Stung by widespread negative media stereotypes, many of America's Muslims
will take to mainstream movie theaters to mark the end of their holy month
of Ramadan, which begins today, with a groundbreaking, full-length animated
feature called Muhammad: The Last Prophet.
The film's screening in November coincides with Eid al-Fitr, the feast that
Distributors of the children's film are taking their cue from Christian
filmmakers, although no one connected with the 90-minute cartoon expects
the limited run to duplicate the half-billion dollar success of Mel
Gibson's The Passion of the Christ.
"It's not about what the box office generates, but about how much interest
and benefit the people can get out of it," says Oussama Jammal, whose
animation production company owns the North American distribution rights to
Central Florida Muslims also hope Muhammad will increase understanding of
their faith among the larger American community. A poll released Oct. 4 by
the Washington, D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations found that
25 percent of Americans believe anti-Muslim stereotypes. In a separate
finding, the survey reported that negative images of Muslims in media and
popular culture far outweigh positive ones..