Islam is a very controversial topic, not because of its scripture, but because of the media’s portrayal of it. Media and Islam go hand-in-hand and mostly not for good reasons.
Hollywood, the world’s largest film industry, has hundreds of films made each year. The topics related to Islam have also been given importance in them. Although, Muslims have often complained that the Muslim characters or the Arab men have been shown in a negative light. They are portrayed as greedy and womanizers. Many movies are made in Hollywood that portray the Islamic aspecst in a negative light.
Here are some of the names of movies which have portrayed Islam in negative light and manipulated the real Islam such as, “innocence of Muslims” which created outrageous violence across the world. Also, a number of efforts is done to convey the real message of Islam to the world. Hollywood made several movies to paint the right picture according to the scripture of Islam.
My Son the Fanatic (1997) R
Director: Uydayan Prasad
Starring: Om Puri, Rachel Griffiths, Stellan Skarsgiard, Akbar Kurtha.
A Pakistani taxi driver in England who drives to earn his livelihood loves roaming around with prostitutes. But when he realizes his son is exploring Islamic fundamentals, his life is jinxed.
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) PG-13
Director: Kevin Reynolds
Starring: Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman.
Many Muslims have praised the positive portrayal of Morgan Freeman’s Muslim character, which played the friend of the movie’s main character “Robin Hood”
The 13th Warrior (1999) R
Director: John McTiernan
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Omar Sharif.
Set in A.D. 922, an Arab courtier (Banderas) has to help Vikings defeat a foe. The Islamic teachings were shown in the movie represented as a peaceful religion.
Malcolm X (1992) R
Director: Spike Lee
Starring: Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Albert Hall, Delroy Lindo.
Spike Lee’s biopic of the African-American leader chronicles his conversion to the Nation of Islam in the movie. Also later he adopts the section of Sunni in his life and performs pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
The Suitors (1998) Not Rated
Director: Ghasem Ebrahimian
Starring: Pouran Esrafily, Ali Azizian.
A group of Iranians living in New York decide to celebrate a marriage in a customary manner – sacrificing a lamb. How the traditional and religious ritual is observed by non-Muslims living in the neighborhood is portrayed.
The Message (1997) PG
Director: Moustapha Akkad
Starring: Anthony Quinn, Irene Papas.
Quinn played the uncle of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him), the founder of Islam.
Lion of the Desert (1981) PG
Director: Moustapha Akkad
Starring: Anthony Quinn, Irene Papas, Oliver Reed, Rod Steiger, John Geilgud.
When Italy attempted to capture Libya, a battle was fought in the name of Islam. This film covered those events.
Taste of Cherry (1997) Not Rated
Director: Abbas Kiarostami
Starring: Homayon Ershadi, Afshin Bakhtiari
Islam fundamentals are discussed such as regarding suicide. Film showed how an educated man needs to end his life but an Islamic man teaches him the real meaning in Islam.