Spain Targets Pakistani Refugee Over Film
by Joel Himelfarb • Dec 18, 2012 at 5:28 pm
Cravenness in the face of Islamist censorship is on display in Spain, where the national government has warned a refugee political filmmaker he faces deportation for making a documentary critical of Islam.
The controversial documentary, "The Innocent Prophet: The Life of Mohammed from a Different Point of View, is a project conceived by Pakistani ex-Muslim Imran Firasat. In a new Gatestone Institute commentary, analyst Soeren Kern writes that the film, which was posted on YouTube Dec. 15, "purports to raise awareness of the dangers of Islam."
"The Innocent Prophet" shows images of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, along with the March 11, 2004 Madrid bombings that killed approximately 190 people and the July 7, 2005 London bombings that killed 52. It features Quranic passages threatening nonbelievers with violence, and promises to answer the question: "Was Mohammed an inspired prophet of God, or was he a madman driven by his own demons, thus producing a religion of tyranny of violence?"
Firasat was granted political asylum in Spain two years ago after receiving death threats in Pakistan and Indonesia for marrying a non-Muslim and criticizing Islam. He made "The Innocent Prophet" in cooperation with Terry Jones, the American pastor best known for Quran burning.
In response, the Spanish government is reportedly threatening to deport Firasat. Media accounts say the country's interior ministry has initiated a process to review his refugee status, and there is speculation that Spanish authorities would try to arrest him for "offending religious sentiments."
Spanish authorities have told him he will lose his refugee status and "will be deported back to Pakistan where the death penalty is waiting for me" if he releases the movie, Firasat said in an interview last week with the International Business Times. After detaining him for questioning, Spanish authorities suggested he leave the country and burn the Quran, he said. Firasat replied he is a Spanish citizen with the same rights as anyone else.
In Belgium, government officials declared that the trailer for "The Innocent Prophet" can "be perceived as Islamophobic" and increased security threat levels in an effort to head off violence in response to the documentary. In September, hundreds of Muslims clashed with Belgian police in Antwerp, the country's second-largest city to protest the release of "The Innocence of Muslims."