Monday, April 14, 2008

Schism

"A Saudi man has created a riposte to films criticising Islam in a video which portrays Christianity as a religion of violence.
The film, entitled Schism, was made by Raed al-Saeed. It splices together Bible verses and Iraq war images - including British soldiers beating civilians."
Telegraph.co.uk article


When I first heard about this video, I thought it was an excellent idea. Not to show that Christianity is more violent than Islam, but to show that its teachings are equally violent, and that Christians should stop only pointing the finger at Islam, but look at their own religion as well. In some ways, this video was harder for me to watch than Fitna, because of some of the scenes of brutality from American soldiers.

But then in the article, the filmmaker goes on to say...

Mr Saeed said his film was not intended to outrage or provoke, but rather to illustrate how all religions could be depicted as preaching violence.
"It is easy to take parts of any holy book and make it sound like the most inhuman book ever written,...In Schism I have used the same methodology that Wilders has used and that involves taking texts out of context," he said.


I did not agree with this idea, that when "taken out of context" any holy book will sound violent. I am of the opinion that the Koran and the Bible, when taken literally, as they were intended to be taken, are two very violent, cruel, and intolerant books. And people commiting violence in the names of these books are simply the ones who follow the teachings the most faithfully. That is great, that there are some Christians and Muslims who have decided to abandon the intolerant teachings of their holy books, but that does not mean that they should pretend that those sections don't exist.

So I liked the idea of the video, but I disagree with his statements about it. Both of the religions teach violence in their books, and violence is done in the name of both of these religions. It is not taken out of context, it is part of the teachings, and I think both moderate Christians and Muslims need to take some ownership in that, instead of claiming that their religion is peaceful,and that those violent people aren't "true believers". They demand respect for their religion because they are "peaceful", but that means they are also demanding respect for those who commit the atrocities.

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