Juan Cole has a guest Muslim blogger post about the problem of “documentaries” on Islam focusing on conflict and contradiction . The part I put in bold is where I laughed, knowing that this is exactly what the Islam-o-phobes do in their own native faith of Christianity’s texts
now National Geographic has aired a documentary, Inside the Koran,) which features depictions of the Shiâ€™a as â€œsinners,â€ and promotes a fractured view of Islam. (It also contains all sorts of other problems, as it confuses culture with Islamic doctrine, doesnâ€™t explain the context of the verses it quotes, characterizes the Qurâ€™an as inconsistent and contradictory â€“ as if the Qurâ€™an is the only religious text thatâ€™s ever been interpreted differently by different people â€“ and features no Qurâ€™anic experts discussing the historical, intertextual, and linguistic features of the Qurâ€™an that actually do render it consistent.) And it contains lots and lots of violence, because so many people erroneously think it is impossible to discuss Islam without explaining it in a violent context.
I find this constant conditioning, and in this particular case, the constant portrayal of Sunni and Shiâ€™a Islam as adversarial, extremely damaging. Itâ€™s self-fulfilling, dehumanizing, and inaccurate.