Ocean of Revelations:

LibForAll's Unique Counter-extremism Film Series

For decades, Islamist radicals have been propagating their virulent ideology of hatred and violence throughout the Muslim world—fueled by a potent combination of petrodollars and missionary zeal. This flow of radical ideas includes a massive effort to translate and disseminate extremist texts, and to produce extremist programming for television, internet and DVD/VCD distribution, which programming has become a significant part of the public discourse in many Islamic countries, and among Muslim communities in the West.

LibForAll’s pioneering television series—Ocean of Revelations—represents a decisive step in addressing this critical situation. Painstakingly designed and produced to the highest theological and commercial television standards, this ground-breaking film series/video curriculum promotes a theologically-grounded, pluralistic and tolerant understanding of Islam to Muslim and non-Muslim communities worldwide, challenges the main assumptions and statements made by Islamist radicals who claim to speak for all Muslims, and discredits the ideology of religious hatred that underlies and animates Islamist terrorism.

Project supervisor K.H. Mustofa Bisri, recording episode on “People of Faith” in a Chinese temple

Internationally-renowned Indonesian ulama closely associated with LibForAll Foundation are supervising the entire project. In addition to having theological authority and a following in the tens of millions, Kyai Haji Abdurrahman Wahid (1940 – 2009), Kyai Haji Mustofa Bisri and Dr. A. Syafii Maarif advocate a strongly pluralistic and tolerant understanding of Islam, at peace with itself and the modern world.

"LibForAll Foundation is an NGO that cares deeply about Islam and Muslims. The foundation strives to express, clarify and widely disseminate a true understanding of Islam not only to non-Muslims, but also to Muslims in general.  LibForAll aims to present the moderate and tolerant face of Islam, and explain the importance of [Muslims] returning to the essence of Islamic teachings which, until now, have been poorly understood by many groups [both in Islam and the West]."

~ Al-Ahram—one of the oldest (est. 1875) and most widely-read newspapers in the Arab world—reporting on LibForAll CEO C. Holland Taylor's interview with the Grand Shaykh of Al-Azhar, as part of filming the video series

The first six episodes of the video series, filmed in Indonesia and Egypt, were launched in the second quarter of 2009. Ultimately, the project will include an additional twenty episodes, extending the breadth of this effort to further locations in the Middle East, North Africa, Sahel/Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, Turkey, and Central-, South- and Southeast Asia.

 

Maryam Ishaq al-Khalifa Sharief (above)—great-granddaughter of the 19th century Sudanese nationalist leader known as al-Mahdi—provided LibForAll's film series with a deeply illuminating view of Islam as rahmatan lil 'alamin (a blessing for all creation), rooted in a pluralistic, tolerant and profoundly spiritual worldview.
 

"Islam is often referred to as rahmatan lil ‘alamin, or "a blessing for all creation." Exclusivism is a betrayal of that principle, and if a religious community gives rise to exclusivism, it would be better if they simply abandoned this world—Go ahead! Good riddance! Head off to some other planet! Because exclusivism constitutes a betrayal of religious principles, and of Islam in particular, and cannot be condoned."

~ Dr. Syafi’i Ma’arif, former Chairman of the world’s second largest Muslim organization, the Muhammadiyah, with 30 million members. Episode 3, “Faith Communities”

 

Film crew arranging set for the episode on Jihad

"A pervasive misunderstanding of jihad is what’s caused such behavior, right? In fact, it arises from a single cause: ignorance. So we must conclude that ignorance and stupidity are the primary cause of conflict in contemporary Muslim societies. If we truly wish to prevent conflict, let’s study our religion more deeply, so we can understand what to do in the event of differences and similarities. The way I see things, it’s far better if we’re different but share a common (enlightened) understanding, than if we’re the same and both mired in ignorance."

~ Kyai Haji M. Tolchah Hasan, Senior Advisor to the world's largest Muslim organization, the Nahdlatul Ulama, with 40 million members. Episode 6, "Jihad"

 

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