Monday, May 02, 2005


I was mildly intrigued by the ads running for Kingdom of Heaven, the new Ridley Scott film about the crusades. I was further intrigued when the local Christian radio station (a favorite of my wife's, and more importantly, her bird) was running spots for it. "Could this be the fair handling of this time in history that we've been looking for?" I asked myself. I must admit that my own knowledge of crusade related events is culled from the day or so it was covered in my high school freshman history class. Besides that I know enough to know that the crusades in general are covered quite poorly in the media since it's only ever brought up as a bat with which to beat Christianity ("Who cares about 9/11?!? Just look at the Christians in the crusades!"). Well, it looks like I'll have to hold off on the fair hearing a little bit longer; from
Kingdom of Heaven info page (by way of LGF):
* The film distorts history to portray Muslims in a good light.
* Nevertheless, Muslims at first attacked the film while it was being made (including death threats).
* Ridley Scott then subsequently slanted the film even further to appease Muslim special interest groups.
* Eventually most of them agreed it was sufficiently dhimmified.
* (The film, is also explicitly anti-religion, to please the Lefties.)
* Dr. Hamid Dabashi, featured in Columbia Unbecoming, was given a private screening by Ridley Scott and gave the film his stamp of approval, as Scott viewed him as "an important Muslim in New York."
* Khaled Abou El Fadl at UCLA is still opposed to the movie, claiming the film will cause hate crimes against Muslims.
* The IMDB message board for KoH was deleted in its entirety due to Muslim extremists flooding the board.
* Christians may be planning a boycott of the film.

Okay, but what about the historical content?
"It sounds absolute balls. It's rubbish. It's not historically accurate at all. They refer to The Talisman, which depicts the Muslims as sophisticated and civilized, and the Crusaders are all brutes and barbarians. It has nothing to do with reality."
The film makers then went out and found a Christian 'mark':

The Rev. George Dennis, a Jesuit priest and a history professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, who was one of five experts provided with the script for ''Kingdom of Heaven,'' said he was impressed by its nuance and accuracy. ''Historically I found it pretty accurate,'' he said. ''I can't think of any objections from the Christian side. And I don't think Muslims should have any objections. There's nothing offensive to anyone in there, I don't think.''
I'm not going to bother looking the Rev. George Dennis up, but for the non-Catholic folk out there, nine times out of ten, Jesuit=Lefty Kook. This isn't to say that Christians or even any westerners in general feel they have a dog in this fight anyway. However, it certainly appears that many Muslims (and particularly radical ones) certainly feel that way.

But anyway, if the Western powers at the time behaved all that badly, and the crusades were a horrible idea, why did Muslim organizations feel that the historical record had to be fudged, hmmmmm?

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