the methods and means of procrastination

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the passion of the christ from the perspective of muslim high schoolers.

Really interesting perspective -- one I was not expecting.

"It was like Arabic with an accent," said Dalia Mogahed, outreach program coordinator for the Oakland mosque, who didn't need to read most subtitles because she understood the Aramaic dialogue.


Nearly 30 teenagers attended the movie, along with some adults and the imam. A discussion afterward drew an even larger crowd.

Many were struck that Jesus had spoken phrases central to Islam. When he said he was born "to bear witness to the truth," he was using a phrase that all Muslims use to describe their purpose in life.

"He might as well have been quoting from the Quran," Mogahed said.

But there are crucial differences between the New Testament accounts portrayed in the movie and what Islam teaches.

"In Islam, we do not believe that he got crucified at the end," said Ranim Khalifa, 17, a senior at Schenley High School. Muslims believe that when Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane for God to deliver him from death, God took him directly to heaven. There was no crucifixion or resurrection, only an ascension.

But Muslims believe that God made it appear to Jesus' enemies that they had killed him, Mogahed said. The Quran provides no details, but the most common theological explanation is that Jesus' betrayer, Judas, was made to look like Jesus and was crucified in his placed.

When Khalifa explained that to her Christian friends, "they were taken aback. But at the same time, they were kind of relieved that he didn't get tortured the way the movie showed."

I mean, I personally see this as a 2 hour "stations of the cross" made specifically for Mel Gibson, by Mel Gibson. He would have made it in a vacuum. It felt like an artistic acting out of faith for me.

But, It is also kind of cool to get a completely different audience's experience, one that I bet not many of us though Mel Gibson was capable of reaching.

What's Playing: Just (Radiohead)
Books: Diolomatic Immunity(Bujold)
Film/TV (courtesy of imdb.com):Brigadoon (live)
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