Just months after protests against the anti-Islam film Innocence of Muslims triggered riots and international tensions, a second provocative film slandering the Prophet Muhammad is slated for release.
The film, The Innocent Prophet, has been produced by Pakistan-born anti-Islam activist, Imran Firasat, now living in Spain as a political refugee.
The movie was scheduled for release on 14 December but has now been postponed, said Firasat, under pressure from authorities in Spain.
The filmmaker said his 70-minute documentary was based on the facts as contained in Islamic scripture. Muslims, will no doubt, find it profoundly offensive to their beliefs.
Firasat denied he was acting as a fire-starter for American Islamophobes, claiming he was exercising his right to free speech: “Who says that my movie is provocative? My purpose behind making this movie is to express my view on Islam as an ex-Muslim. I never had and will not have [the] intention to hurt someone’s feelings. Instead of stopping me, the world should give suggestions to Muslims that you guys stop creating the violent game over small excuses.”
The director added he was now leaving in fear: “I have been threatened by the authorities that my refugee status will be revoked, I will be deported back to Pakistan where the death penalty for blasphemy is waiting for me, and that I may be even detained if I continue with the plans to release the movie. That is the reason I have decided to postpone it temporarily – showing the movie to the authorities first and then releasing it later.”
Belgium has hiked its security alert level, in fear of a possible eruption of violence caused by Firasat’s film. Meanwhile, The official trailer of the movie has already hit cyberspace.
The project has been backed by the controversial Florida-based Christian pastor Terry Jones, who made worldwide headlines for publicly burning copies of the Koran. Jones is likely to travel to Spain for the online release of the movie.
The movie aims to sketch the life and “true identity” of Muhammad who, according to Firasat, created Islam to achieve his own objectives. Firasat writes on his website: “Calling him [Muhammad] innocent is like slapping him. It is simply a taunt: how innocent was he that he used to kill people, abuse minors, create false religion?”
He said he had been threatened “almost every day” by Islamic militants.
“There were several threats from the Indonesian Islamic groups like Majelis Ulama or Hiazbut Tahrir. Organizations like Taliban or al-Qaida may have threatened me but without mentioning their organization’s name. I receive threats almost every day so I don´t know where these people are from.” He said he had received threats from India, Pakistan and Arab countries over the film.
He said that the threats would not stop him releasing the film because he was determined to take on the Islamist radicals and principles.
“I am not going to give up because of threats and unjustified violence committed by Muslims.”