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Islam: Empire of Faith (2000)

 -  Documentary | History
8.1
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Trivia

People in the bazaar are speaking in Farsi (Persian). See more »

Goofs

The final episode states that Suleiman died in 1561. Since he ordered what is now known as the (Great) Siege of Malta in 1565, this is clearly wrong. His generally accepted date of death is 1566. See more »

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Very well done but to limited in scope
21 August 2005 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

This documentary is an excellent introduction to those aspect of Islam which is covers. Unfortunately it is far too limited in scope but I understand why this is. With a fixed amount available for production costs the choice was either coverage in depth of a small part of the whole or a diluted coverage of a wider range of topics.

It covers, at about 50 minutes each, three aspects of the religion: Mohammed and the origins, the culture and the first Christian crusade, and the Ottoman empire. Each is given excellent coverage but it is very much a secular description rather than a religious one. For those people who have little knowledge of Islam except for exposure to the western propaganda and the news of Islamic terrorist (a minute minority of the whole) this is an eye-opening documentary. Everyone should know about the rich cultural heritage which kept alive intellectual pursuits during the dark ages of western Europe. The sections on the Ottoman empire and the fall of Constantinople is well covered and provided some information I was not familiar with.

The photography is also excellent, showing some of the wonderful architectural achievements of the early Muslims. I was not clear how much of the footage was of real life situations being recorded, how much was scripted for the production, or how much (if any) was extracted from other footage, but the blend results in a well-balance, instructive video.

Highly recommended for everyone, especially those whose exposure to Islam is only that which is portrayed by the USA media.


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A very good documentary zackry_isaac
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