Muslims views ‘Passion’ Film in record numbers

By July 19, 2004

Middle East (MNN) — It’s not something you’re hearing in the United States, but reports indicate that the Mel Gibson film, “The Passion of the Christ” is having a profound impact on the Muslim world. The response is being called unprecedented in the history of Islam.

Nearly all Muslim nations ban the showing of any Biblical prophet recognized by Islam. For example, “Prince of Egypt” was banned by Egyptian censors because, “ Islam reveres Moses as a prophet, and many Muslims recoil at seeing their prophets as flesh-and-blood characters.”

But anti-Semitic accusations have actually sparked great Arab interest in seeing “The Passion,” according to a Christian in Qatar. He wrote, “How interesting that God is using this film to communicate the Gospel through the very opposite spirit that might be motivating them to go and see it.”

Even Al Jazeera, that is usually very anti-Western, reports that “‘The Passion of the Christ’ received an exceptionally warm welcome in the mainly Muslim Arab world, drawing large audiences in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt. One Christian reported that to everyone’s shock and surprise, “The Passion” was released in Qatar. “In two short hours, more Qataris heard the Gospel than I have been able to reach in nearly five years of living here,” said one Western leader. He added, “The Arabic subtitles were completely accurate – they didn’t water anything down or change any language that the Muslims might not agree with.” Qatar newspapers reported 66,321 tickets sold in the first three days, in a land of only 730,000 citizens. “The Passion” has drawn large crowds also in the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait..Even in Saudi Arabia, which has no theaters, pirated DVDs are “selling like hotcakes,” as they are in all Arab countries.

It’s being reported that teachers in Amman, Jordan have been taking their students to see the movie. Parts of the film have been shown on Arabian TV followed by panel discussions with Muslim scholars

Pray that God uses this film to introduce many to Christ.

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