Moustapha Akkad killed by hirabists

InnaLillahi Wa inna Ilahi Raji'un

Famed director Moustapaha Akkad, and his daughter, were among the victims of the vicious bombings by Al Qaeda in Jordan.

Akkad may be most well known to American audiences for his work on the Halloween series, but the muslim community will always revere his masterpiece The Message, starring Anthony Quinn. Here is what I wrote about The Message two years ago:

The MessageThe definitive project in film to narrate the early history of Islam was the powerful movie, The Message (1976). The director, Moustapha Akkad, actually shot each scene twice, with different sets of actors for the English version and the Arabic version, because he felt that subtitles would mar the film. Anthony Quinn played Hamza in the English version. Akkad also introduced the cinematic equivalent of the Islamic tradition of not representing the Prophet SAW visually, by framing scenes involving Muhammad SAW from his point of view. Thus, when other characters address the Prophet SAW, they are actually addressing the viewer of the movie. Some scenes had the Prophet SAW off-screen, and Akkad used a haunting musical theme to indicate Muhammad's presence. Muhammad's SAW spoken words are never heard by the audience but are heard by the other characters. The net effect is to convincingly establish the presence of the Prophet SAW but yet never actually violate the tradition against representation. It's partly a brilliant statement about perception and cue within movies in general as well as a merely functional device to circumvent offense. I consider Akkad's use of this device to be the opposite of Jar Jar Binks - rather than visualize an artificial person, the character has enormous impact upon the film and the mportance of the character is underscored, by their absence (visually speaking. But in cues from other actors and the music, the character exists. With even more realism than the jarring artifice of a CGI construct).

The damage done to the muslim world by hirabists such as Al Qaeda is incalculable. They invoke with empty words the welfare of muslims as justification for their evil, yet muslims are always their most numerous victims. And the damage extends far beyond tragic loss of life, to culture and heritage as well. For their crimes against muslims and greater humanity alone, not taking into account how they defame the holy faith of Islam itself, they are a blight upon the earth and they deserve death and speedy return to the fires of hell from whence they came.

1 comment:

Kathleen Callon said...

Sorry about the death of Moustapha Akkad. With 9/11, the invasion of Iraq, and attacks such as the most recent in Jordan (I'm not saying it wasn't wrenching, I cried when I saw the pictures of those at the wedding, just as I cried 9/11, and just as I cried when the bombs started dropping on Iraq, again.) many keep talking and writing about how people are tarnishing Islam and Christianity. I think it is important to remember those waging war and terror, on both sides, are not representing either religion. They are delusional, twisting and using their religion as an excuse to hurt and kill others. These people are the enemies of all good people, but they are representing no God or religion; they only represent their own depravity.