'Mohammed' - The Second Greatest Story Ever Told
Barrie Osborne, part of the Oscar-winning team behind The Matrix and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, says the new production is ‘an international epic production aimed at bridging cultures. The film will educate people about the true meaning of Islam’.
But no actor will be in line for an Oscar, because no actor will be playing the Prophet. The film is financially backed by the Qatar-based production company Alnoor Holdings, ‘who have installed the Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi (not a joke) to oversee all aspects of the shoot’. So, in accordance with Islamic law, Mohammed will not actually be depicted on screen. They will ‘shoot around’ him (so to speak).
Talk about Hamlet without the Prince.
The film purports to ‘shed light on the Prophet's life since before his birth to his death’ and aspires to ‘highlight the humanity of Prophet Muhammad’, but it will exclude the protagonist from his own life story and thereby keep his humanity in the darkness. This will not educate people about ‘the true meaning of Islam’, for all that does not accord with Al-Qaradawi’s personal beliefs and quranic interpretation will be vetoed. He already appears to have set aside the historical Shi’a tradition that Mohammed may indeed be portrayed, and that such a portrayal does not amount to the graven image of idolatry. One wonders how he will handle Mohammed’s sexual proclivities, his betrothal to the six-year-old Aisha, his 'war crimes', his exhortation to murder Christians and Jews, or his generous offer to the vanquished of conversion to Islam or death – all of which have historical quranic authority or a long heritage of hadith validity.
How on earth can a biopic exclude the bios?
At least Jesus is always portrayed as being fully human, even though he is fully God. But then Cecil B DeMille and Franco Zeffirelli had no fear of death threats and no expectation of fatal sieges.
Although there is no chalcedonian dispute going on about the divinity of Mohammed, the reverence and respect accorded to him by the western media constitutes elevation to that status: the Christian blasphemy laws may have been abolished, but there has emerged an unwritten blasphemy law to fill the spiritual void which protects Allah, Mohammed and the Qur'an. The Hadith of Al-Qaradawi will be of no assistance at all in helping people to understand either Islam or the mortal prophet revered by a billion followers. Only an Enlightenment perspective could illuminate the kuffar.
‘Mohammed Superstar’ this will not be. But perhaps...
'Mohammed-spell' - 'Pre - ee - ee - pare ye, the way of Allaaaah'.
'Mohammed of Mecca' starring Robert Powell's right hand and left foot.
'Prophet of Prophets' - 'Awww, suurely this maan waas the Praaphet of Gaad'.
'The Life of Tariq' - the story of Tariq Ali, a young Arab man who is born in the same era and location as Mohammed who is mistaken for the Prophet.
'Four Forced Weddings and an Honour Killing' - an halal remake.
'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Medina' - a vaudeville case of mistaken identity.
(Cranmer is expanding this list - keep them coming!).