Disclaimer: I am not Christian. Or Buddhist. Or Muslim.
The article discusses who Aslan is, and the role of Christianity in the Narnia books.
"Aslan symbolises a Christlike figure, but he also symbolises for me Mohammed, Buddha and all the great spiritual leaders and prophets over the centuries," says Liam Neeson, who voices Aslan (all italicised quotes are from the stuff.co.nz article).
C S Lewis, who wrote the books the movies are based on, said that Aslan is based on Jesus. But you know what? We all interpret things differently, and it makes sense that to Neeson, Aslan means something different than it would to, say, a fundamental Christian. No problems there.
Aslan, wrote Lewis, "is an invention giving an imaginary answer to the question: 'What might Christ become like if there really were a world like Narnia?'"
But Dawn Treader producer Mark Johnson agrees with the, shall we say, more inclusive analysis from Neeson.
Excuse me? Are you complaining about an author's explanation of his own book? He wrote it with a specific meaning in mind, but he didn't make that meaning explicit so readers could still read it as a secular book. He allowed people to interpret it how they wanted to (like Neeson did), and then he explained in a separate piece of writing, for those interested, the meaning behind the book.
"We don't want to favour one group over another ... whether these books are Christian, I don't know," Johnson added.
Well. C S Lewis specifically says they are Christian. But whether the author's right, who knows?
It makes me angry that an author is now, apparently, not allowed to have his own subtextual religious meanings in a book. The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe is a retelling of Jesus' life: that's what it was based on. If a similar author wrote a book with a character based on Buddha or Mohammed, I hope no-one would suggest the character should represent Jesus as well. Because that would be disrespectful.
Allow the author to believe what he believes, and allow the book to mean what it means. Re-interpret it in any way you want; any character can symbolise anything you want, to you; but don't call the author non-inclusive for putting his personal beliefs into his creative work.