'Innocence of Muslims' Trailer: Of All the Films That Could've Ignited Violent Protests, Why Did It Have to Be the Anti-Muslim 'Birdemic'?
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Innocence of Muslims Trailer: Of All the Films That Could've Ignited Violent Protests, Why Did It Have to Be the Anti-Muslim Birdemic?

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | September 14, 2012 | Comments ()

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In case you haven't seen the trailer yet, it's worth seeing it just to give some context to the bloodshed and violence being waged by protestors in Libya, Egypt, and Syria this week. It's hard to say, really, if it's the film itself that has provoked the protests -- and the death of four Americans, including the United States ambassador to Libya, as well as an American consultate member in Benghazi -- or if the film is just the excuse that some extremists are using to incite unrest.

I don't know enough about Middle Eastern politics or world religion to offer a proper opinion, except to say this: I can't believe this hacky film from some nutjub Christian fundamentalist is responsible for so much violence, for perhaps re-shaping the presidential race, and for possibly pushing us to the brink of war. It's also hard for me to understand why Obama is being attacked for condemning the film that sparked these protests, nor do I understand why apologizing for what is apparently a heinous film (certainly in production values, writing, and acting) makes him a terrorist sympathizer.

The NYTimes blog, The Lede, has been the best source I can find for following this mess, but even still, something as monumental as these protests over what seems to be the Anti-Muslim equivalent of The Room is beyond my capacity for understanding.

(Hat Tip: Maguita NYC, who will be blamed if the comments on this post goes pear-shaped).

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Dave Dives

    Take the whole page down if you don't have the balls to keep the film clip available.

    The film isn't again our laws or our morales so why would you conform to the rantings of a few nut bags? You really are a spineless lot and will only have yourselves to blame as this religious cencorship issue grows in future.

    Grow some balls!

  • Okay, I mainly don't understand what I just watched. A shitty home made movie with people in vaguely Middle Eastern garb? That's what it was, right? Now, just to clarify, my parents, grandparents and most of my extended family are Muslims but I am not. I showed my family this and the response I got was either the same confusion as mine or laughter. There was no outrage or any offence taken.

    It's probably insensitive of me to say this but why are people getting mad? Just chill out a bit, you know? Stuff only affects you if you let it. (I kind of sound all stoner-y but I promise I'm not. I am just confused at all the angriness and also at the fact that this exists.)

  • Serpentlord

    The people who react severely to anti-Muslim items almost never actually see said anti-Muslim items. If an item's suspected to be anti-Muslim, Muslims are forbidden to even look at said item the second a fatwa's declared. Even said fatwanites usually only hear a one sentence description of something from an interpreter before one's launched.

    Look at The Satanic Verses, Ayatollah Khomeini only ever heard the title of the book before he issued his fatwa on Rushdie for apostasy. Which was completely absurd from the very beginning, as Rushdie, being of Sunni descent, was an apostate towards Khomeini the second he was born. The people who tried killing Rushdie were mostly Pakistani, a group that doesn't even have a mosque built in Tehran.

    The rioters were looking for a reason to kill, the actual reason was incidental. It could've been over a Dan Brown book containing lost verses of the Koran, or an eleven year old Christian with Downs syndrome improperly making use of an Islamic text book.

  • BierceAmbrose

    Making the rounds - Winston Churchill’s on Islam from the original edition of The River War. I haven't read that book yet.

    How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on
    its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a
    man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy.
    The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits,
    slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and
    insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule
    or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and
    refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in
    Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his
    absolute property—either as a child, a wife, or a concubine—must delay
    the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to
    be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid
    qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen:
    all know how to die. But the influence of the religion paralyzes the
    social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force
    exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a
    militant and proseltyzing faith. It has already spread throughout
    Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not
    that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science—the
    science against which it had vainly struggled—the civilization of modern
    Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.

  • BierceAmbrose

    Let me help Dear Overlord with the cliff notes version. He is busy raising twin infidels, after all.

    A large chunk of the "Arab World", is gonna get pissed off because they think everybody lives under a Muslim Theocracy, they are empowered to do whatever they want to make this so, and they are kept in that belief and a state of high outrage-y outrage by shepherds and leaders who need that energy for their own purposes.

    The waves of crazy over a movie won't make sense to you because it doesn't make sense from here. So, how is there not like here? Paraphrasing Sherlock
    Holmes, whatever fits, however distasteful, must be so, so here's how it is:

    - "The Middle East" is where Godtopus puts the crazy people who won't stop calling him for directions.

    The sun there fries all the sense out of there noodles - have you been out in the stinking desert? Hot. I get where they got their idea of "hell" - just like home, but more so.

    Also, the gods don't need to make revelations about sensible stuff, so you can pretty much bet that the new word (different from the old word) some guy brings, stumbling out of the desert, is gonna be batshit. I think they do it as a goof - the gods - like poking at an ant hill.

    - The inconvenient parts of "the Pan-Muslim World" or whatever are a theocracy and think everybody else is too.

    There's no one nation, but there is trying to be one pan-Muslim theocracy with a universal doctrine. It's called the Caliphate, and it's a required part of the teachings - one world, religious government. (Sorry, that's what it says and some people take it literally.) The other inconvenient parts of "the Pan-Muslim World" don't believe in the doctrine but find it politically useful to have other people believe. They either play along, so as not to be assassinated like Sadat, or they find all that empire building outrage useful for keeping their people in line.

    This idea of states independent of god is relatively new. Islam came along about 500 years after Christianity. If you want an idea of how states *under a kingdom of heaven* look as they extract themselves from that mandate, look at "christendom" around 15-1600. The parallels are eerie. Everybody's working under a mandate to create the kingdom of god on earth. The big fights are over who actually got the phone call.

    The "Muslim world" hasn't had the few hundred years of local rulers secularizing after they realize: "Hey, I have the swords and the big, burly guys. Why am I listening to that twerp who prays good?" That and, you know, the assassinations of anyone who doesn't play along.

    Secular Western civilization owes a great debt to rapacious French kings, and a certain randy Englishman who'd just had to have that one (more) girl.

    - Many people in the "Muslim world", while they have digital watches which they think are pretty cool, haven't been exposed to any idea other than these preachings. They're on TV right now, but they haven't seen TV, other than televangelists.

    Think of the dirt-poor folks in Arkansas raised on snake-handling. Now make that nearly everybody vs. nearly nobody and feed them agit-prop 24/7.

    Being all crossroads-y, there is a minority of worldly, cosmopolitan folk in the pan-Arab world. They aren't the mobs.

    - The Middle East & through North Africa isn't one thing.

    There's a very diverse collection of peoples, who have largely been occupied most of the time. "Islam uber-alles" is a kind of overlay, and convenient vessel for local grievances.

    - The larger game is the return of the Caliphate - the universal Muslim theocracy.

    If it happens, the folks running any local region want to be the ones in charge if they can, or secure in their place if not. While the Caliphate doesn't happen, it's a way to keep the sheeple riled up and in line, both convenient and powerful.

    The people in "The pan-Arab Muslim World" who want to live a mostly secular life, perhaps personally devout, are not the ones storming embassies, consulates and so on.

    - There aren't actually "countries" there, just chunks of land administered more or less in common.

    While there was plenty of mess-making during colonial period, and the Europeans were latecomers to occupying that part of the world, chopping it u & being all repressive, the kicker here is WWI & II. Through both phases of The Great Modern European War, the Caliphate collapsed - backed the wrong side - inconveniently releasing the pan-Islam boot from the neck of all the local affrotocracies.(*) An *actual* Caliphate maintains some kind of order and decorum. A once and future Caliphate maintains no order, while being an excuse for all sorts of mischief.

    Every "country" in these often-occupied regions is simultaneously an arbitrary hodge-podge of peoples, the vessel for dreams of reparations / ascendency for somebody, and the personal thugocracy of some local dynasty, chosen because they were convenient. The only thing they have in common is the doctrine of this particular religion, which, inconveniently, tells people their first loyalty isn't to the country, but to the church, the pan-Muslim Caliphate and the true descendent of the prophet.

    The closest thing to a Middle Eastern Muslim country that works is Jordan. I have no idea why.

    (*) I am really over-simplifying here. This debacle deserves one of those historical essays y'all do around here sometimes.

  • BierceAmbrose

    Is it just me, or does that little movie program thing look like some guys got really, really stoned and thought they were Monty Python?

    Well, bless their hearts.

  • This movie was crap and there are no gods or prophets (even mohammed)
    get over it and life will be better for everyone.


  • Jezzer

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  • Gina

    You're actually replying to a spambot?

  • Jezzer

    Spambots typically aren't that on point in their comments. A spambot would have said, "I am glad I have find your blog, those are some very interest point you make about Muslim video. I also have look pretty woman at meetsingles.net."

  • Serpentlord

    The films producer is a Copt, a meth dealing Copt, but a Copt nonetheless. And any Coptic Christian who doesn't even casually hate Muslims would require a level of tolerance along the lines of Martin Luther King. The only reason this didn't happen sooner is because Copts are likely terrified, and correct, that anything bad they say about Islam will be met with even more of their women getting raped, their livestock slaughtered, and churches burnt to the ground than ever before.

    Those poor bastards will probably get the Rwanda treatment within a year. At least those sad sons of bitches in South Africa got publicity on how badly they were persecuted, Egypt, like most Muslim countries, has been an Apartheid state for centuries, and no one gives a shit.

  • Enta Magnoon

    @ Serpentlord. As a Copt, living in Cairo, I ask you to shut the fuck up and sit down. With your intolerant tone and clear misinformation about the "apartheid" in Egypt it is clear that you need educate yourself further about the definition of "apartheid" as well as the religious and culturally heterogeneous nature of Egypt.

  • Serpentlord

    As a citizen of the U.S. living in the only state where white people aren't the majority, or even the largest minority, of the population, I'd like to think I know more about what an actually multicultural country should behave like.

    Let's say I want to move to Egypt and live their for the rest of my life as a Copt. Do I have any of the following rights or guarantees?

    1) The right to easily obtain construction permits to build a Christian church or school.
    2) The right to preach or convert others to Christianity.
    3) The right to serve in the military.
    4) The freedom and protection from sectarian violence.
    5) The freedom and protection to raise pigs as livestock.

    The correct answer is no, for all of the above. The Egyptian government isn't as outright repressive as Saudi Arabia or Iran, but they do jack shit to protect Copts from mob violence, and have a number of laws that are indistinguishable, if not worse, than Apartheid or Jim Crow Laws. Black people in the U.S. have fought in every war the U.S. has ever been in, even during slavery, what on Earth makes Egypt heterogeneous if they don't allow non-Muslims into the military?

  • Jezzer

    I'm guessing he came from Reddit.

  • WhatTheDuck

    Just to clarify, this movie/trailer/whatever is not "responsible for so much violence, for perhaps re-shaping the presidential race, and for possibly pushing us to the brink of war."

    The violent bastards who decided to respond to an idea that they didn't like with violence and hatred - those bastards who pulled the triggers and swung the swords - are responsible for this mess.

    The idea of Islam was not responsible for the deaths, reshaping of our country, and pushing us to war in the wake of September 11th. A bunch of violent bastards were.

    Ideas do not, have not, and will not ever kill.

    People kill. End of story.

  • Serpentlord

    Ideas have always killed.

    There are now, there have always been, and their always will be, great Muslim men and women who fought for justice, wisdom, and the betterment of humanity. But there has always been a streak of horrible racism and persecution in Islam, it's only gotten worse every century, and nobody important is fighting against it.

    Egypt has been an Apartheid state for centuries, so it's only to be expected some Copts would become incredibly racist and even shout it onto the Internet. None of that would happen if the Egyptians have made any effort to stop the livestock slaughter, abduction for the purposes of rape and impregnation, or any of the other horrible things they're doing to the Copts. At this point, with the economic calamity and looming famine underway, the Copts are looking at a potential Rwanda treatment, and any intervention by NATO will just make Salafi elements propagate more racism unless Muslims finally stand up and swear off these despicable practices forever. Then who's the psychopathic, racist imperialist?

  • BWeaves

    I don't think this movie had much to do with the attacks. Much like riots after a soccer game, the attackers were going to attack no matter what happened. They just needed a little catalyst get people started. This was done on the anniversary of Sept. 11th for a reason. The movie has been out for some time.

  • Lemon_Poundcake

    Thank you! It does seem that some are overlooking that this is timed too perfectly.

  • Snath

    That header picture makes me want to punch that chode in the face. Repeatedly.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Probably because he looks like the product of a Dane Cook/Jon Heder douche-snuggle.

  • BlackRabbit

    I upvote you for coining a word! Huzzah!

  • mograph

    Do some of you really think that this movie is the only thing that these people are pissed off about?

  • Jezzer

    Of course not. It's just being pointed out that making a film like this at a time like this is tantamount to lighting a cigarette with a welding torch while overfilling your gas tank.

  • mograph


  • Greedy

    Attention! attention! Nobody, and i mean nobody dammit, make fun of Mohammed, portray his image, or hurt Muslim religious feelings until..., when exactly? When can I write the Satanic Verses? When can I make that one South Park episode? When can I draw a political cartoon? Next week maybe? Mohammed the fucking Pr...excuse me, Jesus Fucking Christ on a Popsicle Stick!

  • Jezzer

    No one's saying you can't. We're just saying that you might want to realize there's a possibility that someone else might pay a very high price for your rant against Islam. There's standing up for Free Speech, and there's being a fucking chowderhead.

  • PBO

    Speech that is controversial or offensive is exactly the kind of free speech that we have to stand up for. It is unlikely that people will want to deprive me of my right to engage in inoffensive or non-controversial speech. "Jezzer, you live in a lovely neighborhood. What a nice place to live." We don't really have to fight to protect that speech. "Jezzer, the religion you choose to practice is absurd. You and every other follower of your goofy religion should go get a hobby." That form of speech might offend people, and as a result, those who are offended might try to limit my ability to express myself in that manner. So you really can't "stand up for free speech" while at the same time admonishing people not to be "fucking chowderheads" by saying something controversial or offensive.

  • Nat Kittyface

    Actually, admonishing people for what you perceive to be dangerously irresponsible free speech is ALSO a part of free speech. Getting the government to come and *arrest* you for talking smack about Islam would be spitting in the face of free speech, unless you went into hate speech or death threat territory (or any other forms of non-protected speech), but telling someone they're being an irresponsible prick, or a fucking chowderhead, or inexcusably oblivious, or a danger to society, or helping to drive sharks into extinction, or ANY other descriptor, because of something they said, is just exercising your right to free speech by criticizing someone else's. Happens all the time. Just because you CAN say something doesn't necessarily mean you SHOULD, and everyone is fully within their rights to disagree vocally with one another about where those (constantly shifting, I would add) lines are and why.

    Isn't it amazing how free speech doesn't only apply to people you agree with?

  • Guest

    "Freedom of speech" has entered the same territory of rhetorical meaninglessness as "socialism" and "libertarianism," it's been so misused/misunderstood a term for so long.

    I sad.

  • pbo

    Of course you are right! You are making my point for me. It is all protected speech (except for, as you say, death threat territory). I never suggested that Jezzer should be barred from making his chowderhead observation. My point was that his chowderhead observation undercuts the notion of "standing up for free speech" which was the first part of his sentence. If you say "I am for free speech, as long as your speech does not offend anybody or make anybody angry" then you are not really "standing up for free speech."

    "Isn't it amazing how free speech doesn't only apply to people you agree with?" Yes - it is amazing! And as my original post made clear, that is the speech that most needs protecting. Speech that everyone agrees with is most likely not in jeopardy. So again, not arguing that Jezzer should not be able to make his chowderhead observation, but rather that his observation is contrary to the first part of his sentence that described "standing up for free speech."

  • Jezzer

    I have not said at any point that their right to free speech should be curtailed. I am saying that only a fucking idiot pokes a sleeping bear and that people should consider repercussions before they speak. Free speech should go hand-in-hand with a sense of responsibility. Too many people use it as a license to be an asshole, and too many people think it means that you have to be granted an audience and that no one can heckle you or tell you to shut up.

  • strtwise

    @Jezzerat:disqus You have managed to sum up the problem perfectly, though perhaps unintentionally.

    Through a continual campaign of violence against free people around the world, the Muslim population in the middle east has instilled in you this idea:

    "Your freedom of expression as it applies to Islam is like 'poking a sleeping bear'".

    Do you think that maybe that is what they have been aiming for?

  • No, I don't. I don't think they're that subtle. What I do think is that they are looking for any excuse, just like certain politicians on our side are looking for any excuse to start another war.

  • Greedy

    Wait, did you just disparage Bostonians? Better hope someone doesn't Carlton Fisk your head in with a Louisville Fuckin' Slugga. (and before anyone gets their panties in a twist, that's not a threat, just a lame Adam Sandler reference). Yes, yes words and actions have consequences, but to have the penalty of an insult be death - mine or someone else's - is a little over the top, dont ya think? Does it seem out of whack that we can rant against Catholics, Scientology, and Godtopus without the fear of someone dying for it, but Allah help us if someone slights Islam? When the next person dies because of something someone said about Islam, is it because we have too much free speech?

  • mograph

    Isn't being aware of the consequences of one's actions part of being an adult? One might think.

  • L.O.V.E.

    Is that header pic for the new caption contest, because I've got a few to offer that involve Johnny Utah, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Though it would help if he had some zinc oxide on his nose.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Well, now that they've allegedly identified the "filmmaker" behind this, I'm sure Romney's team is ecstatic that they decided to chastise Obama for condemning the work of a convicted fraudster on probation.

  • linnyloo

    I find the whole story so bizarre -- among other things, apparently the actors thought they were filming a story of "a generic Egyptian man" and any specific references to the Prophet Mohammed were dubbed (BADLY) in post-production (if you can call it that...).

  • Maguita NYC

    Please don't forget that said fraudster's religious views are very much in-line with the extreme right supporting, and financing, Romney's bid for election.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Or that one of the MAJOR reasons there's so much anti-American sentiment in the Middle East is due to the policies of a certain Republican administration.

  • Serpentlord

    The Middle East has hated the U.S. since the Cold War, regardless of our presidents.

  • Bert_McGurt

    If you're implying that starting two wars in the area, opening the debacle that is Guantanamo Bay, and implicitly approving torture as a viable interrogation tactic didn't drastically inflame those already-present sentiments, then I think you're underestimating how much those actions would probably piss off a lot of people living in that area.

    I'm not saying he created it, but he sure made things worse.

  • Serpentlord

    Of course he made things worse, but not nearly to the drastic level you're thinking.

    Our embassies had been bombed in the 90's by al-Queda, the WTC was bombed by Muslim extremists in the early 90's, we were at war in Iraq in 1990, our relations with Iran have been terrible since 1979. I could go on forever, but I guarantee the situation in the Middle East would be indistinguishable in terms of overall terribleness with or without Bush 43 if you spend any time analyzing how awful it's been throughout the past seven decades.

  • Greedy

    Which, lip-service aside, the current administration has been more than happy to continue.

  • Bert_McGurt

    And so would a Romney administration. Which is exactly my point - there's no substance to his camp's attacks. They're just being contrary for the sake of being contrary. They're focusing on being the first and the loudest to demonize Obama without articulating any ideas of their own.

  • Maguita NYC

    Oy, getting downvotes again. Here's an upvote. And because understanding the difference between facts and propaganda is more important today than ever.

  • Greedy

    This 'filmaker' and the Rev. Terry Jones with whom he is linked (I am unclear to the extent of that association, and don't care overmuch), are outliers and using them as examples of Rommney supporters certainly does demonstrate your understanding of propaganda.

  • Jezzer

    On the other hand, it is a perfectly logical conclusion, not that this will untwist your panties.

  • hapl0


  • lowercase_ryan

    I think there are two completely separate stories going on here. The most important by far is the reaction in the Muslim world to this thing. The second, the American response to the situation and specifically the statements made about it, should never have been as issue. Romney made hay because someone in his camp thought they smelled blood. Granted, I'm biased as hell, but I think Romney looks like an irresponsible man who will say anything to get elected. I hope more of America starts to see it too.

  • BierceAmbrose

    Granted, I'm biased as hell, but I think Romney looks like an
    irresponsible man who will say anything to get elected.

    So, a national candidate, then.


  • Ruthie O

    God, this. THIS! I am so fucking disgusted that while the President of the United States of America was contacting family members to tell them their loved ones were dead, someone in the Romney camp decided it would be a smart idea to spread blatant misinformation for political gain. People died, for god's sake. People who believed in respecting Muslim traditions and culture, people who believed in peace and democracy in the Middle East: these people died a very very terrifying death, and Romney decides this is a good time to disrespect their lives' work and threw fuel on a fire he started. Just disgusting.

  • Some Guy

    Is that the same President who headed out to Las Vegas for a fundraiser immediately after the attacks?

    Or the same President who then compared his campaign volunteers in Las Vegas to embassy workers?

    Or the same President who then went on Spanish TV and flat out said that Egypt is NOT our ally, but hey, it's not our enemy, either, but was then promptly reprimanded by NBC and his own WH staff, reminding him that we've in fact been allies with Egypt since 1989 at least?

    Your mock indignation is pretty ridiculous. Obama is a twit and has no idea what to do in this situation other than condemn the actions of a private citizen who made a film with private funds. Then release his name to the press, and have him hauled in by the police for questioning.

  • ceebee_eebee

    Interestingly I was checking out Speigel online today to see how the German press is dealing with the attack on their embassy and it seems German conservatives and liberals alike are saying the same thing about Romney. That he made himself look even MORE incompetent and dangerously uninformed on foreign politics. I found it fascinating.

  • Maguita NYC

    You have to put things into perspective.

    As Americans, we often misguidedly assume that our First Amendment rights will follow us wherever we go, whatever borders we cross on this planet (and by Newt Gingrich assumptions, even beyond, while populating Mars).

    And beheld to their same religious ruling rights, Muslims everywhere are raised with the assumption that everyone is under the same obligation of respecting THEIR religion.

    And this, this violence, is the result of what happens when these two opposing views collide: Innocents pay dearly the price with their lives.

    Regarding this "trailer", by our American standards this is a very poorly made production. One cannot call it film, for even 1954's Godzilla looks classier. And one cannot blame the actors for its content, because it has been made clear that most were given sentences, not even full paragraphs, and never a full script, and did not know what the story was about. At all!

    How do you explain though the resulting upheaval for a piece of trash? Well, I have Muslim friends who practice religiously their faith, who understand the difference between satire and religious attacks, and have often joined in the conversation on child-abuse and priesthood in the Catholic Church. However, when it came to this particular subject, oh-no. Don't touch it. The word Islamaphobe was thrown around often and quite freely. Meaning what? That ONLY certain religions are safe from ridicule, let alone argument?

    Either you embrace it all, or you don't at all. And if you don't, who will discover the truth about abusive men in robes lying in the name of a god or another?

    We here understand who the schmuck that made this "movie" is. Some ignorant ass that today's social media had allowed to propagate his unfortunate views. But in the Arab Islamic world (and please note here the Arab, because you understand that most Muslims live in, drum-roll, Indonesia), this simply indicates an outright attack on their rights. IT IS WHAT IT IS.

    Should it be then safer, for at least Americans, that all social media does not get access in all Arab Islamic countries? Or at the very least, all messages with religious connotations?

    Because at the end, WHO ARE WE to force other countries into having the same rights? Especially in today's tumultuous America. It is their country, their faith, their pace to outgrow whatever bigotry is perceived, OR NOT.

    Too many Americans have died already while fighting for others' rights, while those others never asked to be saved.

    *And yes, @Dustin, I woman will take the blame if anyone starts making death threats in the name of The Prophet. Thank you for covering the story.*

  • Serpentlord

    The film was made by a Copt, and if anyone has a right to hate Muslims more than anyone else in the world, it's them.

    Sure, the film was racist, but Egypt has been an Apartheid state for over a dozen centuries, they have no right to claim the racist card being pulled by Christians when they deny their own countries Christians basic human rights, abduct their women for rape and conversion, force the children of converted Muslims to be raised in Muslim schools, deny Christians the right to rebuild their churches without a rarely given government permit, and slaughter their livestock on the whim of an epidemic that wasn't transferring from man to pig.

  • Puddin

    By saying "It is what it is", you are essentially excusing horrible, violent acts perpetrated against innocent people because Muslims just do what they do, i.e. murder and slaughter in the name of Islam. Sorry, and I think you're very cool and I love your comments, but that is some of the most racist and reductive thinking I have heard in a looong time.

    This has nothing to do with free speech. They could hate the movie. Think its the worst thing ever and be offended to the core. That does not mean that responding by launching ROCKETS at the Libyan ambassador is something that should be excused, understood, and expected. And, as an Arab-American myself, I will be damned if we kowtow to insane people and silence ANY speech simply because it hurts their feelings. I'm a Catholic. Do you know how many jokes, insults, and outright lies have been hurled against my religion? Yeah,it pisses me off sometimes, but I haven't MURDERED anyone for it. To suggest that you expect more from me simply because, what? I'm American? So I know better? But Arab Muslims don't, so you can't really blame them? Bull. Shit.

    Not being fucking murdered isn't an American right, its a human right.

  • Maguita NYC

    @puddin, "Not being fucking murdered isn't an American right, its a human right."

    You are operating under the assumption that the Islamic religion is one that firstly promotes peace and acceptance for all, no matter their ideologies.

    You would be wrong. Quite sadly. Although I do agree with the essence of your comment, about freedom and mostly Basic Human Rights. In the Arab Muslim world, where RELIGION IS LAW, there is no such thing. If you are Catholic Arab, then you must know that the rights you have here in America cease to exist the minute you cross American borders. And most specifically, in strongly upheld ideological places such as Arab Muslim countries.

    And thus my "IT IS WHAT IT IS".

    In no way was it meant racist. On the contrary, it was meant to stifle racism that some with their misplaced ideology would try to impose on others with their views on freedom. Because let's face it, we are not a peaceful country.

    Today, we have more than enough religious upheaval, what with the Right trying to impose on the rest of the country the same religious criteria and restrictions as they have in those same Arab Islamic countries we are criticizing (and Romney is so oblivious to this, it is ridiculous), and without engaging in out-right religious war, by rules and regulations we are imposing on our women the same status as those in same ridiculed countries.

    Again, I understand your point of view, and actually share with you your frustration, your disappointment at how absurdly insignificant HUMAN LIFE seems to have of value in certain places on this Earth. But in no way, was my message intended to be racist. Especially if taken in its entirety, and not dissected sentence by separate sentence.

  • Guest

    "If you are Catholic Arab, then you must know that the rights you have here in America are absolutely not applied to your standing the minute you cross American borders."

    Canada (politely, of course) regrets this statement, and would like to assure all Americans that we do, in fact, have extraordinary human rights laws in place that protect foreigners. Feel free to visit.

  • Puddin

    I once took a road trip to Canada years ago. We crossed the border at 4 a.m. and went to the nearest McDonalds. They were out of french fries.

    I have yet to return.

  • Guest

    Can't blame you, sir. I mean, I don't eat the stuff, but I can't blame you at all. Bad service is inexcusable.

  • Maguita NYC

    I love you Canadians!

    But @Ranylt:disqus that would also be wrong, especially in the social media age. Our First Amendment gives us different rights than your Constitution.

    For example, a few weeks ago, a man in BC got arrested for tweeting his support of the Colorado massacre (The Dark Knight Rises viewing), citing also some very specific, graphic mentions of the kind of violence he would have loved to do in the murderer's stead. Canadian Authorities (bless their good heart and intent on protecting Canadian citizens) stated that "under the Criminal Code of Canada, a person is committing a crime when he or she threatens to cause death or bodily harm to another person; damage or destroy real or personal property; or kill or injure an animal that belongs to a person." And arrested the schmuck.

    Yes, that Canadian Criminal Code apparently also applies to Canadians using social media to vent (as per the accused's excuse).

    Should I give the many examples of how many here in the US, under the First Amendment, get away with threats of violence, kidnapping, rape and murder? Can Americans get away with the same in Canada?


  • Guest

    That (extreme) BC case crossed over into "death threat" territory--it wasn't his support for the massacre that got him hauled in--it was the "significant open death threats on his Facebook page" that stated he intended to do the same, in _addition to_ his lauding of the act, which tipped the scale. Folks are arrested for death threats in the US, too (including threats on FB and Twitter--Google tells us so), even those directed not at specific people. And there are many examples of Canadians NOT getting arrested for doing so, too--I see stuff all the time up here, but it doesn't make the news because: no arrests. Even with our Hate Speech laws.

    We could throw cases back and forth at each other all day. Here's my point, and I truly believe you know this because you are awesome (I've read enough of your posts): In the "civil liberties Olympics," Canada (and most Euro nations) can go head to head with the US, which isn't any "freer" than us overall (according to USian civil liberties lawyers, in fact,and progressive rags like Slate). You may "win" here, we may "win" elsewhere, it all comes out in the wash. Maybe better not to perpetuate the myth that people are only "free" in the States, even in jest? American exceptionalism is partly why the Mitts get elected. In fact, it's a both/and world.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    What about Hate Speech laws?

  • mswas

    I didn't know the desert had such an echo.

  • hapl0

    I see what you did there. :D

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    Why? Because convenient excuses are convenient for people looking for them. That goes for extremists, politicians and, well, most people in general. One always looks for the easiest answer to bolster one's own position, sometimes regardless of accuracy or logic.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I have yet to hear of a single protester who has actually seen this piece of youtube dog crap. hmmmm intense and over-the-top knee jerk reaction to something they only have second hand knowledge of, based on religious ideology...where have I heard that before?

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Oh, they don't need to see it. As with the "uproar" about the Muhammad caricatures in that danish newspaper, there is a high probability that those mobs are bought.

    Although I don't know if you have to pay these idiots, except in favors in paradise.

  • foolsage

    Just for the record: there was no apology. The U.S. Embassy in Cairo issued a statement reaffirming that America is a nation that supports religious tolerance but that we also believe in freedom of speech; this was before any of the attacks. Then after the attacks, both Hillary and Obama issued statements condemning the attacks. Nobody apologized, even a little bit.

    It's good to keep the facts straight. There's a meaningful difference between saying, "We, as a nation, don't support these folks mocking your prophet because religious freedom and tolerance are part of our national identity, but we won't stop them because we feel that free speech is really important as well" and saying, "We apologize for being awful human beings, and we deserve everything any gun-toting fanatic does to us".

  • hapl0

    Forget bout the protesters, the guys who did the actual murdering?

    They fucked with the wrong President.

    Sooner or later somebody is going to hear this weird chopper sound and you know who is going to walk down the hallway with that red carpet the next day to deliver the news to us.

    Happy hunting ST6.

  • Maguita NYC

    Our Ninja President at work again.

  • hapl0
  • Maguita NYC

    Neither. Some from the Left had nicknamed him the Black Ninja President. Silent but effective. Does not shoot his mouth off left and right. Just simply accomplishes what he has intended on accomplishing, without the hoopla.

  • hapl0

    I was actually making fun of the down vote you got.

  • Maguita NYC

    Oh disregard that. It's my Pajiba admirer/stalker.

  • hapl0

    Oooh, I have one too...or maybe several at this point, They must be from the same ball.


  • mswas

    Well said @9d90c328e72f2634337890ca16e52520:disqus . Adding to this for clarity, this is the statement from the Embassy in Cairo:

    "The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims—as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions," the embassy said at 6:18 a.m. EDT, shortly after noon Cairo time."

    From http://www.mercurynews.com/pre...

  • PBO

    I for one have a problem with the statement that our government released on our behalf. Why is our government condemning efforts to "hurt religious feelings" or condemning "efforts to offend believers of all religions?" If I stand in the town square with a sign that says "Organized religion is fraudulent," should our government condemn me for that? If I stand outside the White House and yell "Christianity is made up, and those that follow it are wasting their time," should our government issue a press release condemning me? Our government should be agnostic on the question of religion, and should not take an official position on those either seeking to promote or ridicule a particular religion.

  • PBO

    And the more I think about it, this goes beyond just religion. The bedrock principle of free speech is the ability to mock and satirize powerful people and institutions without fear of reprisal or official condemnation. Can you imagine a White House press release that read "The United States condemns the continuing efforts by the misguided individuals at Saturday Night Live to hurt the feelings of Nancy Pelosi and Michelle Obama." Would everybody be okay with that?

  • Mr_Zito

    I don't understand how this video got all that attention, and I obviously don't think it justifies violence, but what you have to understand is that if you want to respect someone you have to allow them to define what respect means to them, and not impose your own views. I'm okay with jokes and whatever, and it's good that most Americans are also, and would never protest like this because of a video about Jesus or whoever is your prophet; but this doesn't mean the Muslims have to accept that. Again, the protests shouldn't be violent, but I think they have to right to demand that their faith be respected in the terms they choose, and not in the ones the West imposes. I don't think the videos should be censored, I don't think nobody should die or go to jail because of it, but whoever did it is an idiot and an arsehole, and whoever wants to protest it has every right to do it. Also, we have to remember how much the US taught the Middle East that the way to impose values on others is through brutal force. They are just showing how much they learned from American foreign policy, which never taught freedom of speech, but taught violence and getting what you want by force.

  • Gina

    Again, the protests shouldn't be violent, but I think they have to right
    to demand that their faith be respected in the terms they choose, and
    not in the ones the West imposes.

    They do? They have the right to demand what Americans or other Westerners do in their own countries? How so? And is that right to demand "respect" mutual? Do Americans also have a right to demand, for example, that the Saudis allow Christian churches to open?

  • hapl0

    He also followed that with I don't think nobody should die or go to jail because of it, but whoever did it is an idiot and an arsehole, and whoever wants to protest it has every right to do it.

  • Gina

    Alright, I'm mistaken. The production took place in Egypt, apparently, and it's possible they broke laws over there.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Yes. Both sides have the right to demand it. They do not have the right to dictate it, however.

    Also: false equivalency.

  • hapl0
  • Slash

    Just FYI, people with experience in embassy and consular security are saying that the attacks in Libya and Egypt didn't have anything to do with the "movie." They were loosely coordinated attacks by Al Qaeda ... or some other group that wants Americans dead. But not motivated by a stupid movie. Motivated by hatred of the American presence.

    So the hacky movie is not responsible for all this violence. Apparently, the movie has been online since July.

    Also, Obama is being condemned by Republicans for the same reasons he always is: because he's the Democratic black president. Romney opened his gaping piehole about something he knew absolutely nothing about because he thought he was going to get some sort of political advantage with it, and other like-minded idiots joined in because they're idiots.

    They (the idiots, at least the ones who aren't quite as stupid) are trying now to say that Romney's remark was a general criticism of Obama's handling of foreign policy, but they are full of shit. His remark was a very specific criticism of something Obama didn't do (go here for explanation of that: http://www.washingtonpost.com/....

    Go here also: http://www.wired.com/dangerroo...

    It explains the attack in Benghazi (Libya, where the ambassador died).

  • Saying it was the video lets them avoid saying it was our foreign policy

  • Slash

    Sure, maybe. I'm not saying there's nothing wrong with things we (as a country) have done outside the U.S., I'm just saying the attacks on the consulate in Libya and the embassy in Cairo had nothing to do with any movie. They were attacks on U.S. targets. I'm guessing these latest attacks on U.S. entities in other countries may be motivated (in part) by this stupid movie that people in these countries have now been made aware of because of all the coverage.

    And I'm saying that Republican criticism of Obama about the Libyan and Egyptian incidents has no basis in reality. As usual. They're now saying our perceived "weakness" (at the same time we're killing people with drones and whatnot - which is it? Are we savage oppressors or are we weak, easy targets? It can't be both) has "encouraged" these attacks. As if Al Qaeda and other like-minded groups need encouragement to hate us. And some Republicans (along with Israel) want us to start a war with Iran, for fuck's sake. Because that's just what that part of the world needs, another goddam war.

  • Mike O.

    "Oh hai, Muhammed! Oh hai, Denny!" "Allah, you are tearing me aparrrrt!"

  • Jezzer

    "Oh hai, Fatima, you are looking beautiful and sexy today, as always."

  • L.O.V.E.

    Heyyy, Farik. Oooh, wha are youuu doin here?

    You should go home. Take Tripoli Street to the Al Ghiran exit, take a right on Sidharta, and then take the Misratah Airport offramp. Park in Lot A, then take the tram to the Departures terminal.


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