There are two Jesuses: the perfect Son of God whom Christians carry around in their heads as an ideal imaginary friend, and the rather sanctimonious, petulant, bad-tempered character as depicted in the Gospels (he had good points, too – but the bad ones are always overlooked or excused by believers).
Mohammed has the same dual nature, but the discrepancy for Muslims is even greater. In their heads he is the paradigm of perfect humanity. In the source texts, he is revealed, among other things, as a paedophile and a torturer.
Yes, the biopic will be a whitewash. It will be strongly criticised for it. This will lead to the evidence of the source texts being revealed to a much wider audience than ever before, educating both infidel and Muslim alike.
And that can’t be bad.