Friday, May 05, 2006

On the Da Vinci Code

My first introduction to Marina Mahathir is her weekly contribution to the Malaysian local newsfeed, The Star Online, her column titled "Musings by Marina Mahathir".

Below is an excerpt in relation to the infamous Da Vinci Code, now made even more famous with the movie starring Tom Hanks.

Musings by Marina Mahathir (excerpt):

A friend was relating how after her daughter had read the Da Vinci Code, she had wanted to read the Bible. Which is not in itself a bad thing except that she was concerned that an impressionable young mind would not be able to differentiate fact from fiction. Also it seemed that perhaps what was needed is a Da Vinci Code-type book for Muslims to spark off the same level of interest in young people in their own religion.

Except that if anyone tried to write a similar thriller based around Islam, they'd be hounded and pilloried and threatened with death, thousands would riot in protest and people who would never have been able to read the book either because they are illiterate or can't afford it would have died.

Such is the difference between our religions. While there are many Christians who are upset about the book and movie, they are countering it with seminars and other educational events to balance what is being said in the book, even if the book is only fiction. There have not been Da Vinci Code-related riots or deaths thus far. Which speaks volumes for the adherents of the faith.

It would be nice if everyone could brush off similar challenges and say "we are strong enough to withstand any attack". Even if a book or a movie becomes a runaway hit, compared to the total number of any faith's followers, the numbers sold can never match it. Books are by nature, in a world where illiteracy is still common, a luxury item. As are American movies, no matter what arguments people make about cultural imperialism.

Woo-hoo! Amazing isn't it? That this actually flows from the viewpoint of a female Muslim apologist. And she hails from my birthland, mind you. ;p

Am proud, real proud, of her. ;)

1 comment:

Bernt said...


You have a fun blog and a great message! Keep it up. :)