The well-known Islam-hater, Daniel Pipes, is very angry with PBS for airing the documentary on Prophet Muhammad during the Christmas season. In an article published in a local edition of the conservative webzine Human Events and the New York Post the pro-Israeli Mr. Pipes accuses the documentary of not being critical enough. Mr. Pipes, who is the director of Middle East Forum, writes that the film treats Muslim religious beliefs as historical facts and ignores "an ongoing scholarly reassessment of Muhammad's life."
"Its patronizing film might be fine for an Islamic Sunday school class but not for a national audience, " he writes. He calls for a public-interest lawsuit on behalf of taxpayers against the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) "both to address this week's travesty and to win an injunction against any possible repetitions. It should be noted here that apart from CPB, the documentary has received the funding from several foundations and about 4,000 individuals. The donors include the Arabian Bulk Trading Ltd., the El-Hibri Foundation, the Sabadia Family Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Irfan Kathwari Foundation and the Qureishi Family trust.
Regardless of Pipes remarks the documentary Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet has received wide acclaim from most newspapers in the country. Describing it an "enlightening documentary," Dave Mason of Scripps Howard News Service writes that it is a "well-researched reminder that Islam is about peace, love and the acceptance of other people's beliefs-the same tenets as those in Christianity and Judaism."
In the Washington Post Caryle Murphy writes that it is an "enjoyable and informative film about a man who did indeed change the world." Why is it that Mr. Pipes and others like him hate Islam? Is it the personality of Prophet Muhammad? Or is it because it was shown on PBS, which is supposed to be reserved for people with his kind of views only? One basically has to review the writings of Mr. Pipes to determine an accurate answer. Mr. Pipes believes that he alone is an authority on Islamic history and his words must be considered the final version on issues pertaining to Islamic values and culture. He believes that Islam is not a genuine religion and Prophet Muhammad's contribution to world history is often exaggerated. He believes that jihad promotes violence among Muslims and the Quran teaches hatred.
Obviously, it is futile to accept Mr. Pipes give a fair review to the documentary. Also futile is the expectation that he would change his position on Islam and Muslims. However, one must question the validity of his scholarship and the soundness of his opinion. He appears to be irrational in his criticism and portrayal of Islam. He bases his arguments against Islam on the basis of a history that he has distorted to suit his political agenda. He sees everything from the perspective of Israeli interests and he believes that the popularity of Islam and acceptance of Muslims in the US might diminish the Israeli interests in the country. This is nothing but intimidation and an attack on free speech and our first amendment. Americans are entitled to understand diverse aspects of their cultures from reliable sources. They should not be subject to deception and intimidation.
Certainly, the documentary tried to rely on original sources to depict an accurate portrayal of Prophet Muhammad. However, there are a few other issues whose inclusion could have enriched the documentary. A segment on Prophet's relations with Christians would have highlighted the importance the Prophet attached to pluralism. A more critical examination of the Banu Quraiza story might have revealed alternative historical accounts. Within the authentic Muslim sources, there are different opinions on the events leading to the story of Banu Quraiza. A detailed discussion of the subject might have yielded a different perspective.
Regardless of these issues, the documentary appears to be a classical study of the life and achievements of Prophet Muhammad. It showed the relevance of his life to contemporary times. Above all it documented his impact on the life of Muslims all over the world in making this world a better place to live.
Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet
This documentary, aired on PBS, portrays the Man, the Message and the Mission, who called Moses & Jesus his brothers. His Message continues to influence mankind. Reserve your own copy now!
Related posts from similar topics: