» 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sent a detailed letter of the erroneous historical references to the Surete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."
Bartholomew I appeals to the European Court in Strasbourg against Ankara
Many parishes and communities have been requisitioned by the Direction for Religious Foundations and used for private purposes (even as gaming halls). The Synod of the Patriarchate has made the decision to appeal to the courts in Turkey and should that fail to Strasbourg.
Nationalists force the cancellation of a concert wanted by the Patriarch of Constantinople
Following pressure form extremist groups, the Turkish authorities revoke permission for an event which was due to close the II Conference of Orthodox Youth tomorrow. “Disapproval” expressed by the academic and diplomatic world: a “damaging” move for the image of the country.
Motion to transform Hagia Sophia into a mosque: Conquest of Constantinople a national holiday and the rise of Erdogan
The ruling AKP party’s infamous project to regain Turkish Muslims votes and presidency for Erdogan. The Ecumenical Patriarchate refuses to "barter" for opening of Halki Theological School. West only concerned with gas pipelines; in Turkey no one dares to voice any criticism.
Kyrill in Constantinople, a turning point important also for the dialogue with Rome
The new Patriarch of Moscow and the Ecumenical Patriarch agree that the pan-Orthodox meeting in October consolidated the path towards Orthodox unity. Only a united Church can meet the challenges of today’s world.
A "satisfied" Bartholomew I hopes for the reopening of the Halki School
For the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, the return of properties seized by the Turkish government is an act of justice and reparation for the illegal acts of the past. He has asked for further steps and Erdogan replied to him: This is just the beginning. Imminent reopening of the Theological School of Halki, closed by Ankara in 1971.
EGYPT – LEBANON
Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'
A conference was held on 16-17 January at al-Azhar. Many prominent figures from Lebanon took part, including the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi. The Arab world is divided between "complicit passivity" and "noisy but ineffective speeches". For a former Lebanese premier, coordinated actions are needed to ensure greater efficacy on behalf of Jerusalem’s "pluralistic identity " and "religious freedom". Card Al-Rahi called for joint prayers, Islamic-Christian interfaith solidarity in the Arab world, and support for the Palestinians.
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