Anti-Muslim film incites more violence
“The Innocence of Muslims” is a low-quality film that has offended radical Islamists and incited violence throughout the Muslim world. The movie depicts the prophet Muhammad as a sadistic and violent person obsessed with sex, especially with young people. Its anti-Muslim sentiment has resulted in retaliation against Americans living abroad, including an attack in Libya that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens.
And to make matters worse, the protests and violence seem to be spreading. Now more than a dozen countries in the region have joined the fray, including Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen.
The film was directed by 55-year-old Nakoula Bassely Nakoula, a Coptic Christian from Cerritos, California. A non-profit Christian group known as Media for Christ applied for the permit that led to the filming of “Desert Warriors,” as it was originally known.
The strangest thing about this film is that all of the actors and crew members involved were misled by Nakoula. The true intent and purpose of the film was never revealed to them. And like those offended Muslims out there, they are not happy.
I must confess that I find all of this very disconcerting.
Sure, I can understand why Muslims might be upset and offended by an anti-Muslim film produced in America. We don’t have the best reputation in that part of the world and it seems like Americans are consistently targeted, kidnapped or killed when they travel there. Some have even been beheaded by fundamentalist Islamic groups, like reporter Daniel Pearl. They don’t like us and, as much as I hate to admit it, many of us don’t like them. I chalk most of this animosity up to 9/11 and all the wars our government has forced us to fight to protect our oil interests, but that’s another story.
My main issue is this: IT IS A MOVIE! And if you’ve watched the trailer available on YouTube, then you know it’s not a particularly good movie. It is low-budget, has terrible actors and could use some decent sound editing. I seriously doubt it’s the type of film that could convince viewers that Muslims are evil or inferior. If anything, I found myself disgusted by the film itself rather than the content. It certainly doesn’t deserve all the publicity it’s been getting because honestly, it sucks. None of that matters, though.
What does matter is that this film isn’t representative of how Americans as a whole view Islam or those who practice it. Instead, it is the interpretation of one individual, who may or may not have had the support of a fundamentalist Christian organization. In this country, we have freedom of speech and respect the right of all citizens to express themselves openly and without fear of persecution. It is unfortunate when the people expressing themselves are total jackasses, but the same rules apply to them, too.
Of course, it’s not the film as an expression of belief or opinion that bothers people. Muslims are angry because of the way “The Innocence of Muslims” depicts Muhammad and makes Islam look inferior to other world religions, most notably Christianity. I can understand and certainly sympathize. I might not appreciate a film that made agnostics look ridiculous, but I assure you the worst I would do is find another movie to watch instead. Or badmouth it to my friends later, only in an “it really stunk” rather than an “it insulted my beliefs” way. I don’t care what other people think because I choose to believe what I like. It’s called freedom, baby.
There are all sorts of analogies I could draw at this point. Do you remember when Mel Gibson‘s “The Passion of the Christ” was in the headlines back in 2004? Everyone was up-in-arms about excessive violence, historical inaccuracy and, most importantly, anti-Semitism. But I don’t remember any Jewish people bum rushing the movie studio to murder crew members or burn the place down. And that’s exactly what happened in Libya when Ambassador Stevens was murdered this week, on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks no less.
In terms of “The Innocence of Muslims” being insulting to Islam, I now apply the same logic to another truly offensive and shocking film: “Showgirls.” I am certain that strippers everywhere, as well as actors and filmmakers, truly despise this sorry attempt at entertainment. Of course, occupations like these don’t compare to deep-seeded religious beliefs, but I’m sure you see my point.
“The Innocence of Muslims” is just a movie. A very bad movie.
I am and have always been a firm believer in social justice and the right to protest, so by all means, get out there and organize, my Muslim brothers and sisters. Your voices should be heard. All I ask is that you leave all the violence and destruction behind. It does nothing but eat away at what little tolerance and understanding still exists between our different cultures. There is enough animosity already, don’t you think?
If you must avenge this insult and send a message to the film’s creator, though, I have a suggestion: make your own anti-Christian movie and post it to YouTube. Just do me one favor first.
Throw some money at it to hire some decent actors. That way you can add insult to injury by producing a film that doesn’t suck as bad as “The Innocence of Muslims.” I know I can’t wait to see it.
Posted on September 14, 2012, in Perspectives and tagged commentary, current-events, Daniel Pearl, Innocence of Muslims, Islam, Islamophobia, Libya, Mel Gibson, Muhammad, musings, Muslim, news, opinion, Passion of the Christ, perspectives, religion, United States, Violence, YouTube. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.