Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
This news release is outdated and posted for archival purposes.​​

Oct. 25, 2017
UCLA Professor Donates 500 Horror Films to Cinema Department 

Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl was watching a horror film when a young woman sitting next to him grabbed his arm in the movie theater darkness and asked, “You’re scared, aren’t you? Admit it, you are scared!”

Abou El Fadl, a world-renowned scholar and the Omar and Azmeralda Alfi Distinguished Professor in Islamic Law at the UCLA School of Law, smiled and thought to himself, “I’m three times your age, Arab of Egyptian culture, and a Muslim. But here we are, both of us scared of this paranormal encounter.”

That experience is how Dr. Abou El Fadl realized the equalizing and transcendent power of horror films and fell in love with the genre—so much so that his collection of American, Japanese and Korean horror films topped 500 titles. Now, he has chosen to donate those films to the College of the Canyons Cinema Department.

“Regardless of our backgrounds, we all have an inherent knowledge of what is evil, what it looks like and feels like,” said Abou El Fadl. “Horror films emphasize what we all share as human beings, the same fears, worries and anxieties. Horror films do just that, create a powerful common experience, no matter who we are, where we come from or what we believe in.”

Abou El Fadl will discuss his love of horror films on Saturday, Oct. 28 during a double-feature screening of two films from his donated collection, “Baskin” (2015) and “The Babadook” (2014). 

“We are very grateful to Dr. Abou El Fadl for donating his impressive horror film collection to the college,” said Guido Santi, a cinema instructor at the college. “The Cinema Department has approximately 600 films and possibly a dozen horror titles. His donation would extend our horror film collection, making it possibly the largest among California community colleges.”

Santi, who is also an independent filmmaker, met Dr. Abou El Fadl while working on a new project about Islamophobia.

“Over the course of several meetings, I learned about his passion for horror films and about his impressive DVD collection,” said Santi. “I told him a lot about COC and the many screenings and events organized in our department. I shared with him some of the titles of our Friday Night Film programs and he was favorably impressed.”

Abou El Fadl and Santi will co-host the double feature screening, scheduled 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28 in Hasley Hall, Room 101. The screening is free and open the public.

Attendees are welcome to wear horror costumes to the screening.

About Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl 

Considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on Islam and Islamic Law, Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl is the Omar and Azmeralda Alfi Distinguished Professor in Islamic Law at the UCLA School of Law and Chair of the Islamic Studies Interdepartmental Program at UCLA. He lectures on human rights, law and terrorism, national security law, Islamic jurisprudence, political asylum, and human trafficking.

Among the more than 14 books he has authored, Abou El Fadl’s latest book “Reasoning with God: Reclaiming Shari’ah in the Modern Age” was named one of the best books of 2014 by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) Religion and Ethics website.

A passionate human rights advocate, Abou El Fadl has served on the board of directors of Human Rights Watch and was appointed by President George W. Bush to the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom.