Email from an Officer
A military reader writes:
Like all G.I.'s in the theater, my soldiers in Iraq were keen consumers of pirated DVDs, which are, almost literally, a dime a dozen. When "Passion" was released, I was besieged with requests from Christian soldiers for copies - because I flew to Kuwait monthly to get various materials on the local economy, I had good contacts for pirated DVDs, video games, etc. (sorry Hollywood), and it was usually a few weeks before that stuff could make it into Iraq.
On my first approach to the best source I had in Kuwait City's Hawali district just after the film was released in the US, I was told that the Kuwaiti thought police had embargoed the film as Christian proselytizing, which is against the law (Kuwait's Ministries of Information and Communication have offices to "promote" public virtue), though Kuwait does officially have freedom of religion and there is a Catholic church near the old American Mission Hospital.
Less than a week later, my source contacted me with the good news - I could have as many copies of "Passion of the Christ" as I wanted. When I asked why the change, I was told that the Kuwaitis had viewed the film and saw, much to their delight, that it "correctly" blamed the Jews for the killing of "our" most important prophet! What better message for American G.I.'s than that?
All of this egged on by Christianist Republicans.