Global media is reporting on plans for a feature film about the life of Mohammed to be produced by well-known U.S. movie producer Barrie Osborne. According to various reports, global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi will serve as technical consultant to the film:
Qatari media company Al Noor Holdings used Sunday’s closing of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival to announce its launch into the movie biz with a $150 million feature about the Prophet Mohammed, to be produced by Barrie Osborne (“Lord of the Rings,” “The Matrix”). Osborne and Al Noor execs are in discussions with a number of studios, distributors and tenpercenteries about boarding the English-language project. Al Noor thus becomes the latest link between Hollywood and the Mideast, where companies are anxious to provide work for local filmmakers and to offer a more positive portrayal of Islam around the world. One of the challenges of this project, however, is that Islamic tradition dictates that neither Prophet Mohammed nor direct members of his family can be depicted. Presumably the film will show events surrounding his life and Mohammed’s effect on those around him. The narrative will run from the years from before his birth through to his death. Muslim cleric and TV personality Sheik Yousef al-Qaradawi will serve as a technical consultant. “He was a profound genius who founded a religion whose name in Islam signifies peace and reconciliation,” Osborne said. “This is what our film will aspire to do.” The project is in development and does not have a director or cast attached yet…..The announcement comes only days after Al Noor launched a $200 million revolving film fund to invest in Hollywood and international projects (Daily Variety, Oct. 30). The first projects from the fund are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Qaradawi is widely believed to have ignited the global crisis over the Danish cartoons when he declared a “Day of Anger” over the cartoons on February 4, 2006.1 It was subsequently revealed in a documentary film that at the time, Qaradawi had not even seen the cartoons in question.
Youssef Qaradawi is often referred to here as the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, an acknowledgement of his role as the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to lead the Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide. Based in Qatar, Sheikh Qaradawi has reportedly amassed substantial wealth through his role as Shari’ah adviser to many important Islamic banks and funds. He is also considered to be the “spiritual guide” for Hamas and his fatwas in support of suicide bombings against Israeli citizens were instrumental in the development of the phenomenon. Qaradawi has written that all Jews and all Muslims will fight each other in a final battle in which Muslims will emerge victorious. Qaradawi has also written that Israel plots against the Al-Aqsa mosque are harbingers of this coming conflict.