A fatwa on Liam Neeson

Ken Blackwell Former Ohio Secretary of State
Font Size:

Liam Neeson is the voice of Aslan the Lion in the new 3-D Narnia film, “Voyage of the Dawn Treader.” He’s got a great voice for the role. Neeson is even from the North of Ireland, the same area from which C.S. Lewis, the beloved Christian author of The Chronicles of Narnia, hailed.

But actor Neeson is facing hail of a different kind — a hail of criticism. That’s because of his politically correct comments about Aslan. Neeson told interviewers that Aslan should not be interpreted narrowly and exclusively as an allegory of Jesus Christ. Aslan might also be seen, Neeson said, as representing other religious leaders, such as Mohammed or Buddha.

This is the reason that Hollywood so often is linked to the Looney Left!

C.S. Lewis’ devoted secretary is also a trustee of the Lewis estate. Walter Hooper was shocked by Neeson’s absurd statements. Lewis’ work, he said, “has nothing whatever to do with Islam. The whole story is about Christ. Lewis could not have been clearer.”

William Oddie is the former editor of the Catholic Herald. A lifelong fan of C.S. Lewis, Oddie calls Neeson’s craven effort “a betrayal of Lewis’ intention and a shameful distortion” of Lewis’ whole body of work. Oddie sharpened his criticism: “Aslan is clearly established from the very beginning of the [series] as a Christ figure. I can’t believe that Liam Neeson is so stupid as not to know [this].”

Liam Neeson is certainly not stupid. He is, unfortunately, a dhimmicrat. A dhimmicrat is one who uses his social, cultural, or political position to smooth the path of sharia, the law they have in Saudi Arabia. Prince Charles and the Archbishop of Canterbury are prime examples of dhimmicrats. The Prince of Wales has argued publicly for Westerners to embrace Islam’s values in order to save the planet from global warming. The Archbishop of Canterbury thinks Britain should permit sharia in ever wider areas to accommodate Islam’s strictures on family life. That means polygamy. That means arranged marriages. That means the legal subordination of women.

In this case, however, Liam Neeson’s fawning attempts may prove dangerous. He did, after all, publicly compare Mohammed to an animal. No matter that it’s an allegory. It can still be taken up by Muslim rioters as “blasphemy.”

Is this far-fetched? Not at all. TIME Magazine carried the story of a British schoolteacher who was threatened with death in Sudan in 2007. Her crime? She asked her six- and seven-year-old students in the capital city of Khartoum what name they wanted to give to the classroom mascot, a nice, cuddly Teddy bear. “Mohammed,” cried the muppets in unison. So, with respect for local sensibilities, the 54-year-old Gillian Gibbons let the children have their wish. Not so fast. Local mullahs were outraged.

The school’s principal — who presided over a school that had been in Sudan since colonial days — tried to intercede. “Miss Gibbons would have never wanted to insult Islam. We tried to reason with them [the police] but they were coming under strong pressure from Islamic courts. There were men with big beards asking where she was and saying they wanted to kill her.” Miss Gibbons got a fatwa laid upon her.

So this is the rule of law that Prince Charles and the Archbishop of Canterbury want to see more of in Britain? So this is the sentiment that Liam Neeson is trying to appease?

George Weigel, famed American biographer of Pope John Paul II, has called for “no more appeasement of radical Islam.” Weigel points to the recent murders of more than 50 Catholics in a jihadist attack on Our Lady of Salvation cathedral in Baghdad and calls for condemnation from this still silent administration in Washington.

For all the bowing low before despots, for all the “outreach” to what the Obama administration calls “the Muslim world,” what we are seeing is contempt for our faith traditions. Murderous jihadists for years have demanded a West Bank judenrein — that is, a Palestinian state ethnically cleansed of Jews. This administration, for unknown reasons, is collaborating with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) to bring about this state. It is even giving the PLO hundreds of millions in U.S. taxpayer dollars.

Now, jihadists are trying to eradicate Christian communities in the Mideast that have existed there since the dawn of the Christian era. This must be resisted.

Liam Neeson may escape the fate of Miss Gibbons who, at last report, had not been beheaded. But he should note what all of us should note: Jihadists cannot be appeased.

Osama bin Laden himself said it: People in Muslim-dominant countries line up behind the “strong horse.” Liam Neeson and the dhimmicrats must stop making us appear to be the weak horse.

America must be that strong horse if we want to survive. (Say, didn’t Osama compare us to an animal?)

Ken Blackwell is a visiting professor with Liberty University School of Law and senior fellow with the Family Research Council. He is the co-author of The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency.