Muhammad Movie Planned: Film Brings Together Hollywood Producer Barrie Osborne And Banned Muslim Cleric Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi
A movie about the prophet Muhammad is in the works, according to Reuters. According to reports, the $150 million film will bring together a major hollywood producer and a Sunni imam banned from entering Britian.
Producer Barrie Osborne, a producer of both The Matrix and The Lord Of The Rings is organizing the film. The Times reports that Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi will work as the film's theological consultant. Al-Qaradawi hosts a show on the Arab-language network al Jazeera. According to the BBC, Al-Qaradawi was denied entry to Britain in February 2008. The UK's Home Office said that it would not tolerate those who sought to justify acts of terrorist violence.
[Al-Qaradawi] is also a highly controversial figure who was refused entry to Britain last year because of his views. He has reportedly condoned the Holocaust, supported the stoning of homosexuals and praised suicide bombers in Iraq, not to mention telling an interviewer that he considered Shia Islam a heretical branch of the faith.
According to the Gulf Times newspaper he told journalists in Doha that the film was a response to "the crusader-styled distortion of Islam [that] continues to influence [the] world population today."
Osborne hopes to "bridge cultures" with the film, telling Reuters that "the film will educate people about the true meaning of Islam."
Production on the film is slated to begin in 2011. The Qatari firm Alnoor Holdings will finance the English-language film.
The film will not include any physical depictions of Muhammad. Such depictions are banned in the Islamic faith.
A cartoon depicting Muhammad sparked protests worldwide after it was published by a Danish newspaper in 2006. Two Chicago men were arrested last week for planning attacks on the newspaper.