Secretary General of the University of Ilorin Muslim Community, Dr. Mahfouz Adedimeji, on Monday, advised Muslims particularly in Nigeria to invest in the film industry.
Adedimeji gave the advice in Ilorin while reviewing a film produced by Dr. Faoziyah Sulaiman of the University’s Department of Biochemistry.
He said that the film industry was a way of projecting the beauty of Islam and countering the negative depiction of Muslims on the screen.
In his review, entitled “Give Little, Get Plenty: A Review of Ojo Ogundoju’s ‘Charity’”, Adedimeji noted that the global movie industry was partly used in psychological warfare.
Adedimeji, an Associate Professor of English in the university, alleged that the western films were fond of portraying Muslims wrongly through name calling, character assassination, sheer propaganda and negative framing.
According to him, framing all seems to justify vilifying Muslims, occupying their lands and generally tormenting them,” with a typical Muslim portrayed as a “bad guy” and a Muslim woman as “oppressed”.
He gave examples of films in the category to include “Exodus” (1960) “Cast a Giant Shadow” (1966), “Network” (1976) and “Black Sunday” (1977).
“Also, other Hollywood movies like ‘The Wind and the Lion’, (1975), ‘Under Siege’ (1986), ‘Delta Force’ (1986), ‘Iron Eagle’ (1986), Death Before Dishonour’ (1987).
“Others released subsequently like ‘True Lies’ (1994), ‘Homeland’ (2011-2013), ‘Innocence of Muslims’ (2012), World War Z (2013), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) and American Sniper’ (2014) have the same anti-Islamic focus”, he noted.
He commended the script writer and producer of the film, on a job well done.
He said that the effort was welcomed because the Nigerian movie industry was also not free of films that offended the sensibility of Muslims.
He added that the production of “Asewo to Re Mecca” in 1992 was detestable to Muslims just as the more recent titles like “Basiratu Baseje”, “Aminatu Pa-pa-pa”, “Osanle Modinat”, “Sikiratu Sindodo”, “Jelili Oniso”, Awalu and Awawu”, are Islamic names.
He said that the symbols and identity were caricatured and denigrated.
Speaking, Prof. Rasheed Adeoye, the Head, Department of the Performing Arts of the University, commended the film producer, adding that it was a good initiative.
Adeoye, however, urged the public to obtain copies of the film and ensure they watch it as such would sustain the vision behind the project.
The chairman of the occasion, Chief Yunusa Oyeyemi, congratulated the producer of the film on the success of the production.
He said that he believed that those who wished to make positive impacts on the society should be encouraged.
Earlier in her address, the film producer, Dr Faoziyah Sulaiman, noted that her motivation for embarking on the project with her partners was to contribute a little quota to the education of the society through the popular film industry.
She solicited the support of the stakeholders, adding that about 10 movie projects were in the pipeline with a view to providing alternative entertainment, which would not compromise morality to the society.
She noted that a percentage of the proceeds from the project would be earmarked for the less privilege.