Islam Documentary Screening Shelved After Threats
A UK documentary film maker’s movie screening was canceled after a separate anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims” ignited protests across Libya, Egypt and Yemen.
Nowhere near resembling the film that caused protests, the documentary, “Islam: The Untold Story” is rooted in historical evidence, challenging the origins of Islam religion. However, Islam slowly but surely continues to construct itself as a religion that dares critics to speak out against it. Speech against the religion need not even be negative or inflammatory — the film that supposedly caused the attack on the Libyan embassy resembles a sketch comedy bit more than a serious work of film, but the backlash was severe nonetheless.
The Guardian’s Ben Quinn reports that the initial screening “Islam: The Untold Story,” which features historian Tom Holland, was canceled after receiving “security advice” regarding the event.
Dr Jenny Taylor, founder of Laipido Media, which specializes in religious literacy in world affairs, criticized the screening cancellation. “We have got to be able to discuss history. That is the western way,” she said to The Guardian.
Of course, not all Muslims react so harshly to criticism of Islam. As mentioned in Quinn’s article, the media secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, Inayat Bunglawala, challenged Holland’s stance in high-tech, old-fashioned discourse (at least, as much discourse as one can cram into a twitter exchange.)
Those that do take great offense however react fiercely, and often violently. Few religions, if any, carry the intense reputation for extreme action or vengeance more than Islam.
However, the media bravely (or foolishly) presses on. One must wonder if the scrutiny of Islam stems from a natural curiosity, or rather, because there’s a thrilling danger to it all, like getting one more poke on a felled hornet’s nest. Either way, such threats shouldn’t stand in the way of academia and the pursuit of history.
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