Sunday, November 27, 2005

Moustapha Akkad Follow-Up

As a follow-up to this post about producer Moustapha Akkad, killed in the recent terrorist attack in Jordan, here's a Reason piece from a couple of weeks ago (must have missed it) about his two most well-known non-Halloween films and the irony of his death at the hands of the so-called protectors of Islam. Excerpt: Yet by killing Akkad, Zarqawi's jihadis managed to pull off a bloody act of particular stupidity, even for them. Although he is best known to U.S. audiences as the producer of the eight-film Halloween horror franchise, Moustapha Akkad had spent much of his long career in Hollywood—he came to LA from Allepo in the 1950s to study film—attempting to use the movie capital's power to reshape negative stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims. As the liberal journalist Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed wrote on Monday in the newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, "The irony is that Akkad, the very man who delivered a wonderful image of Islam, was killed by Al-Qaeda, the very organization that has defamed Islam and Muslims." There's actually a larger irony at work as well: Al Qaeda was not the first group of Islamists with whom Akkad found himself in conflict. The motif of a uniquely pro-Islam American moviemaker beset by Islamist foes marks his unusual careeer.


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