Belgium last Friday raised its terror alert level to serious, according to national daily La Dernière Heure. The reason for this escalation lies in Spain: the announcement of the imminent release — scheduled during the course of the coming week — of a film produced by Imran Firasat, a Pakistani who describes himself as an ex-Muslim and who has been living in Spain with asylum status since 2010, the Interior Ministry confirmed.
Firasat has released a trailer in several languages in which he appears standing in Madrid’s Plaza de Colón, with the Spanish flag in the background. “If we find the truth about Mohammed, we can find the truth about Islam,” Firasat says in the trailer. “Was Mohammed a prophet sent by Allah or was he a molester of children and a murderer?”
The title of the film is The Innocence of the Prophet. The Life of Mohammed from the point of view of an ex-Muslim. The title invokes the name of a film released in the United States earlier this year: The Innocence of the Muslims, which featured a caricature of Mohammed and led to a wave of violent protests across the Islamic world.
Firasat last year released a series of caricatures of the Islamic deity. A series of cartoons published in Danish daily Jyllands-Posten in 2005 resulted in riots in early 2006 that left some 200 people dead and sparked attacks on European diplomatic missions, churches and individuals.
Thanks to Terry Jones
The Spanish Interior Ministry has launched a bid to revoke Firasat’s asylum status, although it did not clarify the legal motives with which it intends to pursue the matter. Ministry sources said that an arrest warrant could be issued, but this has not been confirmed.
In interviews Firasat has claimed that he is being persecuted for his religious ideologies and has said that he has received several death threats. He believes that Islam as an organized religion should be made illegal.
In the trailer for his film, he says he is grateful to Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who in 2011 burned a Koran in the middle of one of his sermons, provoking the outrage of the Islamic world.
During the course of this week, in the instance that Spanish justice does not adopt a preventive measure to the contrary, Firasat will release his picture, in which he makes plain that he is doing so “from within Spain.”