» 10/13/2012, 00.00
LEBANON - TURKEY
Lebanese Christians against a Turkish film that incites religious hatred
Costing 17 million dollars and acclaimed at home, Fetih 1453 speaks of the fall of Constantinople. For many Lebanese, the film is a provocation full of falsehoods. Church and religious parties have organized various events to promote a boycott. The director shows Christianity as a corrupt and violent religion. Silence on the massacres perpetrated by the Turks during the siege of the city.
(AsiaNews / Agencies) - The film about the fall of Constantinople "Fetih 1453" is
accused of being historically inaccurate and worse, of inciting conflict
between Christians and Muslims. With
its release scheduled for September 27 in movie theaters in Beirut, the film
has sparked harsh criticism from the Lebanese Christian community who are
asking the public to boycott the film, which is now in danger of censorship. On
September 29, the al-Mashriq party, formed by young Orthodox Christians, and
other Christian associations organized a demonstration against the release of
the Turkish, blockbuster which cost the enormous sum of 17 million dollars.
by Faruk Aksoy, "Fetih 1453" describes the capture of Constantinople
by the Ottomans in 1453. Lasting
160 minutes, the film opens with a "flashback" in which Muhammad, in
exile in Medina, promises happiness to those of his followers who conquer the
Byzantine city, renamed Istanbul. The
Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II takes up the appeal made by prophet 800 years ago and
sets out to conquer the city. This
historical episode that sees the power of the Byzantine Empire linked to a
saying of the prophet is a source of pride for many Turks who in February
crowded cinemas to enjoy the movie. However,
many critics argue that it is full of glaring historical errors, which only
serve to enhance the image of Islam and the political and religious leadership
of the sultan.
Khoury, the founder of al-Mashriq, was among the first to have seen the movie
premiere and was shocked by the lies it proposes. Khoury
sent a detailed letter of the erroneous historical references to the Surete
General, in charge of censorship in Lebanon, drawing the ire of many
journalists who instead want the film shown in the name of freedom of
film - says Khoury - speaks of the battle between two empires, but in reality
it is about a struggle between two civilizations: the Christian and Muslim. The
first is described in grotesque as the source of all evil, the second
is shown as perfect and incorruptible. "
Lebanese youth, this film is nothing more than a propaganda operation to
harness the political and religious conflict between Christians and Muslims. According to Fr. Abdo
Abou Kassem, information officer for the Catholic Church of Lebanon, "the
falsehoods shown by the authors of" Fetih 1453 "denigrate the
Christian religion, presented as a corrupt faith." The
priest said that in a scene Mehmed II entered the Hagia Sophia, among thousands
of people who fled in terror. In
a sign of protection the Sultan embraces and sooths a child, saying the
conqueror will protect you. "We
know this is not the case - said the priest - when the Sultan entered the
basilica he gave orders to massacre all the Christians - over 3 thousand - and
made his soldiers rape women and then converted it into a mosque." Fr. Kassem
said that this version is supported by historical documents and can not be
distorted for propagandistic purposes.
controversy over "Fetih 1453" comes a few weeks after protests
against the blasphemous film about Muhammad and the cartoons published by the
French newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The
protests have spread around the world, causing more than 50 deaths and hundreds
of injuries. After
these things the Muslim religious authorities, but also those of other faiths, launched
an appeal to the UN to put an a limit to freedom of expression against
many Lebanese journalists and film critics are opposed to censorship proposed
by the Christian parties. The
association "journalists against violence," has called for the
unconditional release of the film. "If
some people believe that there are prejudices or historical errors - says the
association- they can have their day in court and expose the parties concerned,
including the Turkish authorities." "The
debate - they add- must be after we have watched the movie, not before, and all
parties must respect the freedom of expression."
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