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    Saturday, 13 August 2011

    The age of terror

    In an age of extremism and terrorism, nothing seems more practical or entertaining than another high-octane film on the subject. Veteran actor, director and producer Tanveer Jamal’s film Ab Payamber Nahi Aingay hopes to expose the misuse and abuse of Islam as a vehicle to carry out nefarious acts of terrorism.
    “We are so misguided in our facts about Islam that it’s important to expose, through proper research, the issues related to the type of Islam currently being preached by the extremists,” says Jamal who hopes to screen the film in several countries in Europe and Asia.
    The film which is scheduled to be released in Pakistan at the end of the year or early next year, has a carefully created script with actor Arbaaz Khan playing the role of a hafiz who is attending a conference to discuss Islam. A critical scene sees Arbaaz’s bus being attacked by terrorists when he is returning from the conference. This incident is followed by an intense rhetorical discourse between Arbaaz and the terrorists, in which the former tries to show the extremists the folly of their acts.
    “The important thing is that the dialogues have been written using well-researched facts from the Quran and other religious texts,” states Jamal.
    The film further shows the confusion that stems from the lack of understanding of religion. This state of madness is captured in a scene where the terrorists start fighting amongst themselves. “The film propels one to ask the questions: ‘Why do we not learn religion ourselves? Why do we blindly act according to what others have taught us?’” says Jamal.
    However, lack of understanding on the part of authorities can also wreak havoc. For instance, the film also portrays how the image of Islam can be polluted by misguided religious authorities who not only misrepresent Islam but also perpetuate violence and hatred. The role of this character has in the film been played by Asif Khan, Arbaaz’s son in real life. Therefore, the story aims at exposing the misconceptions that arise due to lack of knowledge of Islam.
    The intensity of the storyline is captured in the dialogues of the film. For instance, one of the critical scenes shows Arbaaz saying, “Your people have not misunderstood me, you have actually misunderstood Islam.” This is followed by the response, “Are you talking about your Islam or the Islam of the terrorists?”
    Apart from great dialogue sequences, the film also uses modern camera technology available in the country. The film has been shot in Karachi, and scenes have been filmed in the city centre as well as the outskirts of the city.
    Jamal, pleased with the job done by the actors, is excited that the film will also be screened abroad. Already been subtitled in different languages such as English and Japanese, says Jamal, the film will be screened in Japan in the fall.
    Meanwhile, Jamal also dispelled any concerns that the topic would elicit negative reactions with the public. “Who would complain about this film, the government? No, the film can teach the audience a lot and is educational.”
    Published in The Express Tribune, August 13th, 2011.

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