Friday, February 25, 2005

Kingdom of Heaven Watch

In reference to an earlier post about Ridley Scott's upcoming Kingdom of Heaven, a reader points us to the site Dhimmi Watch, which charges that the movie's script "panders to Osama bin Laden."

That's a pretty stiff charge (made originally by the London Telegraph, which Dhimmi Watch is quoting), which is backed up by this story:
The film, which began shooting last week in Spain, is set in the time of King Baldwin IV (1161-1185), leading up to the Battle of Hattin in 1187 when Saladin conquered Jerusalem for the Muslims.

The script depicts Baldwin's brother-in-law, Guy de Lusignan, who succeeds him as King of Jerusalem, as "the arch-villain". A further group, "the Brotherhood of Muslims, Jews and Christians", is introduced, promoting an image of cross-faith kinship.

"They were working together," the film's spokesman said. "It was a strong bond until the Knights Templar cause friction between them."

The Knights Templar, the warrior monks, are portrayed as "the baddies" while Saladin, the Muslim leader, is a "a hero of the piece", Sir Ridley's spokesman said. "At the end of our picture, our heroes defend the Muslims, which was historically correct."

Scott's spokesman adds, "It's trying to be fair and we hope that the Muslim world sees the rectification of history."

Historians, of course, call this "rectification of history" rubbish.

But now we know why CAIR and the other Muslim grievance groups have been silent about Kingdom of Heaven.


Matt said...

That's odd. The website for the movie seemed to have the history pretty accurately.

This really is not a story of "the crusades," but of the end of the Frankish Kingdom of Jerusalem, which was founded by the victorious leaders of the First Crusade ninety-odd years earlier.

The Templars were certainly overconfident, and were largely destroyed in the defeat at Hattin (which will be portrayed in the film, I believe). But the movie will end with the capture of Jerusalem by Saladin's forces.

What's the OBL connection? Saladin was always admired by the European chroniclers as a paragon of chivalry (if still a murderous barbarian by our standards). Making him "a hero" is to put him in his traditional role, even if he is the opponent of the Frankish leaders, some of whom are also traditionally seen as "heroes."

Ultimately, Saladin cut the people of Jerusalem a very fair deal, allowing them to be ransomed, rather than sacking the city. Of course, many were unable to pay the ransom and were sold into slavery. But the episode compares well with the ruthless treatment of the city by the Crusaders a century before.

Westmont said...

So, the House of Saud is now funneling some of the madrassa money into Hollywood to start a PR campaign for muslims. Maybe it was Saudi money that convinced the powers that be to change the baddies in The Sum of All Fears from Islamic terrorists to Neo-Nazi's. How convenient.... What purpose did such a major change in the story serve?

Puff Prairie Pundit said...

Read the book, dude. The bad guys in "The Sum of All Fears" were an assortment including an American Indian and an East German Communist. I didn't like the Neo Nazi change either but let's not imagine the original "Sum" was about al Qaeda style Islamist terrorists. It wasn't.