Among the countless number of series and documentaries broadcasted every year on Netlfix- the network that is endangering television drama and documentary production on classic networks or channels- the latest is a historical drama series “Knight Fall” which tackles the subject of the Templars “Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique alomonici”.
The Templars are a group of military regiment formed during the first crusade, and rectified by the Catholic Church in 1129, and their dirty was to protect Christian pilgrims traveling from Europe to the holy land in Jerusalem and Bethlehem . But the role and the degree of indepencence of the Templars as a military group grew bigger by time, reaching a point of total financial autonomy, maintaining at the same time Templars a close coordination with Christian entities in the east. The Templars were very successful in generating their own resources which guaranteed financial sustainability even as the Muslim Armies – especially under the Ayyubids – successfully pushed the Crusaders along with the Templars back into Europe. The Templars though, established new settlements in Crete and Malta and Cyprus.
We shall not speak of the methods through which the Templars generated their financial stability- mainly from piracy and generous donations of some European Monarchs – rather we will speak of their high political influence in Europe.
It was customary at that time all around the world that “Knights“enjoyed political influence, the Samurai in Japan and the Turk leaders in Khorasan and Samarkand, and the Mamluks in Egypt and the Levent ….
But the question that might come to mind of any Arab or Middle Eastern audience is why reviving such stories!! And why did Netflix choose to tackle this very particular plot at this point, amid “ western” continuous demands that Arabs and Muslims should and must amend their religious and historical books and preachings and facts under the claim that “ it generates violence” in the Islamic consciousness!!
Here we ask, wouldn’t it be also viable to ask this “west” to praise less such a conquering militias – The Templars- that has committed severe crimes against the indigenous population of both Christian and Muslim faith in the region, as many European Orientalist scholars have documented! The Templars’ atrocities did not single out any region that they have conquered, and Antioch and Constantinople were no exception!!
Some might suggest, that Netflix produced the drama series for the sake of entertainment … Well maybe… but here again a question presents itself .. why – if and when- We as Arabs and Muslims decide to tell our stories ,it suddenly becomes “ inducing cruelty, bloody, violent , and terrorism” while the stories of the west is acceptable and glorified ,especially when it comes amid the rise of extreme right wing.
And why at this very exact timing, it is acceptable for an“ entertainment” production, depicts Arabs and Muslims as the source of all evils!!
In the series “ Knight Fall” , the Muslims are pictured as an element hindering the quest for the Holy Grail … And in this very particular case , why can’t the west observe the effect of such presentation among their own societies … and the effect of such allegations on the new generation in the west.. Here, I remind you of what the world has witnessed lately in England, and how a young Syrian refugee was” professionally” subjected to waterboarding on the hands of an English peer at school!!! Waterboarding … the infamous interrogation and torturing method!
Additional point has to be said on the drama series, and which can’t be over looked, and that is the historical inaccuracy presented in the drama and which is very peculiar to the Catholic faith at that time! The sympathy and compassion with the Jewish”, such inaccuracy is being presented in parallel with incitement against Arabs and Muslims, in the very same series…
Presenting such ideas- which again are strange to Catholic faith at that time- drives us to conclude that such notions are more close to the ideas of the American Neo- Evangelical church rather than Catholicism… a fact that makes the series nothing but an attempt to “ Americanize History “ ….
As criticism and critique to the drama series on one hand and the absence of counter productions, I say that it is shameful though understandable , that Arab and Muslim politics and politicians are in full submission to the western demands of the necessity ignoring the glorious legacy and heritage of the Islamic civilization with all of its components , Arabs and Kurds and Turks and Persians and Berbers and Christians and Jewish and Indians and Chinese at some points …
The need to ignore our bright history has led to a complete absence of factual historical documentaries on Arab Channels and networks, that would and could present to the audience both in the east and the west a counter factual documentation of real history, instead of producing superficial love and envious stories in the courts of Sultans and Monarchs.