|Innocent Muslims react, with riots and killings, to the film, Innocence of Muslims.|
Introduction to the Article
The entire argument of this article is deeply ironic. It’s supposed to be a Muslim’s reaction to the film 'Innocence of Muslims'. What is the central message of the article? It is that Muslims are innocent of, well, everything! The article is actually about the innocence of Muslims – it’s not really about the film 'Innocence of Muslims'. (See, especially, the last three paragraphs.)
So, in that sense, this Muslim, and millions of other Muslims, show us that the title of that film really tells us something important. It is telling us something profound about guilt-free Muslims, as well as guilt-free Islam, and how that eternal lack of guilt is propagated to – and in - the West. It is telling us that Muslims see themselves - and are seen by Western leftists and left-liberals! - as simply children; children without free will and without conscience. Children who simply cannot help but kill, riot and bomb.
“…. The first perspective of course has been the production of a so called film that insults the Prophet Muhammed (Peace Be Upon Him - PBUH) which has evoked much heated debate on all sides of the spectrum. The riots across the globe, aimed seemingly at this miniscule inflammatory film, have shown an outrage over the insult of the Prophet and a slight on the entire religion of Islam. For those on the outside, it is not easy to understand the reverence that Muslims have for the Prophet (PBUH) in particular. It is hard to explain in words but suffice to say that any insult on the person or character of the Prophet (or indeed any of the other Prophets before) goes to very heart of denigrating the very nature and identity of Islam and Muslims.
"… [the riots, killings, etc.] has been pounced upon by apologists for the film, who use the Freedom of Speech as an excuse… The argument goes is that we are free to say and do whatever (as long as it is not incitement to hatred or violence) and this includes things that we would find distasteful. However, how true is that statement…
"So there emerges from this a sense of some moral and ethical boundaries which are put in place by society and cannot be crossed without there being some legal or judicial implications. So whilst it is deemed "proper" to insult a religion or one of its holiest people/practices in the name of free speech, regardless of whether it offends and insults the very private beliefs of its adherents, it is not "acceptable" to publish photos of a topless Duchess or talk in a derogatory manner about the deaths of policewomen or soldiers killed in combat... we need to collectively redraw the moral and ethical boundaries of free speech that takes into account the growing role of religion in the public sphere.
"By insulting the very fabric of faith, do you somehow invade the privacy of people? Is that acceptable? …. How do we address the concept of freedom of speech, when something is done deliberately to insult and provoke? The film--which was a pathetic, poorly produced, cheap, and highly insulting piece of work--has been unanimously described as being an extremely poor production with no relation to art and no artistic or cultural message. It has been agreed by many that the film aimed to insult, offend, and maybe even stir problems and bring about violence and riots in the manner that we unfortunately saw. Whilst the objective of inciting hatred and insulting was undeniable, can it still be defended under the freedom of speech? ….
"…. the protests have reflected real anger at an insult to the Prophet (PBUH) and by extension an insult to Islam… In the case of almost all the countries were the riots took place and where it became violent, one cannot ignore the aspect of power dynamics and issues of governance. Underlying all of these protests and riots is a deep sense of frustration and tiredness of an oppressed people who have been subjugated to trials and tribulations where their only identity and escape has been their faith and belief. As Myriam Francois wrote, “Broken by poverty, threatened by drones, caught in the war between al Qaida and the US, to many Arab Muslims, the film represents an attack on the last shelter of dignity --sacred beliefs --when all else has been desecrated”.
"…. Hence, in order to understand the reason for the protests, one must not forget the context that has contributed to a mass dehumanisation of a group of people who feel that an insult to their religion is just another step in their colonial and neo colonial subjugation.
The issue thus becomes that these debates of the freedom of speech has to be considered within the wider and more complex and evolving social and cultural context where… faith [is] central. Lacking access to a public forum, often these protestors are seeking alternative means to make their voices heard and have their cultural and religious sensibilities recognised in the public sphere as a means of also protesting against the very nature of their current plights."