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    1. #1
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      Lahore, Pakistan - Why would I drive 4-1/2 hours to see a Pakistani movie?

      Well, for starters, the only movie theater in Islamabad, Pakistan's capital, was torched by a Sunni mob during sectarian riots four years ago.

      But there were other reasons for the trek. I wanted to attend the premier of "Khuda ke Liye" or "In the Name of God," a movie about the religious rift wrenching Pakistan.

      The film is being hailed in some segments of Pakistani society as the most important cinematic event in memory. The other draw was the venue: the DHA Cinema, a world-class movie theater, had just opened its doors for the elite of Lahore in "Defense," a posh neighborhood run by the military.

      As the title suggests, the movie is about Islam and the battle between two polarized groups – modernized elites carrying the banner of "enlightened moderation" and radicals with their "jihad" – both had claims to the religion.

      I took a cab from the house where I was staying. As we pulled up to the theater, the cabbie was as excited as I was. "The last time I saw crowds like this," he bubbled, "was when 'Titanic' came to town."

      My initial attempts to get tickets for the premiθre had failed. "In the Name of God" had been sold out for weeks in advance. But there were two showings, one at 9 p.m. and one at 3 p.m. (Bruce Willis in "Live Free or Die Hard" was on at 6 p.m.) I might score a ticket to the matinee, I was told, by just showing up.

      I swallowed hard at the price: 250 rupees ($4.15) – ten times that of a regular movie ticket. Once inside, I found a packed house of some 500 immaculately dressed Lahoris, munching on buttered popcorn, bouncing in reclining seats, and enjoying the digital sound system.

      For many Pakistanis – or at least those in this theater – the movie offers an explanation for the unrest around them.

      "I had been dying to see this movie," Sara Malik, a 17-year-old student, dressed in jeans and a powder-pink T-shirt told me after the movie. "It's an amazing story, because it explains what really happens behind things like the Lal Masjid [Red Mosque]," she said, with nods of agreement by nearby school friends. The violent weeklong battle between religious militants and the Pakistan Army this month in Islamabad was unnerving for the entire country and unlike anything the youth of the country had ever witnessed.

      Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf reportedly had the first private screening of the movie right here. He supposedly became an instant fan, and he has seen it twice since. After seeing it, I understood why a movie patronized by the president could also play across the country to packed halls without ever having to go through the strict and powerful state censor board.

      The movie centers around an upper-middle class Pakistani family, the kind whose stories the director Shoaib Mansoor – a successful age-old hand in Pakistan state media – made a name for himself portraying in popular soap operas in the 1980s. The story of two musician brothers – one studies music in Chicago and the other becomes a Taliban fighter in Afghanistan following the American invasion – is a fantastical tale that warns its audience of the threat of Islamic radicalism to Pakistanis.

      The inspiration for the movie, Mr. Mansoor writes, came from Junaid Jamshed, the former lead singer for Pakistan's most successful rock band, Vital Signs. Like the lead character in the movie, Mr. Jamshed turned from rock star to mullah after 2001.

      Jamshed was once a joyous icon for the Western-looking youth of the 1980s, after the Soviet-Afghan War and the Islamic military rule of Gen. Zia-ul-Haq came to an end. But six years ago, he turned a corner and quickly became one of the most high-profile Islamic preachers associated with the Tablighi Jamaat, a Muslim missionary group that spans the globe.

      A metaphor for the segment of society that was rejecting Western influence in a time of war, Jamshed grew a full beard and swapped his tight jeans and T-shirts for a more nationalistic salwar kameez. He dedicated himself to spreading the word of the Koran to the masses and preaching about the evils of music.

      Mansoor, who was a close friend and had helped propel Vital Signs to mega-stardom, was disturbed by Jamshed's transformation. "It really shook me badly," the director told a local magazine before the movie premierθd. "I couldn't believe God could hate the two most beautiful things he has given to mankind ... music and painting."

      "I felt that a confused man like Junaid had no right to confuse thousands of his youthful followers," he said.

      The movie is also being touted as the revival of Pakistani cinema, which has been a casualty of increasing religious militancy in the country. Abdul Rashid Ghazi of the Red Mosque, for example, made one of his last anti-vice stands against the release of "In the Name of God." Mr. Ghazi called the movie blasphemous and anti-Islamic. "We won't allow this," he warned the government earlier this month.

      Ghazi was killed a few days after uttering those words at the hands of the Pakistani military, and the movie is now showing all over the Punjab province, the Pakistan Army's stronghold, in the city of Karachi the financial capital, and a few well-to-do surrounding towns in Sindh. It is unlikely to make its way west to the provinces bordering Afghanistan and Iran. The uncensored movie is not only likely to be rejected by the provincial governments led by Islamist parties, but also by the Pashtun and Baluchi tribes themselves, who are portrayed as violent, cunning, and chauvinistic religious fanatics in the movie.

      I drove back to Islamabad the next day and violence broke out at the Red Mosque again. The capital saw its second suicide bombing of the month. For a moment, I was tempted to go back to the theater in Lahore. At least there, I could find a clear, if simplistic, explanation for the tragic panic unfolding in the city and the country.

      http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20070731.../ocinemastan_1
      Comment:

      As the Islamic dawah spreads and affects the powerful and influential middle classes who hold the key to the return of Islam to society as a system for life. Those who who wish for the existing Secular rule to remain with its side effects of corruption and vice resort to making films showing the dawah carriers as evil and wicked.

      Surely if they were so convinced of the Western Secular values it would be easy to engage in a live debate on national tv with those who call for the return of Islam to life and society and refute the Islamic values?

    2. #2
      MKF
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      Well, the Daw'ah carriers are different breed and the militant Islam is different. Daw'ah is perfectly all right and it is right of Junaid Jamshed to do what he feels appropriate and Shoaib Mansoor is absolutely wrong in giving stupid comments but it is the militant Islam which is a threat for Islam as these people believe in use of force to subdue the General Muslim Population to dance to their tunes.
      All The Best

    3. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by MKF View Post
      Well, the Daw'ah carriers are different breed and the militant Islam is different. Daw'ah is perfectly all right and it is right of Junaid Jamshed to do what he feels appropriate and Shoaib Mansoor is absolutely wrong in giving stupid comments but it is the militant Islam which is a threat for Islam as these people believe in use of force to subdue the General Muslim Population to dance to their tunes.
      Some nice points, but isn't force being used by America to spread its way of life?

      Also by spreading Islam peacefully and creating a strong public opinion for Islam will eventually lead to a confrontation with those who oppose Islamic rule in society and they will not hesitate to use force to keep Islam out.

      So what happens in that situation?

      Btw I am not advocating violence, force etc, just making a practical point.

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      I think Shoaib Mansoor is just a idiot, in his eyes wearing jeans and having a guitar is acceptable but wearing shalwar kamiz is not! I disliked his comment and my plan for wacthing this movie is 100% cancelled! I would rather see Simpsons

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      Quote Originally Posted by artdeco View Post
      I think Shoaib Mansoor is just a idiot, in his eyes wearing jeans and having a guitar is acceptable but wearing shalwar kamiz is not! I disliked his comment and my plan for wacthing this movie is 100% cancelled! I would rather see Simpsons
      ok i havent seen the movie but have read various other reviews of the movie, the main message being reject militant islam reject extremism, clearly if shoaib mansoor thinks that wearing shalwar kameez is extreme then the guy has issues, junaid jamshed is doin nuthin wrong he just changed his priorities in life and turned towards islam, so i think shoaib mansoor seems to have the worng end of the stick there, neverthless at this point in time with word extremism coming out of our ears, a movie with a message rejecting these fanatics is good, therefore i feel we should go and watch the movie to support this message, forget about wht mansoor said lets just pray he sees sum sense, but i don;t see why we shouldnt go c this movie, plus i don;t see how its gonna b anti-islamic??

    6. #6
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      Shoaib Mansoor is an idiot, and if he doesn't stop now, his path to hell will clearly unfold, that seems to be the direction he is heading in, by making a mockery out of the Sunnah of the Prophet pbuh.

      Teaching Music, beyhuda pana to young children is ok, but teaching something about God, and the afterlife is not? What the hell is he smoking?
      "Lets not dwell into matters which have already been dealt with 1400 years ago. Go read for yourself, and understand it yourself." Sh. Hamza Yusuf

    7. #7
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      wat????

      movie is no where ANTI ISLAM

      wat JJ did is not radical. its just he is devoted towards his religion, where as wat shoman has done is also not anti-islamic as he portrayed the demagogic, so-called religious leader dealing when their politics get affected.

      n ppl over dont make paintings n music a big issue. cuz there r many other haram things we do. (Paintings r not Haram. its ur gaze dat makes it Haram.)

      i m sure this movie is lot better than SAMIMA, MEERA WAGHERAz THIRD CLASS CHEAP MOVIES. (tab kahan hotay hain yeh saray so-called religion k perchar when these vulgar r displayed )
      "There are two rules for ultimate success in life: #1. Never tell everything you know." ;)

    8. #8
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      ^ if you read the sayings and traditions of our Prophet pbuh, you'd realize it SPECIFICALLY states paintings..You can't deny that, and neither can our 'Shoman' Sahab. Same goes with Music.

      And for him to attack JJ, is the most cowardly thing you can do. This is no different than what Abu Jahal and Lahab used to do against the Prophet pbuh. "JJ is poisoning the children's minds"...Yeah, Shows what mr 'shoman' really considers islam and Allah's teaching, "poisoning of the mind".
      "Lets not dwell into matters which have already been dealt with 1400 years ago. Go read for yourself, and understand it yourself." Sh. Hamza Yusuf

    9. #9
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      Ok lets not make paintings and music an issue, for discussion sake. Why wasn't the millions of dollar spent on this movie, spent on feeding hte hungry children of Pakistan? Was that not a big Issue?

      Do you get my point? Everything in Islam is an ISSUE THAT NEEDS TO BE CONSIDERED AND TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT, you can't leave one issue out and focus on others, you have to focus on them COLLECTIVELY.
      "Lets not dwell into matters which have already been dealt with 1400 years ago. Go read for yourself, and understand it yourself." Sh. Hamza Yusuf

    10. #10
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      ^ correct !
      " ایمان، اتحاد، تنظیم "

    11. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by Crescent_ View Post
      Ok lets not make paintings and music an issue, for discussion sake. Why wasn't the millions of dollar spent on this movie, spent on feeding hte hungry children of Pakistan? Was that not a big Issue?

      Do you get my point? Everything in Islam is an ISSUE THAT NEEDS TO BE CONSIDERED AND TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT, you can't leave one issue out and focus on others, you have to focus on them COLLECTIVELY.
      Why aren't the millions of dollars spent on arms, ammunition, and bombs by jihadis not spent on feeding the hungry?

    12. #12
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      ^ really those 'mullahs' and 'pushtoons' and terrorists have millions of dollars?
      I used that example for discussion's sake. Please read carefully next time.
      "Lets not dwell into matters which have already been dealt with 1400 years ago. Go read for yourself, and understand it yourself." Sh. Hamza Yusuf

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      movie anti-islamic, are you on crack or are you from the taliban? you must be from one of the 2.

      the film is more like the revival of islam.

    14. #14
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      Quote Originally Posted by Crescent_ View Post
      ^ really those 'mullahs' and 'pushtoons' and terrorists have millions of dollars?
      I used that example for discussion's sake. Please read carefully next time.
      Money from Osama, opium sales, smuggling, "islamic" charities" etc. Yeah, they have enough money.

      Like you said, "Everything in Islam is an ISSUE THAT NEEDS TO BE CONSIDERED AND TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT, you can't leave one issue out and focus on others, you have to focus on them COLLECTIVELY."

    15. #15
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      Quote Originally Posted by suhaib View Post
      the film is more like the revival of islam.
      by giving a fatwah on giving permission to muslim woman marrying non-muslim man?

      Inna Lillahay wa inna IlyehaY Ra'jeoon
      “Quite often good things have hurtful consequences. There are instances of men who have been ruined by their money or KILLED by their COURAGE.” ~Aristotle

    16. #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by Anwaar Qureshi View Post
      by giving a fatwah on giving permission to muslim woman marrying non-muslim man?

      Inna Lillahay wa inna IlyehaY Ra'jeoon
      Kehty hain ahly kitab khatoon sy shadi jaiz hy tu Ahly kitab mard sy shadi krna kion mana ho ga:aq:
      YAZEED-UN-Nisa!

    17. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by goodnews View Post
      Kehty hain ahly kitab khatoon sy shadi jaiz hy tu Ahly kitab mard sy shadi krna kion mana ho ga:aq:
      There is NO difference of opinion among Scholars of all school of thoughts and there is an agreed-upon Ijma' since the time of the Companions (RA) that Muslim women can not marry other than Muslim men.
      “Quite often good things have hurtful consequences. There are instances of men who have been ruined by their money or KILLED by their COURAGE.” ~Aristotle

    18. #18
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      Quote Originally Posted by Khehkeshan View Post
      Money from Osama, opium sales, smuggling, "islamic" charities" etc. Yeah, they have enough money.

      Like you said, "Everything in Islam is an ISSUE THAT NEEDS TO BE CONSIDERED AND TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT, you can't leave one issue out and focus on others, you have to focus on them COLLECTIVELY."
      Right, now that you've used my quote, answer why the Pak government supports those who kill your own (im assuming ur muslim) brothers?

      Also, why are they practising anti-islamic acts in the movie? Can you provide me references from Islamic religion? Just so we cover all the issues.

      Thanks, then if the Islamic religion matches everything said in the movie, i'll believe its this "revival" you folks talk about.
      "Lets not dwell into matters which have already been dealt with 1400 years ago. Go read for yourself, and understand it yourself." Sh. Hamza Yusuf

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