Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Great article + Updates

Bismillah Arrahman AlRaheem: In the Name of Allah The Most Beneficient The Most Merciful

Greetings and Salamz to All,

I hope everything is going well.

Well, the weather in Bostonia finally improved, I actually have to wear shorts and linen shirts to withstand the weather, because the Boston sun is awkward. However the night can still be chilly, lool, as Mark Twain said: "if you don't like the weather in Boston just wait a few minutes." Well Mr. Twain I can say I have lived that experience several times, and they weren't too pleasing.

I wanted to post another piece of my writing, but my friend sent me this great article, that I decided to share with all of you, so that piece will have to wait.

But this piece is very interesting, and I already have comments on it, so let's hear what you guys have to say..


Cheering The Code After Punching The Passion
By Chris Weinkopf

Imagine, if you can, a major studio releasing a thriller in which the stars investigate the origins of Islam. Pursued by a murderous Muslim cleric, they uncover a series of shocking discoveries: Mohammed was no prophet! The Koran is a hoax, the work of self-serving hypocrites! Modern-day Muslims are dupes, if not deranged psychopaths!

Now imagine, in the unlikely event such a film were ever made, what sort of reception it would get in the establishment media. Given the categorical refusal of the American press to publish the Danish Mohammed cartoons, it's a safe bet that the talking heads and big newspapers would only mention the movie to denounce it.

This is telling, given the fawning, copious attention that's been lavished upon Ron Howard's adaptation of The Da Vinci Code, which began well before the movie was even in production.

Five months in advance of its opening, Newsweek touted Da Vinci in a fluffy cover piece as the "New Year's Hottest Movie." NBC's "Today" show aired clips during the Winter Olympics. Throughout the media, giddy reporters and pundits counted down the days until the big-screen debut of Dan Brown's best-selling novel, which insists that Christ was not divine, that the Gospels are a fraud, and that the Catholic Church is a wicked, murderous conspiracy out to conceal the truth of the "sacred feminine."

Clearly the decision makers in today's establishment press defer to the religious sensibilities of some folks more than others.

There are various reasons for this double standard, the first being media cowardice. Christians tend not to riot and torch buildings when they're offended. They can deal with having their convictions challenged. The Muslim world, in contrast, is much more dangerous. And media crusaders tend to go weak in the knees if there?s a chance of becoming the next Salman Rushdie or Theo van Gogh.

Then there's simple economics: The Da Vinci Code, which sold 40 million copies in hardcover alone, has the potential to be a box-office hit of Harry Potter proportions. Reporters and news organizations that saw little profit in reprinting second-rate foreign cartoons want to get in on this bonanza.

But then The Passion of the Christ, which brought in $370 million domestically, was one of the highest-grossing films of all time. And while it got plenty of media attention, the coverage was completely different from that surrounding The Da Vinci Code. As aggressively as Da Vinci has been puffed, Christ got poked.

Likewise, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (another big-screen adaptation of a massively popular novel that was a huge moneymaker) never drew favorable publicity of the sort showered on DVC. Most of the Narnia coverage focused on whether the film's Christian themes would doom its chances at the box office.

The discrepancy is not so much a matter of money, then, but manners. To the establishment press, plots that strongly uphold traditional Christian beliefs, whether explicitly (as in The Passion) or allegorically (as in Narnia), are regarded as dubious, rude, even dangerous. Stories that undermine Christianity, on the other hand, are "hot" and edgy, and attract A-list celebrities, big studios, powerful news outlets, and charmed-circle journalists.

Just before The Passion came out, Newsweek gave the movie a cover story of its own--a long polemic that attacked the film's history and theology. The same issue included a hand-wringing editor's note which essentially accused director Mel Gibson of anti-Semitism by "laying the blame" for Jesus?s death "on the Jews of Jerusalem, not the occupying Romans." Newsweek editor Mark Whittaker even fretted that because "the more coverage the movie gets, the better it will do at the box office," his magazine might be "contributing to the hype."

Suffice it to say, Dan Brown's highly problematic scholarship hasn't received anywhere near the same level of scrutiny from the establishment media, let alone the scurrilous charges of bigotry. Occasionally a reporter will include a quote from an historian or theologian who notes that Brown's fiction-masquerading-as-fact is not founded on good scholarship. But this doesn?t dampen the enthusiasm of the discussion, because something between skepticism and hostility toward Christianity is the dominant worldview in most newsrooms.

And so the hype continues.

Published in Attack of the Snobs June 2006

Available on the TAEMAG website at

What do u think?? :)

-YSH ;)


Blogger Raven said...

Lovely piece..

Well, there is of course the immediate bias, that we Muslims can't
take anything.

Which is true to some extent..

BUT does that mean we can't take a religious joke, or that our fervor
and religious passion and beliefs are things not to be toyed with? IF
Christians can take a joke, does that mean that we are the wrongdoers?
OR does that mean their beliefs are messed up?

And that we are willing to do anything "fee sabeel Allah", to please
our lord and religion?

9:35 AM  

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