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A Mohammed movie does not have to be a historical epic. It can be anything. Depicting Mohammed in any way, even if it’s putting a turban on your cat, is already a form of defiance. Imagine Mohammed in the present day or in the age of the dinosaurs. Imagine him trying to order ice cream. It doesn’t really matter. Creativity is part of what makes such a project interesting. The Mohammed cartoons were just as much about crossing boundaries as about being original, funny or theological. Many of them were really bad, but they succeeded just by existing.
The movie does not have to be live action. Sites like GoAnimate allow you to put together basic animated shorts. Those of you who are gamers may be able to make Machinma movies using the games you already have on your machine. Or just use hand puppets and cardboard cutouts. It does not even have to be original. You can dub in a new voiceover on existing footage, such as the already badly dubbed Mohammed movie.
The movie does not have to follow any shape or form beyond the one that you want to give it. All it has to do is exist.
Such an effort could be coordinated through Facebook groups with the more technically knowledgeable helping the less savvy. There are plenty of resources available online for aspiring filmmakers. Award-winning short films have been shot with iPhones and edited on them. Broadcasting your movie is as easy as uploading it to YouTube or LiveLeak.
It has never been easier to tackle a project like this, but in cultural and legal terms, these may also be the last few years when the window is open wide enough for it to be possible. Those of us who live in countries where such a movie is already unacceptable should get in touch with American colleagues who can upload and distribute the movie for them.
September would seem like a fitting month to be “Make Your Own Mohammed Movie” month, but it’s almost over. October is nearly upon us and there’s something about the Halloween month that seems to fit nearly as well into the picture. The ghost of Mohammed is the specter that haunts the modern world and as it rises from the grave, innocent men and women die. And who is to say that there isn’t a movie in that?
Freedom is not passive. It does not abide waiting around for you to use it. Like all things in this world, it must struggle to survive. Our freedom to think as we wish, speak as we wish and believe as we wish is under siege. The best weapon that the besiegers have at their disposal is our compliance. They can intimidate individuals, but they cannot intimidate the rest of us unless we choose to be intimidated.
The Internet has given us all the tools that we need to fight back. All we have to do is use them.
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