Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Another information-laden challenge to Kingdom of Heaven

Mark Twain said, “History tells us that the truth is not hard to kill, but a lie told well is immortal.” “Kingdom of Heaven,” Ridley Scott’s extremely boring (so boring that film critics at the screening I attended fell asleep) movie version of the Crusades, is Twain’s words in action. Scott is serial killer of truth—giving immortality to 1,000 lies—in this propaganda film. The wannabe-epic is being panned for its lack of accuracy by a host of Islam experts, like Robert Spencer. Crusades expert Jonathan Riley-Smith says it’s basically “Osama bin Laden’s version of History.” But the folks at HAMAS-front group CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) and ADC (American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee) just love “Kingdom.” That speaks volumes, since both groups never met an Islamic terrorist group they didn’t like. Perhaps Scott is doing penance for having the chutzpah to make “Black Hawk Down,” about which they still whine incessantly. But one needn’t be versed in the history of the Crusades to see that this Riefenstahl-esque drama is agenda-laden fiction.
So begins Debbie Schlussel's rock solid attack on Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven, in which she offers hard facts to counter every bit of historical misinformation in Scott's movie. For example:
Here’s a “Kingdom” reality check. The “chivalrous” Saladin was as intolerant and sadistic as they come. His principal secretary and historian, Imad ad-Din (who was gay) describes their view that “while several circles of hell prepared to receive Christians . . . the several ranks of heaven joyously anticipated the Muslim dead.” Unlike his portrayal in “Kingdom,” Saladin: *Personally beheaded many of the Crusaders living in and around Jerusalem, and watched while his soldiers cut the bodies to pieces to satisfy their lust for revenge; *Sent poisoned wine and flour to a Greek leader to distribute to Crusaders; *Fought violently with rival Shi’ite Muslims, dissecting one of their leaders, and keeping his hands and head as trophies (Saladin, a Kurd, was a Sunni); *Persecuted Jews and Christians, denying them even the basic dignity of riding on horses or mules, requiring they ride in humiliation on donkeys and painful pack saddles. “Kingdom” shows Saladin allowing them to ride on horses. But even his own physician, the scholar Maimonides (a Jew) was forced to ride a donkey to and from Saladin’s palace. (Saladin stoned and blinded a Jewish doctor for daring to ride a horse, according to “Saladin and the Jews,” by E. Ashtor-Strauss.) *Sowed the seeds for Muslim Crusades, resulting in the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of Jews and Christians.
There's more, much more, and if you're at all interest in the debate surrounding this movie, her article is well worth the read. Previous posts: Those lovable Sarcens The distinction between jihad and the crusades explained Jihad and the crusades Apparently the "Kingdom of Heaven" is still too pro Christian for the New York Times