NIS News Bulletin (The Hague), April 2, 2008
Ehsan Jami is not to release his animation film The Life of Mohammed. After consultations with his advisors, Jami is abandoning the plan to show his film, which was to be released on 20 April.
“Minister Hirsch Ballin (Justice) has stated that he fears the film will drive a wedge through our society. That was never my intention”, said Jami. He added however that he does not believe the Dutch government is capable of protecting him against death threats.
One of Jami’s advisors is philosopher and columnist Afshin Ellian. Like Jami, Ellian was born in Iran. Last week, Ellian stated that the young Jami (22) perhaps failed to recognise the consequences of the release of his animation film for his safety.
The abandoned film contains a drawing depicting the prophet Mohammed with an erection. He is seen leading a 9 year old girl to a mosque bearing a swastika, in order to have sex with her. According to Jami, the cartoon represents the story of Mohammed who marries Aisha, as described in the Koran.
In his own columns, Ellian criticises Islam and Dutch appeasement politics on an almost daily basis. In spite of this, he advised Jami to abandon the film because Jami will likely be faced in his view with a Fatwa similar to the one issued against Salman Rushdie following the publication of his book The Satanic Verses.
Ellian believes Ayatollahs will judge The Life of Mohammed much more harshly than MP Geert Wilders’ film Fitna, which came out last week. This is partly due to Jami being a former Muslim and an Iranian, thereby increasing the risk of a Fatwa. Also, he is not an MP as Wilders is.
Jami however says he intends to start work on a new film. In this film too, the prophet Mohammed is receiving the leading part. “I am going to make another film. I cannot say too much about it”.
Jami believes the Dutch government is incapable of protecting him from the severe threats he says he has so far received from Iran. He had wished to release his animation film on 20 April, the date of birth of Adolf Hitler. Jami confirmed he had selected this date for its “symbolic meaning”.