"Barack Hussein Obama is not the only one - the 16th President of The United States, Abraham Lincoln, was born a Muslim", according to Faruq Masudi, producer and director of the new Islamic movie, Quran Contemporary Connections.
Abraham Lincoln sharing equal footage with the likes Islamic historical figures -- like Saladin Al Ayubi, Saudi's King Faisal former President of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed.
But what is it they might have? What could they possibly have in common?
Faruq Masudi said, "According to the Quran, everybody is born a Muslim. It is only by his own free will that a man chooses a different course for himself. In that Abraham Lincoln was not only a born Muslim but he chose to live by Islamic edicts like abolishing organized slavery; establishing equality of all human beings, democracy and accountability to God and Man; core Islamic concepts as propounded in the Holy Quran."
According to the filmmaker, Quran is compatible with American values and is not alien to them. Americans don't have to be afraid of the Quran as it is already playing out daily in their lives. And Muslims don't have to eye Americans with suspicion. According to Masudi, "there is quite a bit of Islam in the West without the Quran and there is little Islam in the East, despite the Quran."
Quran Contemporary Connections places the Quranic themes in modern setting and context. In a deliberate departure from the extremist interpretations, the narrative in the film runs "Allah is not a Muslim specific God; Muslim do not have a monopoly on Him. He is not a Christian God. Christians do not have a monopoly on Him. And He is not a Jewish God either; Jews do not have a monopoly on Him." Masudi says further, "Muslims alone do not have a copyright on the Quran."
In spite of the fact that the film aspires to promote better understanding between the Three Abrahamic Faiths, it has been met with stiff resistance from the mainstream American distributors. Obama's call to make friends with Islam has not augured well with this community. The film has been consequently released online and is available from www.Amazon.com in the U.S.
Quran Contemporary Connections is a Hoo Productions presentation, a company that has been producing television shows for South Asia and the Middle East for the last two decades.