Synopsis by Mark Deming
In 2000, Mohammed Fazazi was the Imam> (or faith leader) at the Al Quds mosque in Hamburg, Germany, and near the end of the holy observance of Ramadan, Fazazi led several teaching sessions for his congregation in which attendees would be allowed to ask questions about the Qur'an and Islamic principles that they would normally be required to present in writing. Two of the sessions were videotaped, and in them Fazazi speaks (among other things) about his attitudes about Europe and America, and Islamic positions towards nations that embrace other faiths and support policies that run counter to Muslim law. Fazazi's statements proved to be wildly controversial after the fact when it became known that a number of the attendees at his 2000 presentations later participated in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington D.C., including three of the four suicide pilots. Filmmaker Romuald Karmakar transcribed Fazazi's statements from the surviving videotapes, and in the film Hamburger Lektionen (or Hamburg Lectures), actor Manfred Zapatka delivers Fazazi's speeches in full, at once altering their original context while allowing the words to speak for themselves. Director Karmakar and actor Zapatka collaborated on a similar project in 2000, Das Himmler Projekt, in which they recreated an infamous 1943 speech by Heinrich Himmler, leader of the Nazi SS.
influence, Islam, mosque, Muslim, September 11th, terrorist-attack