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Not A Shocker: More Muhammad movies planned, film-makers reveal

The anti-Muslim Movie Festival that we are likely to encounter in the upcoming months and years is just beginning. The Islamophobia machine has whet its appetite, and those who thrive off of instigating civilizational and cultural conflict are salivating at the chance to incite another conflagration. The Innocence of Muslims is not the first anti-Muslim hate movie produced, it is just another in a long line, but the Geller’s and Spencer’s of the world see an opportunity, will their counterparts in the Muslim world, the loony and extremist fringe oblige? One prays not.

The following Guardian article details Geller and Spencer’s production of an upcoming “Muhammad movie,” but that’s not the only one, there are reports that former Mossad agent Musab Youssef, who bills himself the “Son of Hamas” is also working on a movie about the Prophet Muhammad. (h/t: Jai)

More Muhammad movies planned, film-makers reveal

By Ben Child (The Guardian)

Protests have erupted across the Muslim world after clips from a film depicting Muhammad appeared on YouTube. Now, according to the LA Times, there could be more provocation to come: the newspaper says it has uncovered evidence that at least two further film-makers are planning movies which will show the prophet on screen.

Innocence of Muslims, the film currently at the centre of a religious firestorm, has caused anger for its depiction of Muhammad as a womaniser and paedophile, but has also upset worshippers who believe that it is blasphemous to depict him on screen. The Times says two further film-makers are both planning to do just that. Just as worryingly for US relations with the Muslim world, both are ex-believers who no longer embrace Islam and both are raising funds for their biopics in the United States.

The newspaper names the first film-maker as Mosab Hassan Yousef, a Palestinian who moved to Los Angeles several years ago. He told the LA Times he had already cast a “prominent Hollywood actor” in the title role of his $30m (£18.5m) film, titled simply Muhammad. “My goal is to create this big mirror to show the Muslim world the true image of its leader,” Yousef says, adding that the film would feel similar to the Mel Gibson drama The Passion of the Christ. The film-maker was reportedly inspired to convert by the radical Egyptian Christian Zakaria Botros Henein, who has described Muhammad as a paedophile and buffoonand who may have also influenced the makers of Innocence of Muslims.

The second film-maker is named as Ali Sina, a Canadian atheist who was raised as a Muslim in Iran. He says he has secured $2m (£1.2m) for a film that will portray Muhammad as a cult leader in the style of David Koresh or Jim Jones. Sina hopes to shoot next year if he can raise an extra $8m. He has been planning his film for a decade but says it only recently became a possibility due to technical advances in film distribution.

“We can bypass theatres completely and sell the movie online with a profit to a large number of people, especially Muslims,” Sina said. “They can download it and watch it even if they are living in Karachi or Mecca or Medina.”

Perhaps the best known film about the life of Muhammad is The Message, a 1977 film by Halloween producer Moustapha Akkad; described as the story of Islam, it was ultimately financed by Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi after Hollywood refused to fund it. Starring Anthony Quinn and Irene Papas, the film avoided any depiction of Muhammad on screen. Scenes were occasionally shown from the prophet’s perspective but he was not seen and his voice was not heard. Even so, the film drew anger among Muslims who had heard a rumour that Quinn was playing Muhammad. In March 1977, the film was named as a grievance (among others) by an armed group who took 149 hostages and killed a radio journalist and a police officer during a standoff in Washington, DC.

At least 51 people, including the US ambassador to Libya, have been killed in violence linked to protests over Innocence of Muslims. So far, only clips from the film have been aired and it is not clear whether a full cut exists.

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  • Ilisha

    @Stoned Gremlin

    I don’t think we need to address 33:61. Free World didn’t explain how this calls for aggression, but merely pasted it here, as if it is so obvious, no explanation is required.

    But if I say, “hypocrites are cursed, and wherever they go, bad things will happen to them,” that’s a prediction, not a command.

    In fact, that verse is so irrelevant, it isn’t even the usual cut and paste fare.

    Free World must resort to secondary and supplemental sources, but that will make a weaker case, for the reasons I’ve already mentioned. Even after making that case, he will further have to address his cause-and-effect assertions, and I think it’s clear he’s not up to the task.

    Free World can’t back his assertions, and so he’s reduced to the troll tactic of talking in circles and spawning tangents. I see no need to address him further.

  • Stoned Gremlin

    @Free World Your hadith numbering is impossible to follow. Hadith normally have a volume number, book number and hadith number. I don’t know what part of Bukhari “4:141″ is or even says outside of the shady paraphrasing by Muslim haters.

    The actual Quranic references you quoted were from surah 33, Surah Al Azhab. I’ll give you some time to find out what Al Azhab may be referencing. Maybe you’ll even learn what Al Azhab means in English.

  • sir David (aged 13 3/4)

    Freeworld
    I believe that freedom comes with responcibility to accept the actions of that freedom.
    Yes these con artists are free to make that trailer .
    You are also free to go to Harlem , New York and call everyone a Nigger . It may be the first black person who thumps you or the one hundred and first . Let me know when you will try this experiment as I will sell tickets to watch .
    Both the Bible and the Quran are complicate works and many people have spent their lives researching there meaning . It is interested to note that many of the people who have used such writings to justify violence where not scholars of these works . Its a pity we cannot ask the authors what they mean :-)
    Brevik murdered scores of people based on his understanding of the works of Geller , y’Or , Spencer and Fordman etc. These people are still alive did they denounce Brevik ? Have they apologised for feeding the hate that caused that man to kill? Geller went as far as to blame the victims.
    You say they do not hate muslims ,only Islam I had a good chuckle over that one . I see hate and weasle words frankly saying they only hate radical islam etc but they never define what they think radical Islam is .
    Violence is never right weather you call it honour violence ,domestic violence ,rioting , mugging ,targeted assasination, bombing ,colateral damage …… alas the list goes on

    Sir David Angers

  • Ilisha

    @Free World

    It’s not who is wrong or right. You came here and made assertions, and I challenged you to prove them.

    Either you can, or you can’t. I won’t be destracted from my challenge, and I’m not going to repeat myself.

  • Free World

    Ilisha

    First of all, I’d like to think of our conversation as a joint investigation rather than some challenge of who is wrong and who is right.
    I’d be delighted to be proved wrong on this issue, really, I would like it to be as you say, that there is no scriptural support for blasphemy law within Islam. Perhaps then Islam could reform. Unfortunately it seems that there is scriptural support. And most importantly, as far as I am aware all Islamic authorities agree on it.
    I have been looking for an Islamic authority that would contradict this, but have not found one.
    There are 5 Islamic schools of thought, and they all agree on this. They even agree that apostasy should be punished by death, with the exception of one which claims that woman can be imprisoned instead of killed.

    I also explained that Sharia is based on trilogy, not on Quran alone. And I gave you three examples of Muhammad ordering killing of those who mocked him. Good Muslims must follow the example of Muhammad.
    Finally I gave you this Quranic verse:
    33:61
    “Accursed, they will be seized wherever found and slain with a fierce slaughter.”

    I believe that no reasonable person can disagree that this is a commandment to slay “those who malign Allah and His messenger”
    Again, I want to say that I would have loved if it was different.
    I would love to be able to convince the Muslims that they don’t need to be so intolerant and that they can allow people to have their opinions and express them. I have not found a basis for that.

  • Ilisha

    @Free World

    I didn’t intend to insult your intelligence.

    As for the challenge, a basphemy law applies a punishment in this life. I don’t think any of the verses you provided meet that challenge.

    The assertion that God will punish people is the afterlife is not a law.

    If you believe one of the verses you supplied can be interpreted as a blasphemy law, please indicate which one and how it applies.

  • Free World

    Ilisha,
    You are asking me to meet your challenge.
    I don’t know what you mean.
    I thought you requested that I give you Quranic verses supporting blasphemy laws. If so, I have given you a very thorough answer and included verses, too.
    Is that what you meant by you challenge?

    AS for being able to make a distinction, you are right that some distinctions are difficult to make. However, the morality and legality is quite easy, and I indeed would not consider someone worth talking with if they could not make such distinction. (unless it was a little child, of course)

  • Ilisha

    @Free World

    Do you really think a failure to make a distinction between two things qualifies someone as stupid? If so, I think we probably all qualify in some arena.

    In any case, I believe you’ve since explained you can make the distinction after all. Fair enough.

    Now, can you meet my challenge?

  • Free World

    Ilisha,

    You said that I was unable to make a distinction between morality and legality.
    What would that say about my intelligence?
    Anyway, I am happy that you and I stand on the same firm ground of defence for freedom of speech. I was confused about that for a moment, and I appreciate you clarifying that.

  • Ilisha

    @Free World

    Where did I insult you or call you stupid? I said you appear unable to make a distinction.

    I’m not going to argue with you over the morality or immorality of the movie. I argued neither case, but merely said it’s CriticalDragon’s right to say it’s immoral.

    I won’t get sucked into defending assertions I haven’t made.

    I’m a staunch advocate of free speech. Moral or immoral, I don’t dispute the right to make the movie, nor would I ever justify a violent response. I don’t think it should be necessary to repeat that again.

  • Free World

    Ilisha,

    I do appreciate exchanging views with you, and I am certainly learning though doing that. Only one request. Please don’t insult me. There is no need for that is a good discussion. If we think that our conversation partner is stupid, there is no point in having conversation. So let’s keep it respectful.
    There is no need to say that I apparently don’t know the difference between morality and legality.
    Of course I do, I was talking about morality not about legality.
    I don’t think that it is immoral to make a movie that call attention to the facts about Muhammad. (how ever badly that movie was made, and it was really terrible)
    Let’s just assume for the sake of argument that Muhammad was a rapist, a child abuser, a torturer, a mass murderer and much more. Perhaps above all he was a cunning deceiver.
    Now this may or may not be true. May, or may not be supported by the Islamic trilogy (Quran,Hadith, Sirat).
    However any attempt to make the above point and argue for it logically by referring to the sources will be received with violence by the Muslims. It will indeed hurt their feelings. If the only purpose for making such movie was to hurt someone feelings, than I would agree with you that it would be immoral.
    However if the purpose of the movie was to inform the public about the perceived evils inherent in Islam and Muhammad, then it is not immoral.

    More subtly, if the purpose was to show that every attempt of criticizing Islam leads to violence, then that too was not immoral, as such demonstration is indeed important for our understanding.

    Here is my opinion: Without blasphemy laws and without riots Islam would have ceased to exist long time ago. It is only because people have not been informed about the truth, that this primitive cult has persisted for so long.

    Therefore Muslims will insist on enforcing blasphemy laws through violence and riots.

  • Ilisha

    @Free World

    People are saying the Quran doesn’t have blasphemy laws because it doesn’t. If you’re going to assert that is does, produce the chapter and verse.

    You’re absolutely wrong when you say secondary sources, such as the hadith, are equally important. The Quran is the highest source of law in Islam. Period.

    As for the hadith, Muslims vary on which collections they consider authentic and relevant, and a minority of Muslims ignore secondary sources entirely.

    If you make a valid point about a particular scholar or a particular hadith (or any other secondary or supplemental source), the best you can claim is that SOME Muslims recognize this source or interpret it a certain way. You cannot justify saying such evidence represents the whole of Islam, because it simply doesn’t.

    Two challenges: Produce the verses in the Quran that (1) punish blasphemy (2) call for unprovoked aggression.

  • Free World

    Dear Ilisha,
    Thank you for bringing this important point up for discussion.
    Lately, in connection with the riots, there have been voices claiming that Islam does not have blasphemy laws. Or at least that Quran does not support them.
    Most of these voices came from Islamo-apologist. It is important to investigate such claims:

    There are plenty of verses in Quran which are interpreted by modern Islamic authorities and have been historically interpreted as blasphemy laws.
    The highest authority of Iranian Shiites, the Ayatollah, routinely issues fatfa condemning blasphemers to death. Most famously against Salaman Rashdi.
    Within the Sunni world some countries have that in their constitution and officially enforce death penalty for blasphemy. Most importantly Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan.
    Other countries (e.g. Egypt) in effect enforce them too, thought not death penalty.
    For several years now, OIC, an association of 56 Islamic states, representing the biggest voting block it the UN, has been pushing for international adoption of anti-blasphemy laws. Tragically our current president does not object to this. He said that he will look how to accommodate them within the frame of our Constitution of 1st Amendment.

    I don’t want to get into a theological discussion about how Quranic verses should be interpreted. I am only interested in how they actually are being interpreted.

    Quran is not the only source of Islam. Hadith and Sirat are juts as important.
    Without Hadith there could be not Islam.
    Quran does not say to pray 5 times per day, Hadith does.
    Quran does not say to go on Hajj to Mecca, Hadith does.
    Quran does not say to fast and how to fast during Ramadan, Hadith does.

    Without the above rules, there is no Islam. Hadith is just as necessary as Quran.
    Hadith has many example of Muhammad murdering, or ordering the murder of those who criticized him.

    Bukhari (59:369) – Ka’b bin al-Ashraf, a Jewish poet wrote verses about Muslims that Muhammad found insulting. Muhammad asked his followers, ‘Who will rid me of this man?’ and several volunteered. al-Ashraf was stabbed to death while fighting for his life.

    Bukhari (3:106) – “The Prophet said, “Do not tell a lie against me for whoever tells a lie against me (intentionally) then he will surely enter the Hell-fire.”

    Bukhari (4:241) – Those who mocked Muhammad at Mecca were killed after he had retaken the city and asserted his authority.

    I want to finish with a few verses from Quran which commonly are interpreted as condemning criticism of Muhammad and Islam:
    Qur’an (6:93) – “Who can be more wicked than one who inventeth a lie against Allah?”
    33:57) to 33:61)
    “Lo! those who malign Allah and His messenger, Allah hath cursed them in this world and the Hereafter, and hath prepared for them the doom of the disdained”
    “Accursed, they will be seized wherever found and slain with a fierce slaughter.”

  • Ilisha

    @Free World

    You seem unable to distinguish between declaring something immoral vs. illegal.

    CriticalDragon, and anyone else, can certainly express the opinion the release of this provocative movie was immoral. To do so is also free speech.

    He didn’t call for banning the movie, or for any legal action that might curtail free speech rights, nor did he justify or excuse any violent response.

    People can go down the street spewing racial slurs and mocking handicapped people too. That doesn’t mean they that it’s morally or socially acceptable to do so–and pointing that out is not the same as outlawing such behavior.

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