Sami Moubayed’s article Unveiling men in the Arab world is one of those rare admissions from a (presumably) Muslim source that things are not quite in the altogether within Islam.
It makes me think of the following, in this case relative to the Jews:
For, if there was a glory in the religion that involved condemnation, far greater is the glory of the religion that confers righteousness! Indeed, that which then had glory has lost its glory, because of the glory which surpasses it. And, if that which was to pass away was attended with glory, far more will that which is to endure be surrounded with glory! With such a hope as this, we speak with all plainness; Unlike Moses, who covered his face with a veil, to prevent the Israelites from gazing at the disappearance of what was passing away. But their minds were slow to learn. Indeed, to this very day, at the public reading of the Old Covenant, the same veil remains unlifted; only for those who are in union with Christ does it pass away. But, even to this day, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies on their hearts. ‘Yet, whenever a man turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.’ And the ‘Lord’ is the Spirit, and, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:9-17)
One point that Moubayed made at the end was as follows:
When Mustapha al-Akkad produced Al-Risala (known as Mohammad, Messenger of God or The Message in English) in the 1970s, a Hollywood classic about the early days of Islam starring Anthony Quinn, Muslim scholars outlawed the film because it showed the cane and camel of the Prophet. That movie, however, had done Islam and the Arabs a great service in the Western world. Akkad met with Iranian president Mohammad Khatami – a truly unveiled and intelligent Muslim – who said that in spreading the faith, the movie ranked second only to the Koran, because it attracted people to Islam.
Having seen this flick, I can’t agree. I go into detail about this here but my own experience ended up focusing on the "veiled" Muslims I watched the movie with:
By the time the film was released in the US, extremist Muslims were sure that sacrilege had been done, so they threatened to blow up the theatre where it was supposed to open. But Muslim leadership in Britain had a better handle on the situation, so we were able to see it in London.
And "we" were quite a group. As the moviegoers filed into the theatre for the showing, that sudden realisation came over me: "I’m the only white guy in this place." The rest of the viewers were obviously immigrants, probably mostly Pakistani. Once everything went dark and the film started, it was pretty interesting. So was the crowd; they cheered when the Muslims won a full battle or killed an infidel. I thought that they might get fired up to start "jihad" in the theatre and I would be their first victim. But they didn’t, the film ended peacefully, and the happy Muslims filed out.