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Innocence of Muslims

25 September 2012 06:30 pm - 9     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Muslims have never shied away from discussing the private and public life of their Prophet Muhammed (PBUH). In fact they have welcomed an examination of his life and times. However when the Muslim world is geared for a debate and public engagement, the West denigrates itself with cartoons and cheap flicks, the latest being ‘Innocence of Muslims’ which has set the whole world on fire. This attempt to hurt at any cost reveals a certain desperation that can only be a compliment to Prophet Muhammed (PBUH). However in allowing and permitting this worthless, useless and desperate attempt to ridicule and slander exposes the double standards and hypocrisy inherent within the western world and its intellectual realm with regard to one of its most touted and promoted intellectual products ‘free speech’.

The White House Press Secretary described ‘Innocence of Muslims’ as ‘reprehensible and disgusting’. Yet the Obama Administration remains unmoved. An act of deliberate provocation is given cover and protection as ‘free speech’. What if it was not a movie about Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) but about someone else? Would it still be free speech and free for viewing? What if it was about Anne Frank? What if it was a movie that showed her diary as a big lie, that she was a fraud writing up made up, fictional figments coming out from the vivid imagination of a very bored teenage girl? I seriously doubt that in such a case the US Government, Google or You Tube would adopt the same ‘liberal’, ‘free speech’ approach.

Even in the way the West defines free speech, it is not an unfettered, untrammelled absolute right. It is pegged in and restricted. Under the standard narrative, in deciding whether to decree something as free speech or not, there is a need to balance competing considerations but when it comes to Muslims, what we see is not a balance but really a bias. There are examples aplenty.

In 2011, the Turkish film ‘Valley of the Wolves: Palestine’ was banned in Germany for being ‘anti-Semitic’ and more so for being ‘anti-Israel’.
There was nothing about religion. It was an action movie about a Turkish counter attack against the Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla. However these same laws fail to protect the sentiments of Muslims. On the Innocence of Muslims, Germany remains guilty of double standards.

 Similarly a recent critique of Israeli atrocities in Palestine by Richard Falk was accompanied by a cartoon which showed a dog wearing a kipa. The cartoon was condemned for being ‘Anti – Semitic’. No champion of free speech came to defend it as being ‘free speech’. No newspapers re-published the cartoon in solidarity. In the end Richard Falk apologized.

In 2007 whilst the European press was aggressively defending the right to free speech in the context of another cartoon controversy relating to the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) the Spanish satirical magazine El Jueves was banned by the Spanish High Court and the editor punished for a cartoon. The cartoon ridiculed not a Prophet and not even a Pope. It caricatured a Spanish Prince.

Why is it that the laws that protect Israel, Jews and the Spanish Royal Family from offence and insult do not protect the Muslims? To borrow from Shakespeare ‘Hath not a Muslim hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases,
heal’d by the same means, warm’d and cool’d by the same winter and summer… If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh?’

But are the Muslims overreacting? Are they too touchy? I think not. In another time, in Europe, in Germany Julius Streicher’s Der Stürmer published Nazi cartoons that ridiculed and stereotyped Jews. Before they started ‘doing anything’ to the Jews they started ‘saying anything’ to them. Before the killing started, it began with a bit of insult, offence and ridicule.

The precise thing that Anne Frank and her diaries warn against.
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  Comments - 9

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  • Thanga Tuesday, 25 September 2012 10:49 PM

    “Muslims have never shied away from discussing the private and public life of their Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)................, ’ which has set the whole world on fire” claims Hejaaz Hizbulla. If this is indeed true why say the film Innocence of Muslims have set the whole world on fire?

    Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. What the White House Press Secretary described ‘Innocence of Muslims’ as ‘reprehensible and disgusting’ he meant it. But, the film maker has the freedom of speech to produce a film on Muhammad however offensive it might be. No other religionists take offence when their gods and saints are denigrated. For example films have been produced that portray Jesus Christ as a homosexual and Mary after all is not a virgin as claimed. In Hinduism, the gods and goddesses are ridiculed by Non-Hindus using provocative language. Yet Hindus remain passive.

    Brother Wednesday, 26 September 2012 12:59 AM

    Well Said , Sir

    Wimal Wednesday, 26 September 2012 08:34 AM

    yes well said
    we must not go or visit these neo christ countries or send any of our children or anyone known to us for absolutely noreason what so ever,instead we must send them to pakistan for education,saudi and other mideast nations for culture and neo islam countries in africa for business.

    pala Wednesday, 26 September 2012 04:53 PM

    this is a true story of muslim mohamad,so they dont like other religion people knows the true

    Little Johnny Wednesday, 26 September 2012 05:38 PM

    So what did the Buddhists do about it did they make their voice heard to the world?

    Senavi Wednesday, 26 September 2012 09:34 AM

    Time will tell .... One god one religion....

    Sonali De Silva Wednesday, 26 September 2012 06:10 PM

    Dear Mr H H. Please don't compare Anne to your prophet. She is not a prophet for one. I think you are blinded by anger and so either not aware of the "insults" to other religions or you don't want to accept.
    Google and you tube are search engines and not run by the US govt.
    If the killing of the US Ambassador is not overreacting or "touchy" what is? I would call it going berserk. Remember the sketches and Salman Rushdie incidents?
    I thought Islam was a religion of peace. It is because you react to these taunts that they keep coming. If you practice your religion and believe in it what does it matter what others say about it.

    Hussain Wednesday, 26 September 2012 06:49 PM

    Its is obvious even to a fool, that Islam and violence go hand in hand. No need for outsiders to denigrate Islam. The muslims do a good job of it - Just read the daily papers or listen to the News.

    Psychologist Wednesday, 26 September 2012 09:53 AM

    Hey guys, where were you when the famous Buddhist statues were destroyed by those fundamentalist Muslims. I cannot recall any angry condemnations from our Muslim leaders


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