Sunday, March 28, 2004

Fuel for Anti-Semitism

A common criticism of Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ is that, if the film itself is not anti-Semitic, it might well provide fuel for anti-Semites who want to believe that "the Jews" were primarily responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus. I'm not sure how fair a criticism this is -- I'm generally wary of blaming art for the actions of people who view it -- but I do note at least one instance of it happening. It seems that a Shi'ite cleric in Kuwait wants the film to be exhibited, over that country's ban on films that depict prophets (Muslims hold Jesus to be a prophet), because it exposes "the role of the Jews, the killers of prophets".

Gibson has insisted that he intended no anti-Semitism in making this film, so I hope he condemns this blatant attempt by some to graft anti-Semitism onto his effort.

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