Last Updated : 01-08-2014 00:13


INNOCENCE OF MUSLIMS: AN ATTACK ON ISLAM Freedom of speech or freedom to blaspheme?

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By Afra Anwer Mirror Youth Contributor
Everyone seems to be aware of the mayhem that has gripped the Muslim communities all over the world, but only a handful of them understand what actually triggered these protests. People might wonder how a 13-minute trailer can trigger such a big reaction, but that’s exactly what Sam Bacile, the director of the blasphemous and bigoted film “Innocence of Muslims” wanted.

Who is Sam Bacile?
Apparently, no one seems to have a clear idea as to who Sam Bacile really is. He initially claimed a Jewish-Israeli background, but evidence pointed out that he was a Californian Coptic Christian with a very chequered past. Bacile, aged 55 (52 according to some reports), also known as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was a convicted drug dealer and conman who also pleaded guilty to bank fraud. Now, Bacile is said to be in hiding after his shameful attempts in the name of freedom of speech.

What was Bacile’s motive behind ‘Innocence of Muslims’?
His hypocritical motive was apparently, to create a reaction and portray Islam as a hateful religion since he believed Islam to be “A cancer” and that he was “sick of radical Muslims”. He raised $5 million from about 100 Jewish donors (who refused to be identified). The ironical fact is that not even the crew was aware of the movie being an insult to Islam.

Cindy Lee Garcia, an actress in the movie, says she was given the script titled ‘Desert Warriors’. “It was going to be a film based on how things were 2,000 years ago,” Garcia said. “It wasn’t based on anything to do with religion; it was just on how things were run in Egypt. There wasn’t anything about Muhammad or Muslims or anything. In the script and during the shooting, nothing indicated the controversial nature of the final product, now called Muslim Innocence. Muhammad wasn’t even called Muhammad; he was “Master George” Garcia said. The words ‘Muhammed’ were poorly dubbed over in post-production.

As far as the content of the 13-minute trailer was concerned, it portrays Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) in the vilest manner ever, contrary to the exemplary life he led. The contents of the film, which portrays Prophet Muhammad (PBHU) as a child molester, paedophile, blood-thirsty ruler and other grotesque lies which are too crude to even put in writing, has sparked outrage, not only from the Muslim world but from Non-Muslims as well. Bishop Atallah Hanna Archbishop of Sebastia of the Greek Orthodox Church condemned the film saying, “We stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers while they are subjected to this insulting”. Andrew Browns of UK’s The Guardian wrote on his blog, “It’s a really nasty piece of lying propaganda: something which deserves to be called hate speech, since hatred is its wellspring and the propagation of hatred is its goal. If Jihadi videos are banned in this country, and their distributors prosecuted, the same should be true of this film and for the same reasons. It’s purely and simply an incitement to religious hatred”

Why do Muslims protest?
It should be noted that if the 13 minute trailer was this bad, the 2-hour film is obviously going to be far worse. The protests taking place in most countries is for the banning of the film altogether. If they can create a film insulting our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), don’t we have to freedom of protesting for its ban?
   They burn our Quran, create offensive cartoons about our belief and now, they’ve created a film based on lies about our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) all in the name of freedom of speech. This isn’t freedom of speech; it is hate speech. Islam doesn’t encourage violence in the first place. Everyone’s focus has been on the protests by Muslims in Libya, but they conveniently ignore the peaceful protests that have taken place in many other countries. Somehow, it’s Islam again that gets attacked when Muslims burn flags of the US, but this is what generally takes place during protests of any nature. However, Islam condemns any protests of violent nature.

To all Muslims, remember how our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) reacted when he was insulted, beaten and humiliated. His life story has scores of incidents on how our Prophet approached people who insulted him - with gentleness and patience that led to his enemies becoming his close companions. This is how our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) would have wanted us to react. We don’t have to have to burn effigies or buildings to show we condemn these acts; we have Dua (supplication) - that is our greatest weapon.

Hateful people’s bad actions are only a reflection of their own selves and in no way does it depict our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who has been rated as the most influential man in the world by countless intellectuals. Thomas Carlyle, the Nobel Prize winner, said “It is very shameful for any individual in this era to listen to what is said about the religion of Islam being a fabrication and Muhammad being a treacherous fabricator. Throughout his life we see him holding firm beliefs, sincere in resolve, generous and kind, compassionate, pious, virtuous, very serious. In spite of that, he was easy-going, cheerful, friendly, and even sometimes light-hearted. He was just, sincere in intention, smart, chivalrous, and quick-witted, as if he carried in his heart the lamps of every dark night, filled with light; a naturally great man who never studied in school or at the hand of a teacher, because he had no need of that.”
Mahatma Gandhi said, “I wanted to know the best of life of one who holds today, undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind. I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for pledges, his fearlessness, and his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the second volume of the Prophet’s Biography, I was sorry there was not more for me to read of that great life.”


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