Salman Rushdie wasn’t the first, and Kurt Westergaard won’t be the last. All artists and writers who dare to depict Islam in an unfavorable light can expect the worst if they offend the world’s 7.8 quadrillion Muslims.
The latest incident concerns a movie based on the life of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, which was being filmed in Kenya. As anyone familiar with Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s writings would expect, the planned film was to be less than positive in its depiction of Islam.
But Kenyan adherents of the Religion of Peace got wind of what was happening. They’re not taking these insults lightly, and have shut down production of the film. According to today’s Elsevier, as translated by our Flemish correspondent VH:
Angry Muslims stop filming of Ayaan movie
By Marlou Visser
The filming of the life of Ayaan Hirsi Ali in Kenya has been stopped after unrest in the African country. Parts of the script in which Islam is criticized were leaked.
Commissioned by the Dutch broadcaster VPRO, IDTV is working on a biography about a Somali woman whose life closely resembles that of former politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali. A quote from the script was published in the Muslim magazine The Friday Bulletin [pdf]. In this scene “Ayaan” strikes her mother around the ears with a Koran and exclaims that she will wipe her behind with it.
Imams responded angrily and said that they perceive the filming as an insult to all Kenyan Muslims.
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Her spokesman explains that the former politician herself is not involved in the creation of the series, which has the working title “Dream Land”. Hirsi Ali has asked director Theu Boermans what exactly his intention is, but according to her spokesman he did not open up much about it. “I will wait until it comes out,” Hirsi Ali responded.
The Friday Bulletin also wrote a brief biography of Hirsi Ali. Striking: according to the magazine Theo van Gogh was murdered by “unknown people.”
Out of Kenya
Roma Media Agency, the Kenyan casting agency that IDTV had involved, does not want to cooperate [pdf] any further on the film after all the criticism. The film production company does not know how to proceed with the project, a spokesman said. The company in any case will not return to Kenya.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali was born in Somalia, but also lived in Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Her autobiography My Secret became an international bestseller.