Islamic Jesus' hits Iranian movie screens

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Shogun, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. Shogun
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    'Islamic Jesus' hits Iranian movie screens

    A director who shares the ideas of Iran's hardline president has produced what he says is the first film giving an Islamic view of Jesus Christ, in a bid to show the "common ground" between Muslims and Christians.

    Nader Talebzadeh sees his movie, "Jesus, the Spirit of God," as an Islamic answer to Western productions like Mel Gibson's 2004 blockbuster "The Passion of the Christ," which he praised as admirable but quite simply "wrong".

    "Gibson's film is a very good film. I mean that it is a well-crafted movie but the story is wrong -- it was not like that," he said, referring to two key differences: Islam sees Jesus as a prophet, not the son of God, and does not believe he was crucified.

    Talebzadeh said he even went to Gibson's mansion in Malibu, California, to show him his film. "But it was Sunday and the security at the gate received the film and the brochure and promised to deliver it," though the Iranian never heard back.

    Even in Iran, "Jesus, The Spirit of God" had a low-key reception, playing to moderate audiences in five Tehran cinemas during the holy month of Ramadan, in October.

    The film, funded by state broadcasting, faded off the billboards but is far from dead, about to be recycled in a major 20 episode spin-off to be broadcast over state-run national television this year.

    Talebzadeh insists it aims to bridge differences between Christianity and Islam, despite the stark divergence from Christian doctrine about Christ's final hours on earth.

    "It is fascinating for Christians to know that Islam gives such devotion to and has so much knowledge about Jesus," Talebzadeh told AFP.

    "By making this film I wanted to make a bridge between Christianity and Islam, to open the door for dialogue since there is much common ground between Islam and Christianity," he said.

    The director is also keen to emphasise the links between Jesus and one of the most important figures in Shiite Islam, the Imam Mahdi, said to have disappeared 12 centuries ago but whose "return" to earth has been a key tenet of the Ahmadinejad presidency.

    Talebzadeh made his name making documentaries about Iran's 1980-1988 war against Iraq, an important genre in the country's post-revolutionary cinema.

    But such weighty themes, and his latest film on Jesus, compete with domestic gangster thrillers and sugary boy-meets-girl love stories, the movies that continue to draw the biggest audiences in the Islamic Republic.

    The bulk of "Jesus, the Spirit of God", which won an award at the 2007 Religion Today Film Festival in Italy, faithfully follows the traditional tale of Jesus as recounted in the New Testament Gospels, a narrative reproduced in the Koran and accepted by Muslims.

    But in Talebzadeh's movie, God saves Jesus, depicted as a fair-complexioned man with long hair and a beard, from crucifixion and takes him straight to heaven.

    "It is frankly said in the Koran that the person who was crucified was not Jesus" but Judas, one of the 12 Apostles and the one the Bible holds betrayed Jesus to the Romans, he said. In his film, it is Judas who is crucified.

    Islam sees Jesus as one of five great prophets -- others being Noah, Moses and Abraham -- sent to earth to announce the coming of Mohammed, the final prophet who spread the religion of Islam. It respects Jesus' followers as "people of the book".


    Iran has tens of thousands of its own Christians who are guaranteed religious freedoms under the constitution -- mainly Armenians, though their numbers have fallen sharply since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

    Every Christmas, Ahmadinejad and other officials lose no time in sending greetings to Christian leaders including the pope on what they describe as the "auspicious birthday of Jesus Christ, Peace Be Upon Him (PBUH)."

    In this year's message, Ahmadinejad said that "peace, friendship and justice will be attained wherever the guidelines of Jesus Christ (PBUH) are realised in the world."

    Shiite Muslims, the majority in Iran, believe Jesus will accompany the Imam Mahdi when he reappears in a future apocalypse to save the world.

    And Talebzadeh said the TV version of his film will further explore the links between Jesus and the Mahdi -- whose return Ahmadinejad has said his government, which came to power in 2005, is working to hasten.

    Shiites believe the Mahdi's reappearance will usher in a new era of peace and harmony.

    "We Muslims pray for the 'Return' (of Imam Mahdi) and Jesus is part of the return and the end of time," Talebzadeh said.


    "Should we, as artists, stand idle until that time? Don't we have to make an effort?"


    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=080113231632.1q3rt654&show_article=1



    Check out the feedback. It would be hilarious were it not so sad.
     
  2. Gurdari
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    Until I had a Muslim co-worker, I had no idea that Moses and Jesus, etc. were revered and part of their religious narrative. Though usually it is Judaism and Islam that are supposedly butting heads, all three religions believe in the same God, and many of the same things. Possibly even stranger (to me at the time) was how progressive and empowering of women Islam was when it was created compared with both Christianity and Judaism (judging by today's standards this is obviously less so - just like every other religion).
     
  3. AllieBaba
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    I know. They argue that it's "empowering" to be hidden behind a blanket because you're "free to be".

    Just like it's "empowering" to submit to being one of multiple wives. I guess the freedom there is to be neglected by your husband.
     
  4. Gurdari
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    Not sure what you meant - I was just saying that Islam (not something I consider very pro-women) was actually far more pro-women than the other two religions when it started... and if you go by the literal text, still is.

    Most egalitarian religions have been destroyed I believe...
     
  5. Shogun
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    kinda like how it's EMPOWERING to submit to your husband like a good little christian woman, eh? Just like it's empowering to stick to the "kitchen and barefoot" role of subserviant christian women?



    Indeed, Allie.. make another joke about how you DONT hate muslim.
     
  6. Shogun
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    dont sweat it.


    she doesnt like muslims.
     
  7. AllieBaba
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    How that comment translates into hating Muslims I fail to see. I think I can criticize the practices without hating individuals who believe.
     
  8. Shogun
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    hmm.. gee, allie, lets see... AUTOMATICALLY demonizing muslims who, in essance, do the exact same fucking thing that christians women do when being SUBSERVIENT to their husbands per the bible?


    yes, why on EARTH would anyone come to believe that you dont like muslims.. I mean, that IS the standard by which you try to brand me with the Scarlet A, right?
     
  9. AllieBaba
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    No, moron. I wasn't demonizing anyone, except any non-Muslim who could be so incredibly conceited and blind as to state Islam is "liberating" to women.

    That's the same b.s. mind control crap, word for word, you hear out of the radical women who are behind the veil, while they strap bombs onto themselves, and claim that it's "liberating" for women to suffer death at the hands of strange males if they're caught outside without their husbands or brothers.

    And I don't hate the women who are stuck in that world any more than I hate the ones who state they love their bonds. It's not personal, Shogun. Don't you get it? It's not hatred against people, it's hatred against bigotry and tyranny. Not against the poor souls who are stuck in the middle of it.
     
  10. Shogun
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    So too then anyone would have to be crazy to suggest that CHRISTIANITY is liberating to women, eh?


    I'll whip out the scriptures, Allie. Maybe you can admit why it's the MUSLIMS who evoke your criticism and not the Christians who really are not that far removed in their paternal beliefs?

    I guess you similary hate the system that has, for CENTURIES, forces women into a secondary role eh?


    you know.. CHRISTIANITY?

    ohh.. NOW it's different, right?
     

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