Movie Review: The Innocent Prophet
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,
Pastor Terry Jones and an alleged Muslim apostate have collaborated to produce a new film on the Muslim Prophet, Muhammad [peace be upon him]. The film was uploaded to popular video sharing website, Youtube, earlier on the 15th of December. Pastor Terry Jones and FFI’s Ali Sina have been promoting this film as a ‘must see’, where it is allegedly supposed to have ‘exposed Islam and its Prophet’. I sat and watched the “movie” earlier today and this is my review.
It must be noted that I watched the English version as uploaded on Terry Jones’ Youtube account. This is not a movie, it’s a bad cartoon. If you were expecting something of better quality than the failed Coptic movie which caused vast and violent riots worldwide earlier this year, then by all means, lower your hopes. The ‘film’ is marginally better and can best be described as a badly narrated picture slideshow of Arab men with the name Muhammad [peace be upon him] cut and pasted unto the images. The video quality seems very low and poorly done, and I am very certain that the editing was done by an amateur. The slides and images seem to have been taken from Google Images and are repeated throughout the slideshow to the extent that you’ll probably end up spending 1 hour and 12 minutes seeing the same images about 20 times each.
If the imagery doesn’t throw you off, then the narration definitely would. When news first broke of this new ‘film’, I expected a higher quality, robust, well produced movie, yet, what I got in the English version is the exact opposite. This ‘film’ is so bad, the English narrator struggles to speak…English! His accent, intonation and tone, definitely indicates that his first language is not English. I really have to ask Terry Jones, if you are doing a movie in English, why not use someone whose first language is English? Instead, the person narrating the ‘slideshow‘, struggles throughout, which creates an off putting sensation as you can literally feel the person forcing himself to cope with his manoeuvring of the English language. In addition to this, there is some music in the background, and it’s bad. It’s as if they stole everything they used in this ‘slideshow‘, from the internet. The music is a gimped version of Hollywood styled Arabian jingles and it is repeated so often, it conjures a great resemblance to the annoying task of having to wait on the phone to speak to an insurance agent or customer care service representative, while that horrible background music is played. I couldn’t get past the first 10 minutes without struggling to watch it, and I spent the first 5 minutes trying not to have a headache from the deplorable narration and music.
The information presented is not historical and borders on fiction. It was during the first 10 minutes, that I recalled the producer of the film, i.e. the alleged apostate, posted on FFI indicating he was a long time fan of Ali Sina. From this, based on my reading of FFI’s Ali Sina’s book, “Understanding Muhammad: A Psychobiography of Allah’s Prophet“, it hit me that the ‘producer‘ basically summarized Ali Sina’s book and was narrating it. That literary work in itself is highly flawed and not based on proper study. Ali Sina’s work simply takes from Ibn Ishaq’s Seerah and focuses on the violent passages within (which due to proper literary criticism are found to be highly doubtful), and from this, he concludes that the Muslim Prophet had numerous illnesses and diseases etc, essentially it’s a book meant to insult the Prophet of Islam, not an academic work. What’s worse is that Ali Sina actually invents stories and tries to develop it into a narrative. The book is so bad and the author was so desperate to insult the Islamic Prophet, that Ali Sina who is not a psychologist, labelled it a ‘psychobiography‘, I prefer to refer to it as fiction. The video’s very source for its information is therefore very flawed, inconsistent and has no regard for academic integrity. Thus far, the video quality consists of:
- Google Images of Arab Cartoon Men.
- Google Images of an Arabian Map.
- Pictures of Muhammad [peace be upon him] are the name Muhammad cut and paste on the Arab cartoon men.
- Arab themed jingle music most likely stolen from the internet.
- An English narrator whose first language is not English.
- An ahistorical and non-academic source for the slideshow’s content.
Do I think this movie will cause riots? To be quite honest, I think it’d cause suicides based on how bad it is. Thank God I had pain killers to numb the effects of the narrators voice, bad music, poor cut and paste images and especially from the ridiculous use of a non-academic source. Should Muslims watch it? It clearly is supposed to be about the Muslim Prophet, but the images, nor the history would have you think that much. The only thing that would indicate it was about the Islamic faith is Pastor Terry Jones’ introduction before the movie, along with a few passages of the Qur’an at the beginning of the ‘slideshow’. I certainly don’t think that this ‘movie‘ – I insist on calling it a slideshow, is going to change the world, make any Muslim apostate, or convince anyone of anything, but it will serve to reinforce the notion that Islamophobes have a long way to go before anyone would be willing to accept their works as anything more than amateur-like and polemical.
Pros & Cons:
+ I reviewed it to save you wasting 1 hour and 12 minutes of your life.
– It’s on Youtube (this was a pro, until I remembered how awful the new layout is).
– Features Terry Jones.
– Horrible imagery.
– Bad editing and videography.
– Lacks academic sources and study.
– Horrible audio.
– Horrible narrator.
Please consider purchasing pain killers before watching this video, it will make you sick from how bad it is. In closing, I would like to mention how ironic it is, that the very man they try to insult and use disparaging images of, they have no clue of how he looked or what he sounded like, therefore their representations of him are not of the actual Islamic Prophet, but of a created man who has the name Muhammad, a production based on their imaginations, not of the real man himself. That reminds me of a pertinent hadith. The Quraysh out of their great hatred for the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to refer to him as “Mudhammam”, which means “the condemned/defamed one” instead of his name “Muhammad”, which means “the praised one”.
In response the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
ألا تعجبون كيف يصرف الله عني شتم قريش ولعنهم يشتمون مذمما ويلعنون مذمما وأنا محمد
“Doesn’t it astonish you how Allah protects me from the Quraish’s abusing and cursing? They abuse Mudhammam and curse Mudhammam while I am Muhammad (and not Mudhammam)” [Saheeh Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 733].
wa Allaahu ‘Alam.