If you know him, now might be a really good time to unfriend Barrie Osborne on Facebook. He’s a Hollywood producer, probably best known for his work on films like The Matrix and Lord of the Rings, and now he’s producing a movie which may make him the target of religious extremists.
The Guardian says Osborne’s making a biopic about the prophet Muhammad. People have been murdered for simply drawing pictures of the Islamic religious figure, now just imagine how well his biopic will go over. Hell, I’m nervous just reporting on this movie’s existence. The comments second on this post will now inevitably fill up with people claiming Islam is a religion of peace, and that may well be true, but the world’s recent track record when it comes to depicting this particular dude isn’t exactly cheery.
Still, Osborne has managed to get some actual Muslims involved. A Qatar-based production company is backing it and they’ve hired English-speaking Muslim actors as well as a Muslim scholar to oversee all aspects of the project. So on the positive side, Osborne has probably reduced the number of death threats he’ll receive by 50%. On the negative side, it doesn’t sound like we’re going to get what might be considered an objective, unbiased portrayal. It’s coming straight from the Muslim point of view.
Indeed, the way Osborne describes this it sounds like he’s more than ready to tow the company line. He delivers the same, exact line that everyone delivers whenever they don’t really want to talk in an unbiased fashion about Islam. Ready for it? Here it is: “The film will educate people about the true meaning of Islam.” Yep, that last part sounds familiar.
The movie will cover Muhammad’s life from birth to death, so I guess we’re talking epic here and not a story focused on one event of particular religious significance like Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ. Even if it’s not objective and unbiased, count me interested. For an outsider, getting a bead on what Muhammad was really like is all but impossible, in part because people are flatly afraid of discussing him. I have a pretty good idea of how Abraham works, Jesus is an open book, and with Buddha I at least know I’m supposed to rub his belly. But for the average, ignorant Western infidel Muhammad is still sort of a mystery. Maybe Osborne’s movie can provide insight.
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