Media outlets were enthused about the novelty of a Muslim playing "religious scholar" and embraced Reza Aslan. Unfortunately for them, Aslan hadn't actually read theChristian and Jewish religious texts that he was writing about.
That led to CNN's Carol Costello embarrassing herself by quoting Reza Aslan's ridiculously ignorant musings about Noah. She would have gotten a better quote by asking any random person on the subway.
Aslan is eager to see "Noah," and, no, it doesn't bother him in the least if Aronofsky takes liberties with his portrayal of Noah.
He says the story of Noah in the Bible is barely four verses long. "If you wanted to make a biblically based Noah story it would be 10 minutes long. …if you're going to approach this topic, you have no choice but to expand on it, to make things up, to create a narrative out of it."
The most interesting aspects of the Noah story, he says, come after the floodwaters recede. "Noah gets drunk and lies naked in front of his son. Go and check it out. Open Genesis."
If only Reza Aslan had taken his own advice. The story of the flood occupies 4 chapters. Chapters, not verses.
Those four chapters cover centuries in which a society collapses into moral decay, a flood overruns the earth, time spent in the ark during the flood and while waiting for the waters to recede and restarting society afterward.
It's a significant difference making it clear that Reza Aslan has never actually opened Genesis beyond reading a summary of it somewhere. Either that or he doesn't know the difference between a chapter and a verse.
Also Noah doesn't lie in front of his son. His son enters while he is lying drunk.
Still it's nice to see that Reza Aslan is supportive of artists taking liberties with scripture.
When it comes to his own prophet though, Aslan wrote of the Mohammed cartoon controversy, "As international human rights law recognizes, in any democratic society freedom of the press must be properly balanced with civic responsibility."
"In the minds of many Muslims in Europe, the cartoons were intentionally inflammatory, published to further humiliate an ethnic and religious minority that has been socially and economically repressed for decades."
But it's okay to mock non-Muslim scripture. As usual Muslims have a double standard. One for their own religion and another for everyone else's religions.