Sunday, November 08, 2009

Thou shalt not touch Islam

If you want to destroy a hallowed Christian site on the big screen, that's OK. Just don't try doing the same thing to Islam.

In the upcoming 2012, disaster director Roland Emmerich turns his sights on the Vatican and crumbles the Sistine Chapel into dust. But when he proposed demolishing a Muslim shrine as well, his colleagues on the project freaked out.

"I do not want to have a fatwa on my head because of a movie!" co-writer Harald Kloser objected. And, concedes Emmerich, "He was right."

So begins an entertainment article in yesterday’s National Post on the upcoming sci-fi, disaster film 2012

Which got me thinking how sad it is that Muslim militants have been so successful in intimidation that even artists, authors and film-makers (often considered the champions of free speech) are now prepared to restrict their freedom of expression just to avoid even the possibility of offending the Muslim population and instigating a violent backlash(or even the threat of one).  Courage has given way to compromise, creativity to safety.  “It’s just not worth the risk” has become the slogan. 

Such self-censorship inevitably becomes the mark of every totalitarian society. But we are giving up our freedom of expression without the militants even having to fight for political power.  All they have had to do is threaten violence and we have submitted to their expectations. 

It is this same attempt to silence all criticism of Islam that lies behind the Defamation of Religions Resolution, introduced annually at the UN General Assembly by the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), an inter-governmental organization of 57 countries with majority or significant Muslim populations.

This two-pronged effort – legislative pressure combined with the threat of violence - is making Islam virtually untouchable.  It will impact our lives for the worse in the future if we continue to allow Islamists to intimidate us into silence.


Amaris in Wonderland said...

So true... so true.

We've seen that Christianity is always the go-to group for Hollywood to portray as subversive, crazy, dangerous (or depending on the director's message) impotent, ridiculous or something for the weak-minded... always: foolish. (1 Corinthians 1:18-19)

A few years ago, many people were shocked that Scientology became the "hands off/don't even go there" religion that Hollywood was not allowed to portray in any other light than the most flattering. (Remember the controversy surrounding the South Park episode “Trapped in the Closet” Nov. 2005?)

Now Islam? For other reasons, of course: the only thing that Hollywood seeks to protect and defend other than money, is their own individual hides.

In light of the murder of Dutch director Theo Van Gogh in November 2004, I believe his “punishment” has many directors running scared - which is exactly what terrorists want. Van Gogh produced the film Submission, which analyzed the treatment of women in Islam, and was murdered for being "critical of Islam".

I believe that some small number of movie producers still have spines - and will not bow to the threat of terrorism or be afraid to put Islamic practices under the scope... but they are few & far between.

Ben said...

While the Combating Defamation of Islam resolution will not produce binding law, the proposed protocol to ICERD will.

We need to take strong action against that trend. Open Doors and ACLJ have petition campaigns against the resolution & protocol.