Muslim prayer
Muslim prayerIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Britain's Channel 4 has canceled a planned screening of the documentary, “Islam: The Untold Story” after threats of violence. Film presenter Tom Holland was threatened with violence by unnamed Muslim extremists, according to reports in British media.

Holland, a Cambridge-educated historian, received more than 1,200 online complaints, many of which were abusive, following its initial airing on Channel 4.

The Islamic Education and Research Academy charged the historian with “baseless assumptions” and “selective scholarship.” Holland contends that Islam is “a legitimate subject of historical inquiry.”

The channel had planned a screening and debate for “opinion formers” at its London headquarters later this month, but writing in a statement to its website, Holland said:

"We were of course aware when making the program that we were touching deeply held sensitivities and went to every effort to ensure that the moral and civilizational power of Islam was acknowledged in our film, and the perspective of Muslim faith represented, both in the persons of ordinary Bedouin in the desert, and one of the greatest modern scholars of Islam, Seyyed Hossein Nasr.'

"Islam: The Untold Story” theorizes the religion developed over centuries, rather than emerged “fully formed in the 7th century” during the lifetime of its prophet Mohammed, revered by Muslims as the founder of Islam.

The premise of the film is based on Holland's claim there is little written evidence of the origins of Islams to substantiate facts about Mohammed. He also suggests there are few references to Mecca in the Quran as the holy city of Islam.