Akkad was best known as the producer of the "Halloween" movies â€” from the Telegraph‘s obit:
Akkad was making an epic about the Islamic world called "Lion of the Desert" when he was approached by the director John Carpenter, who said that he wanted to make a picture for $300,000. "I laughed," the producer later recalled. "You get worried when the budget is high or low. I asked him about the story. He told it to me in four words and I grabbed it. He said, ‘Babysitter to be killed by the boogie man.’ The babysitter part grabbed me because every kid in America knows what a babysitter is. I told him, ‘Let’s do it.’ I was spending $300,000 a day on ‘Lion of the Desert.’"
Akkad also directed "The Message," a story about the foundations of Islam that surmounted the challenge of Muslim beliefs forbidding any depiction of Mohammed or his immediate family by having the actors (including star Anthony Quinn, who played Mohammed’s uncle) speak directly to the camera as a stand-in for the prophet.
From Shahed Amanullah at alt.muslim:
"The Message" performed poorly at the box-office (despite critical acclaim) but won the hearts of Muslims worldwide for being the "Passion" of its day. "I felt that it was my obligation [and] my duty to tell the truth about Islam," said Akkad, whose first experience with the type of extremists that took his life was when a group of Muslims who thought that "The Message" portrayed the Prophet (which it did not) took hostages at three Washington, DC theaters, demanding the movie not be shown in the US. Having lived in California for most of the last 50 years, Akkad’s passion was to tell stories of import to the Arab and Muslim worlds, but in a way that would be relevant and entertaining to Americans. "In my house, I am a pure Arab, mentally and everything," he told a Jordanian newspaper last year. "When I step out, I am thinking like an American." Akkad has inspired a generation of Muslim Americans – among them his son Malek – who have entered the creative fields, determined to tell their stories and to entertain others.
+ Thousands mourn Syrian producer (BBC)
+ Moustapha Akkad (Telegraph)
+ A Lion Of The Desert: Remembering Moustapha Akkad (alt.muslim)