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Jonathan W. Hunt | Orchard Park, New York
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Armor Bible Church, PCA
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Is the video “Innocence of Muslims” Historically Inaccurate?
Posted by: Armor Bible Church, PCA | more..
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Is the video “Innocence of Muslims” Historically Inaccurate? -by Douglas Sukhia 9.29.12

The video entitled “Innocence of Muslims” (a.k.a. “Mohammed Movie Trailer” and also “The Real Life of Mohammed”) is an approximately 14 minute “trailer” for a two-hour movie entitled “Innocence of Bin Laden”. The video was uploaded in English to YouTube in July 2012. Since being translated into Arabic it has been the excuse for violent mass riots as well as attacks on US embassies around the world by Muslims scandalized by its content. It has also led to calls on the part of leaders from Islamic countries for international laws prohibiting the blaspheming of religion and venerated religious figures.

The video is ostensibly a trailer for an original two-hour movie called “Desert Warrior”. The full length movie (supposedly a dramatic depiction of an Arabic chieftain predating Mohammed) was actually only shown to about ten people in Hollywood and is no longer available. The trailer is made up of altered clips of the longer movie with references to Mohammed and his life dubbed in. The original script apparently made no reference of him.

The assumed writer and producer of the film, Nakoula Basseley, is a US citizen born in Egypt who was living in California but is now in hiding. Over the last 10 years or so, this man has been convicted of tax evasion, and the intent to manufacture methamphetamines. He has also been charged with bank fraud. He reported that he wrote the script of the film while doing time in a federal prison.

The actual motivations behind his writing and production of this film and video “trailer” are known only to God. But it seems to me to be a crude attempt to expose the injustice, cruelty and lust of Mohammed that comes down to us from the Islamic historical sources of the Koran and the Haddith (the authentic stories of the prophet).

As Coptic Christians ,Basseley and his wife probably had firsthand knowledge of the persecution, marginalization and unjustified violence that Christian minorities routinely experience in most Muslim countries including Egypt. The film seems to be a reaction to Muslim injustice. Another motivation might have been to provoke more Muslim attacks on Israel and its staunchest ally the US. This supposition is based on the fact that Nakoula originally claimed that the film cost $5 million, and that it was financed by 100 Jewish friends.

The video has been banned in many places but can still be viewed on the web here in the US. It is obviously poorly written, and acted. The dubbing of words like “Mohammed” and “Aisha” is crude and obvious. Several of the scenes are salacious, obviously designed to produce sexual arousal. Although the film could rightly be criticized as incendiary and insensitive, it nevertheless is based on facts that are not disputed by Islamic and other historians. This needs to be pointed out because the film is being portrayed as a complete fabrication and caricature of Mohammed lacking any historical basis. Although the video takes dramatic license in its portrayals, it nevertheless is based on established Islamic tradition. Here are some of the facts, all based on Islamic sources that are behind the video: (see the web sites listed)

1. The video starts with a modern setting of Christians being attacked while authorities look the other way. In fact , Christians are often attacked by Muslim mobs and criminals with the tacit approval of the authorities who refuse to step in to stop the violence or subsequently prosecute the perpetrators involved.

2. The film shows Mohammed lusting after and having sex with various women. In fact, after the death of his first wife of 20 years , Mohammed did take for himself from 9 to 14 additional wives according to Islamic sources.

3. The video contains a scene where a Jewish man is killed in front of his wife who is then taken into Muhammad’s harem. In fact Mohammed did take Safiya Bint Huyai to be his wife after torturing and killing her Jewish husband Kenana. She was given the offer to either marry him or become a slave after her Jewish tribe, Bani Nadeer, was defeated by Mohammed and his forces.

4. In the film Muhammad is rebuked for his taking of too many wives and he justifies his behavior from the Koran . In fact the Koran does contain statements that justify Mohammed's having more than the limit of four wives prescribed for all other Muslims (compare Sura 4:3 with Sura 33:50).

5. When Mohammed's right to marry Zainab (the divorced wife of his adopted son Zaid) was contested by others as contrary to 7th Century Arabic tradition , Mohammed did have a Koranic revelation that justified his behavior (Sura 33:38). This event also seems to be alluded to in the video.

6. In the film, Khadija suggests to Mohammed that he altar portions of the Old Testament and the New Testament to create his “new truth” for the world. It is a well known fact that the Koran does contain selected and altered texts of the Bible and it’s stories that I are caballed together to support the Islamic worldview.

In conclusion, the video is indeed an insensitive, sarcastic portrayal of Mohammed and Islam that seems to be calculated to incite anger in Muslims and hostility between Muslims and non-Muslims. It certainly is deserving of criticism for that reason. But the substance of the film is essentially factually correct according to Muslim historians and scholars. It is not a total fiction, a fantasy fabricated out of the imagination of its author with no historical basis. It seems to me that the problem for Muslims is not these sarcastic caricatures of Mohammed by non-Muslim critics, but rather the inconvenient truths about Mohammed's life as portrayed by Muslim scholars. For any morally sensitive unbiased Muslim, the scandal should not be this film but rather the actual behavior of the prophet that is supposed to be the sinless model of human behavior. How much wiser it is to come to Christ the spotless Lamb who was slain for sinners who said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” Jn 14:6

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