Viewers will have to settle for just one season of the popular Netflix series Messiah after Islamists launched a petition to cancel the show.
While Islamists struggle to show any support for campaigns against real life faith leaders preaching apocalyptic hate at the mosque pulpit, they were enraged that Netflix produced a show starring a fictional faith leader in apocalyptic settings.
Islamists raged at the main character Al-Masih around whom the show revolved with a giant question mark over his identity and motives.
While I and many others found the character and his impact to be a curious puzzle and a reflection of our times in terms of the human need to worship leaders, Islamists felt his profile skirted too closely with the prophecy of Dajjal, a false prophet or anti-Christ figure in Islam.
I can’t speak to the stars of the show Messiah, but I will take this opportunity to speak to them as a Muslim: The cultural cancer of Islamophobia has been a stain on our communities all while certain groups continue to throw ticker tape parades over grievance-based identity narratives.
The culture that has been created offers nothing to neither my faith community nor to your creative community. The show had fans flocking to the screens who typically never even turned on their TV. Messiah became a starting point for conversations within families where those conversations typically yielded conflict.
The ability to tell a story is one of the most important human qualities. It is one of the pillars of what it means to be human, and it is deeply concerning for me as an American Muslim that the fictitious construct of Islamophobia has gained the power to burn down the imaginarium of the stories we might still tell.