Saif Ali Khan declares, No terrorist is a Muslim
Posted by jagoindia on May 6, 2009
“I don’t think 26/11 or earlier 9/11 are Islamic acts. No matter what people say, I don’t think any terrorist is a Muslim. Let’s make that distinction very clear. Of course the population of Afghanistan may disagree with me. But I condemn 26/11 as a deed done by non-Muslims,” declares Saif.”
No terrorist Muslim: ‘Jehadi’ Saif
5 May 2009, Subhash K Jha, TNN
If your jaws dropped on seeing the prim ‘n’ propah Saif Ali Khan speak colourful language as Langda Tyagi in Omkara, you will be even more shocked to see him play an Islamic fundamentalist in Rensil D’Silva’s forthcoming film.
Born and brought up in a non-conservative westernised atmosphere, this role has been a life-changing experience for Saif. The actor elaborates, “The role has not only made me more politically aware, it has also made me more religious. Earlier, I was more spiritual than religious. I knew a lot of things about Islam and always believed in the higher power. But when I did a lot of reading on Islam, the one most decisive thing that I learnt had to do with Allah. We tend to presume Allah to be the Muslim God. But Allah is the Arab word for the ‘same God’, or the ‘one true God’ that, I thought, was a wonderful thing to learn while doing this character. All religions believe in the oneness of God. So what’s all the fighting about? Whether it’s Christianity, Islam or Judaism, many of the religions have fought a holy war at one time or another. It’s been a part of religious history.”
It’s not often that you come across roles that change your perception about life. Saif admits that his role in Rensil’s film has not just changed his views towards life but also religion. “It’s the most politically relevant character I’ve played. Though my character Langda Tyagi in Omkara was a political creature, his politics was subverted. In Rensil’s film, I play the Jehadi as a very real and suave gentleman, dressed in very dapper clothes like a college professor and hence more frightening. I play an Islamic fundamentalist while Vivek Oberoi plays the more moderate Muslim,” says Saif.
“To me the whole point of being an actor is to become characters I can’t be in real life. My character in Rensil’s film is redeemed at the end. But even if he wasn’t, I’d still say yes to a role that explores my emotions that lie too deep for fears and tears. My character in Rensil’s film has become the way he has because of the way Americans have treated Afghanistan and other Islamic states. I don’t think 26/11 or earlier 9/11 are Islamic acts. No matter what people say, I don’t think any terrorist is a Muslim. Let’s make that distinction very clear. Of course the population of Afghanistan may disagree with me. But I condemn 26/11 as a deed done by non-Muslims,” declares Saif.