The Innocence of Muslims: Blasphemy, Pornography, and Christianity

What do Christian films and porno movies have in common?  Bad acting, lousy production values, and you always know how it will end.  This is a joke, told by many of my filmmaking friends in Hollywood that rings remarkably true in The Innocence of Muslims.   The script, the sets, the lighting, the hair, the makeup, the clothes are all horribly cheesy.   Noticeably awful sound is always the mark of the amateur.   A true editor would have cut out the film altogether, leaving no trace of this trash.   How can so much incompetence be packed into one nearly incomprehensible story?   And yet, this bungled fourteen-minute trailer is probably the most important film of the year (with apologies to Paul Thomas Anderson, director of The Master).   Sometimes the worst of media can overwhelm the most beautiful, resonant, and worthwhile.

How should followers of Jesus respond to this travesty?  Let us begin with embarrassment and shame.    How can something so vile and offensive have been made by people claiming to serve the Son of God?   How can Jesus, the embodiment of love be dragged into the muck and mire that is The Innocent of Muslims?  This is doing unto others without any form of respect and responsibility.   I understand that Christians in Egypt may feel endangered by recent political upheavals.   Coptic Christians are far too familiar with religious persecution.   And the ascent of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt heightens their fear.    But to engage in such blatant blasphemy directed towards Muhammad can only be identified as hate speech.   And hate speech is never free—it is always costly.

How many ways have the ersatz producers managed to offend?   Of course, their ‘film’ includes scenes of sabre wielding Muslims slaughtering an innocent Christian.   That is easy and familiar.  But to label the prophet as illegitimate, to show him pigging out on pork, to place his face between a woman’s legs, to call the Koran a false amalgamation of Jewish scriptures and the New Testament, to imply that the messenger slept with married women, that he encouraged his followers to sexually abuse children, etc. etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum (or at least for fourteen painful and ridiculous minutes) is reprehensible.    Our embarrassment and shame should be followed by outrage.

I have been slow to respond.  They are so many layers and players to unravel.   I do not want to add an ounce of fuel to the fire.   The cultural gulf between western freedom of expression and Islamic propriety is so massive.   America is a post-blasphemous culture (with all the subsequent blind spots that creates).    I also don’t want to drive more people to YouTube in search of this offense.   It has gone from an appropriately obscure trailer to a global audience of over 10 millions and counting.   But I did watch each painful minute because Christians must at least own a certain complicity in this kind of Muslim-baiting.   Sure, the video can be turned into all kinds of politically motivated fodder.   No, people shouldn’t have rioted over such an absurd project.   A bridge building U.S. ambassador in Libya should never have perished because the disingenuous “filmmakers” tried to start a firestorm.   A convicted fraud Nakoula Basseley Nakoula aka Sam Becile has perpetrated a massive identity theft—turning a religion rooted in grace and love into a weapon of hate.    So shame and outrage may be followed by sorrow and grief.    My heart also breaks for actors who were duped and dubbed by the filmmakers.   We should all sue Nakoula.

Thank God for Coptic Orthodox leaders like His Grace Bishop Serapion of Los Angeles who have spoken out against the film:   “Copts across the Diaspora never participated in any humiliation or violence against those who often persecute Christians. It is not the Christian way to respond to hatred with hate. Christianity prohibits a Christian from such acts,” said Serapion.  “If burning the Holy Bible is wrong, then burning any book revered or respected by others is equally wrong. Holistically blaming the Copts for the production of this movie is equivalent to holistically blaming Muslims for the actions of a few fanatics. Even though Christians often face persecution, injustice and calls for open attacks over the airwaves, we reject violence in all its forms.”  The calls for peace emanating from my Muslim colleagues on Patheos have also been inspiring.   They acknowledge how much work and education remains to be done throughout the Muslim world.

I am grateful for companies like Ethnographic Media who produce peacemaking docs like Little Town of Bethlehem.   Scholars like Miroslav Volf are writing bold and innovative books that bring people together despite different religious practices.    I’ve invested three years in the Songs for Peace Project, working with Muslims and Christians in Lebanon and Indonesia, who share common values and remarkable music.   I have been blessed by these friendships forged with Muslims from across the globe.   And yet, all of these wise, measured, and encouraging efforts can be undone by fourteen lamentable minutes.

We have prayed for the violence to stop.  We wait for the anger to subside.   We yearn for a world in which art blesses rather than blasphemes.  We will not eliminate hate this side of paradise.    But may creativity and healing arise out of sorrow and stupidity.

  • Jane Tawel

    Thank you. Excellent thoughts from someone who obviously knows what he is talking about as an artist and a Christian. Thank you for sharing.

    • ahmad.adil90@gmail.com

      nonsence dafur

    • craigdetweiler

      Thanks for the encouragement, Jane.

  • Karl Johnsen

    You are actually buying the line that the Ambassador died because of this silly film?? This film that has been on youtube since June? In an attack that happened on September 11th?? Come on!! Don’t be so naive.

  • Ric

    America always wants volatile world.they r mental sick even the justice.They bring curse for human being.we want to release from arm seller America.they never think about pease they think how they can sell their weapons.

  • ALI

    u r rite RIC says: American are nothing but terrorist .they killed millions of Muslims in Afghanistan and in Iraq they are still not satisfied with all this terror and now by making such movies ,i dont now but they are trying 2 explain.i hate america just because of such …………..

  • Amir shah

    if the directore will come in muslim contry he will no more teke care
    of you.

  • http://www.google.com s.bangari naidu

    the agetation of the people all over world show their innocence.why the people give the more priority to this film than their real needs.so many people in the world suffering with poverty, illetiracy,gender inequality and why do not this leaders come front to salvo the problems.

    • Michael Dixon

      Leaders do not come forward to solve the problems you correctly identify because leaders tend to occupy leadership positions as representatives of the powerful, the elite and the privileged. Addressing the problems you mention redistributes power, position and privilege. There is no salvation through leadership. Jesus is the revelation of authentic salvation and his characterization as a leader is a heretical effort to align him withe powerful, the privileged and the elite by men who make thousands of dollars in speaking fees from powerful, privileged and elite audiences who are comforted to learn they are also now half way to heaven.

  • ahmad

    well, i’m not going to add anything further but , there is a saying ” if you hate someone , you will do all the means to fight and stand against him ”. the producer has a lot of things to fight against Muslims and their prophet . thank you .

  • Ali Hussain

    Most of the Westener try to be popular or ingluential by any maens whether by convicting crimes or insulting prophets or killing innocent children or peoples.Last two year ago one stupid American Mr.Yatthore swam across the Inya lake in Yangon,Myanmar creating national problem to nobel lariate Aung San Su Kyi for house arrest for his own benefit of popularity. Another one stupid christian priest in US tried to burn the Quran just to be popular as Obama and Hillary Clinton came to know to requested him not to do such act. Actually he needed only that much popularity
    Now,a Coptic Christian,nick name Sam Bacile also
    did same thing just for his popularity But he should understand that Jesust Christ was known as bastard and cheater at his life time and finally crucified by the Jews.Mohammed was the only person who witnessed the Jesus Christ and confirmed as the true prophet and his miraculos birth and to rise perfectly to the almighty god.

    The US government and the google must review their rules and regulations and law as thats are not perfect to prevent such anti religion rights of individuals.

    They take anvantage of Muslims respects to all Simetic religions and Simetic revelition.

    • Dawn

      Mr. Hussain, That film was the most disgusting piece of garbage that sole purpose in making it was to create problems and incite an entire religion to further hatred or acts of violence which is abhorant and do not represent the many people here. There are extremissts in my country some prominent in government or public life who have used the act of a few Islamic extremists who killed people here including Muslims as an excuse to vilify and denounce the Islamic faith and do not represent the people here either! They claim based on a few passages of your Prophet that some Muslims take literally to be that Mohammed taught hatred instead of peace and common good. I also believe that those of Islam who state loudly that is
      what not what the Prophet intended. What the Muslim people don’t know is that Democracy was corrupted by our leaders who used weapons in the name of Democracy or when they did not let the Muslim people choose what Democracy would be in your own countries.

  • msironen

    Is Life of Brian also hate speech?
    a) Yes
    b) No, because it’s a lot better produced
    c) No, because it’s a infinitely more witty
    d) No, because b+c
    e) No because of something else entirely?

    • http://wonderwheels.blogspot.com Gregory Wonderwheel

      The Life of Brian is a good comparative example. It is not hate speech because it does not direct any of its sarcasm and reflective irony at Jesus, but only at the gullibility of followers of every kind, who will build up belief systems based on (1) quotes misheard at a distance “Blessed are the chese makers”, (2) ridiculous distinctions such as between the Judean People’s Front and the People’s Front of Judea or (3) foolish generalizations such as “All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?”
      So, no, the Life of Brian is not hate speech, it is love speech, the love of life and the love of people with all our human foibles and foolishness, which is why it is such a wonderful film.

      • http://wonderwheels.blogspot.com Gregory Wonderwheel

        P.S., is there any better description of the anti-government anti-tax Tea Party movement’s absurdity than that line: “All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?”

        • Michael Dixon

          None, Gregory, none !

    • Ken Ball

      e) I crossed a picket line to see the life of Brian and think films like The last temptation of Christ and others are very different. I have seen many films and think this is more in the Triumph of the Will class. I fear it not bode well for the future.

    • David Crass , MD

      Good question. For me the answer is e). It was sacrilegious, not hate speech. If memory serves, the movie satirized lots of aspects of the typical 20th century view of Jesus, filtered through satire of King James Bible-speak. It did not show Him committing adultery, encouraging child abuse, or being a hypocrite. Nor was it saying the Bible was a false book. It did not show “Brian” as an offensive human being or a charleton.

  • karl

    I’m so sorry for this silly film which hurts a group of human, that was so harm to all religions.

  • justic

    Innocence of Muslims is an anti-Islam video, thought to have been written and
    produced by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, using the pseudonym of “Sam Bacile”.

    He was born in Egypt, he’s Egyptian. he’s not even white people. He has moved to USA after graduated University.

    In fact, I am not sure how he can get greencard and citizen in USA. I think USA should desport him out USA. As he’s not completely American.

    He made mess around to many people now.

  • Selim

    you can’t grow up by insulting others

  • STEPHEN FRANKEWICZ

    My my, bias and unbalance in several areas of this commentary. Does anyone remember the movie “The last Temptation of Christ”? filmed entirely in Morocco, depicting Jesus having sex with Mary Magdalene? Although there was outrage in the Christian community world wide, I do not know of any Christians that blamed ALL of the citizens of Morocco for its production. Muslims want Christians to act like Christ and not respond with anger and hatred towards them, when are they going to start acting like Mohammad and demonstrate his godly character towards us?
    I’m a veteran of the US military and I had the opportunity to meet and befriend Muslims during my tours to Incirlik, Turkey. During the first Gulf War (January of ’91) I was sent to Denver, Colorado for technical training. I had the opportunity to meet five Egyptian Officers taking the same training classes as me. I became good friends with their ranking officer. He invited me to their mosque during Ramadan, which was a unique opportunity for me as a Christian. I met a lot of gracious men, ate dinner with them, and prayed together with them.
    At my most recent job one of my coworkers was a young man (married with children) from Morocco. Another coworker was from Iran, whose wife had been tortured for years in Ragaee prison in Tehran. They escaped with the clothes on their backs hiking through mountainous terrain. A friend responsible for helping them escape was arrested and killed.
    Every culture has its good and great citizens right along with the thugs, thieves, rapists and murderers; its the nature of man and this world. But anyone of good reason and intelligence certainly would not judge the good and great of a culture by the wicked that existed in their midst.
    “because Christians must at least own a certain complicity in this kind of Muslim-baiting.” I beg to differ mister Detweiler, I nor any of my Christian friends participated in the making or promoting of this movie. However, when I went through public college after the first Gulf war I do remember having conversations in my comparative religion class that covered the very same allegations about Mohammad that this video presents. Does that make me, my classmates and teacher blasphemous towards Islam and the Muslim people? NO! No more than the Moroccan Muslims are guilty of blaspheming Jesus Christ because of a poorly contrived movie filmed in their country. Haters will always hate, using any excuse they can to cover up their true motive!

  • Andrew

    I think this video does not show Christianity in any sense. If we listen to the dialogues the Muslims are against Jewish. This is all wrong. Religion is not for fighting with each other, it is for finding a path to find God in the midst of all this non-sense that we have to live nowadays. Please, stop making fun of people and religions. Please stop condemning people from other creeds, let them BE! Let us look for peace, let us see the good things others have to offer. Stop using the name of God for attacking others. Let us find God in our Hearts!!

  • sailor1031

    “…—turning a religion rooted in grace and love into a weapon of hate. ”

    Well that’s your credibility shot right there. You obviously haven’t read the Koran.

  • Charles E. Mac Kay

    many thanks for this. Its full of sound teaching

  • Greg39

    The whole point of free speech is to prevent oppression, not just by government; that when one does air an opinion he won’t be beaten or killed because others hate what is said.

    If all you illogical people want to agree to stifle unpopular views then keep it in your Abramic family, Muslim, Christian and Jew. But yet there’s no need you all have your own hatred of other views already written into your books but unfortunately for you all, you have no right to force them on people who have no interest in invisible men and talking snakes.

    By all means fight amongst yourselves but the rest of us have taken centuries to throw off the yoke of the clerics with their version of ‘truth’

    Or hey read the Bible (I’m sure the Koran says similar) It says near the end times the whole world will be deceived by Satan, what groups make up the majority today?….psst it isn’t Satanists.

    Either the book is lying (and therefore not the word of God)
    or you’ve all been deceived and the God you’re following just so happens matches the profile of Lucifer. He killed unbelievers by the millions, he’s proud, vain, jealous, demands no competition in Gods he says don’t exist and demands worship, sacrifice (animals, time, obedience) and rules racist other peoples he doesn’t call his own. Not to mention sexism, like an almighty God would care…

    Never mix the possibility of God with obvious man made religions, what do you think it’s meant when they call Lucifer (who in most other cultures is the saviour of mankind who angered his God by helping man) the Great Deceiver? If the whole world is following the real God and all are sure Lucifer is the evil one then he can’t be the great deceiver as written can he?

    Would he be great if he deceived evil people or would he not be truly great if he managed to deceive good people who thought they were following a good God despite his behaviour which says the opposite? This violence and murder lately over his own sects should be business as usual for him and yet another feather in his cap.

    Which ever is true keep your hatred to yourselves, if you need rules to prevent violence in your own community because of a film or cartoon in another then maybe you aren’t yet ready for true freedoms.

  • http://wonderwheels.blogspot.com Gregory Wonderwheel

    (1) In terms of “the film”, it is a hoax. There is no film. Only a long excerpt labeled a “trailer” of a “film” that has not been made. So, all this uproar is over a Muslim-baiting hoax.

    (2) A man holding a sign saying “USA! Your ridiculous film is an act of hatred to Islam and Muslims” is sorrowfully only half right and painfully half wrong. Yes, the hoax film is ridiculous, and yes, the hoax film is an act of hatred. But NO! The hoax film was not made by the “USA” and more importantly the hoax film was ridiculous.

    (3) The problem with the collective blaming the USA as a nation for a hoax film made in the USA is patently obvious those of us who live in a pluralistic semi-democratic society. But interestingly, the sign tells us the character of the view of some Muslims toward society in general, including their own. The people objecting to the film live in a totalitarian society in which films are controlled by the religious-state apparatus and would have to be approved by the state or religious leaders, AND THEY THINK THIS IS GOOD. This is the trajectory of a tribal mind-set brought into the modern age in the guise of a totalitarian religious state. They have no conception of what democracy and freedom of speech actually means because they believe that society, as the extension of the tribe, should tell the individual what they can and cannot say when it comes to religion and reality. As with people in all nations, the protesters are the ones who have been educated (brainwashed) to believe in their cultural and societal norms as if they are the only true reality or way of being. This was the mind-set of the Catholic Church’s control over society before the reformation and age of reason. Today in the USA, we have these kinds of people too. They are called Tea-Baggers.

    (4) The hoax film was ridiculous. On that basis alone there should be laughter not outrage. Probably the man holding the sign doesn’t even know what the English words on the sign mean. But he and the protestors should have been told the hoax film was ridiculous and clearly something intended to be an insult for the purpose of showing how thin-skinned and childish the protesters are, and to that extent the hoax film worked. The Muslim men protesting on the streets with sticks and stones are emotionally immature and childish and seem to have never learned that simple lesson from childhood: “Sticks and stone may break your bones, but names will never hurt you.” The more one protests against an insult, the more one shows one’s belief in the power of words to be real just by their being voiced. This is a state of mind of the child who believes in the literal reality of fairytales and has not yet learned of their metaphorical purpose. Similarly the state of mind of the tribal-primitive in the modern world believes that the word makes something real and if someone is allowed to insult an idolized religious icon, then that insult is believed to actually and literally diminish the icon, in this case the prophet. This worldview is hard for moderns to grasp because it seems to show nothing more than a childish belief in the literalness of fairytales. But for the pre-modern person who lives in a world where it is words that are the building blocks of reality, not the senses and reason, it makes perfect sense that an insult is seen as a powerful magical incantation that may harm the power of my god and god’s messenger.

  • Richard

    Craig: Great reply and analysis. Obvious that some who made comments seem not to understand your reply. It would be very helpful to have your reply and the comments you mention from Coptic Orthodox leaders like His Grace Bishop Serapion and from Muslim leaders like Ahmed Younis could be combined into a downloadable PDF that could be widely distributed. THANKS MUCH for your rational and peace-inspiring comments. Please tell us more about your Songs for Peace project.

  • usarmyvet

    While this reprehensible act of posting a vile trailer denigrating the founder of Islam triggered needless deaths, arson and many violent acts, at least we in the US have to understand and educate our own citizens as well as foreigners that “hate speech” is outside our laws to control and regulate owing to our unbridled commitment to freedom of speech. I remember the showing of Andres Serrano’s (1987) “Piss Christ” painting in NYC as well as movies such as the Last Temptation of Christ, the Gay Jesus etc. While evangelical Christians staged protests about them all, no one killed or maimed the artist(s) or those who went to see them. That is the kind of maturity that we should strive for and the followers of Islam have a duty to educate their fellow radicals to learn the art of peaceful protesting rather than indulge in committing violent acts against the ignoramuses who undertake acts such as the filming and posting of the Innocence of Muslims. The fundamentalist Muslims of today seem to be acting like the crusaders of Christianity of nearly a thousand years ago. It is time that Islam matures itself into a peaceful religion which it claims it is. My hats off to the Dharmic faiths such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism etc for their exemplary behaviors despite the followers of these faiths being vilified and denigrated frequently by the proselytizers of evangelical Christianity and purveyors of militant Islam. As an American I cherish the freedom of expression that we have in this country even when I hear the hate speech of KKK, Limbaugh, Robertson et al.

  • http://tiny.cc/bostonreaders ounbbl

    When I checked on youtube there are so many with the title of ‘Innocence of Muslims’. Which particular one is the copy that brought so much attention? As usual, without seeing it myself, I cannot comment much about it from second hand opinions, no matter how correct they are.

  • Alsoaran

    The burning of American flags is abhorrent and should not be tolerated. However it is the norm in predominantly Muslim countries. Are we offended? Yes.
    But it is dealt with in a civilised manner. x

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/michaboyett/2012/07/of-course-we-can%E2%80%99t-have-it-all-but-still-we-can-flourish/ trisha

    I do not know how to respond to this article. So if so many people are offended and are rioting, then should Christians riot until all the absolute stupid TV shows and movies who show great offense to Christians are taken off the air-or how about all the riots “Death to Jews” or “Death of Christians” week after week in Muslim lands? Maybe the true meaning of Christianity is just that-you do not see them rioting, killing innocent people, marching “death to anybody at all” even though Jesus and Christians are throughly trashed on Arab TV and blogs non-stop as well as Hollywood TV and movies. Little unbalanced.

  • Sekhar

    Not surprising, as Jesus himself warned of false teachers who will come in his Name and deceive many and how brother, will betray brother, before the end comes. A true Christian, will be like His Master, Who condemned no one, but gave His Life as a ranson for many. In the end, innocent, true Christains will become the targets. The one who really is behind all of this evil and harm is none other than the father of lies and the great deceiver, satan.

  • Thomas R

    “And hate speech is never free—it is always costly.”

    Well yes, but most speech can have unintended consequences. I think this film sounds like an act of fraud and, if it depicted anyone living, maybe something like slander or libel. However I think it’s mostly good that the US allows hate speech. For all the bad this film has caused it has lead us to talk of “The Roots of Coptic Rage” so to speak. Many Americans likely wouldn’t think of Copts at all or their anger. If you know of a hatred maybe you can do more to argue against it or deflate it.

    Granted there are limitations to this, if the film say gave the addresses of LA mosques and information on when their security is lax, that would be a specific threat so not protected. If the film depicted “Muslims” molesting real children/child-actors than it’s an actual crime and they should be arrested. Same with an antisemitic or anti-Catholic film. I’m not really “anything goes” on speech. But to stop everyone from making a hateful Youtube video is just never plausible and on some level I think the Muslim world is going to have to accept that we can’t control every idiot out there.

  • http://none ct_adik

    truth fully… they know nothing about Muhammad and Al-Quran…
    From Quran (Al-Baqarah)
    O Children of Israel! Remember the favors I have bestowed upon you, and fulfill (your) covenant with Me, I fulfill your
    covenant, and to Me alone should you be afraid, (not the other). [41]
    And believe in what I have revealed (the Quran) is confirming the revelation which is with you, and do not be among the first todisbelieve (ways) in it, and do not make My revelations ( as the price for) the advantages of buying a small interest, and to Me
    alone should you fear. [42]
    And do not confound truth with falsehood, nor conceal the truth while you know. [43]
    And be steadfast in prayer and charity, and bow down (in worship) with those who bow. [44]
    Do you encourage others to do good while you forget it yourselves, and yet ye study the Scripture, do you not understand? [45]
    And seek help (to Allah) help with patient perseverance and prayer and truly it is hard, except to those who are humble, [46] (
    are) those who believe with certainty that they will meet their Lord, and that they will return. [47]
    O Children of Israel! Remember My favor which I bestowed upon you, and (remember) that I preferred (our grandparents) you
    (the prophets) to those (of their time). [48]
    Fear of the (punishment) days (the Hereafter), on which one can not give another person (the guilty) in the least (of punishment),and is not acceptable intercession of, nor any ransom be taken from him, and they (the guilty) will not be helped. [49]
    And (remember) when We delivered you from Pharaoh and his men, who were afflicting you with an evil torment; they slaughtered your sons and sparing your daughters; is the incident that was a disaster great trial from your Lord. [50]
    And (remember) when We separated the sea (Red) for you, (to escape the savage King), but We saved you and drowned Pharaoh’s army, in your sight. [51]
    And (remember) when We appointed for Moses (to give the Torah to him after it was prepared for) forty nights. Then, when he had gone, you worship (worship), and ye did wrong (against themselves). [52]
    Then after that We pardoned you, that ye may be grateful. [53
    ]And (remember) when We gave Moses the Book (Torah) and the criterion (contained in it, which distinguish between right and (wrong), that ye may be guided. [54]
    And (remember) when Musa said to his people: “O my people! Ye have indeed wronged yourselves by your worship of the calf, so repent to Allah Who created you, ie kill yourself. That is better for you in the sight of Allah, who created you, so that
    Allah will relent toward you. Indeed, He is One Who forgives (accepts repentance), Most Merciful “. [55]
    And (remember) when you said: “O Moses! We do not believe in thee till we see Allah plainly (to our eyes) “. But a thunderboltstruck you, and you all see it. [56]
    We then revived you after your death (or the extinction), to be grateful. [57]
    And We gave you the shade of clouds (from the hot sun in the desert) and We have revealed to you, “Mann” and “Salwa”,(saying): “Eat of the good foods which We have bestowed on you” . And they did not wrong Us (because they disbelieved in the
    favor), but they wronged themselves. [58]
    And (remember) when We said: “Enter this town, and eat of the things in it to your hearts content, whatever you like. And enter the gate with humility (humility), and (ask forgiveness) said: ‘O Allah, forgive us our sins’; that we may forgive your sins, and We will increase the reward for those who do good “. [59]
    But those who do wrong (traitor) changed the word (of us) were told to do otherwise, so We sent on the transgressors a plague from heaven, for that they infringed (Our command) . [60]
    And (remember) when Moses asked for water for his people, We said: “Strike the rock with thy staff”, (it even beat him), and so forth from the rock twelve springs indeed each group ( among them) have to know where their drink. (We said): “Eat and
    drink of the sustenance provided by Allah, and do not lie around on this earth to do damage”. [61]
    drink of the sustenance provided by Allah, and do not lie around on this earth to do damage”. [61]
    And (remember) when you said: “O Moses, we can not wait (always) with the kind of food, so beseech thy Lord for us to produce for us of what the earth groweth of vegetables, and cucumbers, white onions, and fennel (dalnya beans), and onions. ”
    He said: “Do you want to change something that is higher better? Go back to the city, so you can find what you ask for it “. They were covered with humiliation and poverty, and have they the wrath of God. That is because they reject (reject) the verses of
    Allah (the commandments and miracles to prove His power) and they killed the prophets in defiance of the truth. That is because they disobeyed and were transgressors. [62]
    Those who believe, and those Jews and those Nasora (Christians), and those Sabians, whoever of them believeth in God and (believe in) the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward reward with their Lord, and there is no fear (of
    the occurrence that is not good) to them, and they will not grieve. [63]
    And (remember) when We took your covenant and We raised above you the Mount (saying): “Hold fast that which We have given you (command) hard, and remember (do not forget) what is in it, may not do so. [64]
    Then after that you turned your covenant (not complete): but if not for the Grace and Mercy of Allah to you (by opening the door repentance), you should certainly be among the losers. [65]
    And indeed, you already know (what was the result of) those of you who violates (prohibition) on Saturday, We said to them:
    “Be ye apes, despised”. [66]
    So We made what was going to be an exemplary punishment for those who are there at that time and those who came later, and
    a lesson for those who (against evil). [67]
    And (remember) when Musa said to his people: “Allah commands that ye sacrifice a heifer.” They said: “Dost thou make game of us?” He said: “I seek refuge with Allah from being one of those who are ignorant (of doing something that should not be)”. [68]
    They said: “Pray to the Lord for us, so plain to us what (the properties) it is!” He said: “He says: the cow (female) is a cow neither too old nor too young, (age) between the two, so do what you are commanded to do so “. [69]
    They said: “Invoke your Lord for us to make plain to us what it is?” He said: “He says: the cow (female) is a cow is yellow, dark yellow color, the more likable people view “. [70]
    They said: “Invoke your Lord for us, so plain to us heifers which one? Truly desired cattle alike to us (hard we chose), and we are willing, God will be guided (to find and sacrifice it) “. [71]
    He said: “He says: The truth (the required cattle) heifers was never used to work the land (paddy fields), nor was he (used to transport water) for watering plants; it is not defective and not there are stripes in color. ” They said: “Now you have told us that
    new attributes to the real”. Then they sacrificed, and their almost unable to perform (to Allah) it. [72]
    And (remember) when you kill a man, then you finger pointing to each other about the murder, but of God will reveal what you conceal. [73]
    And We (Allah) said: “hit of the deceased with a piece of you slaughtered cattle” (They already beat him and it broughtback again). Thus Allah bringeth the dead, and shows you His signs, that you understand. [74]
    Then after that, your hearts hardened and became as stones or even harder. But in between the stones in some rivers gush forth from it; and some of them broken asunder so that water flows thereof, and there are of them which fall down for fear of Allah, Allah is not unaware of what ye do. [75] (after you -O Muhammad and his followers – to know about the hard hearts of the Jews), then can you hope that they will
    believe in the Islamic call you to say that, indeed, there was a tribe of people who hear the Word God (the Torah), then they change as it should after they understood it, while they know (that it was wrong)? [76]
    And when they (the Jews at the time of the Prophet) met with those who believe, they say: “We believe” and when they meet each other, they said: “Shall you tell them (the people Muslims) what Allah has revealed to you (in the Torah of truth) to make the argument (proof) that can you lose before your Lord? Do not you understand? ” [ 77]

    • J. Bob

      Your point?

  • Usarmyveteran

    Like Alsoaran said, the sight of burning of our flag bothers me a lot. Perhaps, more so because I have risked my life both overseas and here fighting for what it stands for and its values which includes the defense of our Constitution and our Bill of Rights. Even, despite an Act by Congress, our Supreme Court ruled that burning of our flag is “protected speech”. But, veterans are trying to get another law enacted which will in fact “stick” even when it is challenged in our Courts. That is the way mature societies should act, not like the rioters and looters who take to the streets to fight whatever they do not like about their own or other peoples nasty and uncivilized behaviors. Civil disobedience and peaceful protests have greater power than mindless violent protests. We have seen that in Gandhi’s India, Mandela’s South Africa, and King’s leadership in our own country’s fight for civil rights. I am fairly certain that had the PLO adopted a civil disobedience campaign against Israel’s occupation the worl as a whole would have swung in its favor and demanded of Israel to be fair and just with the Palestinians. Violence only begets violence. Especially as a Christian, I am befuddled that Christianity and Islam which claim as “peace” as their main tenet, yet their fundamentalists of both faiths indulge in either violent acts or hate speech. What is even more intriguing for me is to read here comments against suppression of free speech from readers who I would like to believe are mostly those who believe in pluralism and inter-faith dialog and mutual respect among peoples of all faiths. That is why, I continue to remain in admiration of the ways of the peoples of Dharmic faiths. They do not seem to take to the streets to maim and kill, or loot and torch buildings even when they see and hear frequently purveyors of “born-again” Christianity and or preachers of militant Islam who constantly denigrate these peoples faiths, doing so in India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, South Korea, Laos etc., I have been to those countries and have spent a great deal of time in several of those countries. I believe that the Abrahamic faiths have much to learn from the followers of Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh, Bahai, Confucian and Shinto faiths.

  • Michael Dixon

    Did you feel compelled to say something? Must someone who writes a blog like this comment on an event like the trailer and riots? Or, perhaps, they aroused your emotions and writing aids in a resolution to that. The analysis lacks persuasiveness. The trailer was produced by a marginal character of an enormously diverse and open society, he is not an avatar of mainstream, empowered or privileged thinking. His actual motives are unclear. Is his effort entrepenurialism gone amuck? Is his effort gratuitously offensive.? Perhaps he sees himself as Lenny Buce or George Carlin? Is he engaged in revenge? An inchoate understanding undermines a trenchant analysis. Our government, under both Republican and Democratic leadership, has declared “war” on terrorism and defined Islam and terrorist as largely coincidental. That seeks to (and largely succeeds in) redirecting economic, political and cultural energies to the kind and sufficiency of marginalization that allow us to kill, arrest, and economically and physically deprive Muslims. This war footing promotes the newsworthiness and circulation of destroying holy books and ” blasphemous trailers.” Our recourse to war and not a fourteen minute trailer are going to kill us spiritually and physically.

  • J. Bob

    This film reminds of what the old Soviet propaganda machine would produce. Dig up a piece of obscure film footage, or stage one. Then dub it to inflame the populace (muslims), making sure the opposition would be blamed (Coptics). Also, make sure it coincides with a date of some significance.

    Speaking of offensive films, I seem to recall the the Christian beliefs are regularly targeted. But that gets little notice at this site, but have the inflamed “rage” against some “sensitive” belief, & now all Christians share the blame, “Christians must at least own a certain complicity in this kind of Muslim-baiting”. Ya sure.

  • Chandra Iriani

    Basicly that the man who made this film that he is not a moeslim he wants to create the battle in the world, he is very bad and how foolish man and doesnt realize how much the moslem in the world..Your film show us that u and all of ur crews have insulted our Prophet of Muhammad SAW. I know u are smiling to see the situation in the world nowdays and u feel that ur film is booming? No u are making a hole for ur darkness not only now but also after ur death. You are so jelous to moslems in the world because WE WORSHIP TO ALLAH SWT ONLY and so many christian people become the mouslim after they know what they must do . Whoever insult our Prophet of Muhammad SAW then they will get a fire of blazing flames forever in Hell. I hate to ur government who let u insult the moslems in the world.

  • http://pierrethibault.posterous.com/ Pierre Thibault

    It is dump movie for sure. But there is nothing to worry about. It expresses the truth that Mohamed was both pedophile and a violent man. I believe this is a good thing. Islam, just like other religions and it deserves no respect at all. We will never be in peace until we accept religion as they are: violent cult of death. Adults with imaginary friends deserve no respect.

  • pedro swift

    As an athiest reading this blog, I cannot but feel that all who choose to believe in a supreme being to guide them in life have a lot of evolving to do. Organised religion is clearly our greatest danger to world peace

    • JoFro

      Says the man who has never heard of the 20th century and the lovely people who inhabited that time period like Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot

      • Greg39

        And what religion where they adherents of?

  • Greg39

    Thank you to the owner of this blog for posting my comment, I realise it could be taken as offensive and it shows confidence in your beliefs, good for you. If Islam’s leaders spoke louder than the radicals then these killings lately would never have happened. The hateful videos will still be made either way and violence, hate and murder will never silence them, I really hope you all understand the concept of why it never could.

    ct_adik wrote “truth fully… they know nothing about Muhammad and Al-Quran…”

    Is it truthful to copy selective texts from a book which omits the killings and hate.

    Both Jesus and Mohammad had plenty of good to say, we all have good sides it’s the bad we need protecting from not the good.

    In the Koran it omits the story of King David and Bethsheba, the adultery and murder. Most likely for the same reason that the New Testament was a lot more civilised than the old. In other words they were written in more modern times. They couldn’t make the old texts simply disappear but they could balance it with non violence and talk of peace and love to cover it up and make it more acceptable to a more modern mindset.

    But what they left out was quite rightly abhorrent but important. In the Bible God killed David’s innocent son for the crimes of his father. I don’t need to read any other stories to know what we’re dealing with, there is no justification for killing an innocent child, EVER!!! It was unjust, barbaric and a murder. Show me all other good and it pales in comparison, I don’t need any other information than that.

    Does the Koran contain the same? If so then the reaction should be the same as mine. Problem is if they censored the same stories already written in the Bible then how can you make an informed decision when someone states their God is good?

  • JoFro

    “…—turning a religion rooted in grace and love into a weapon of hate. ”

    What? U had me LOL there! Seriously, have you read the Quran? Have you read the Haditha, verified by the likes of al-Bukhari and Muslim? You seem to clearly not have a clue about Mohammad.

    There is no doubt there were quite a few admirable qualities that Mo possessed. But the man did things that no Prophet of God would ever be allowed to do!
    You got angry because you said the video showed him committing adultery..well, I dunno.

    - After you’ve just tortured the leader of the local Jewish tribe to find out where his people have hidden their gold, then after he reveals the whereabouts, you order him crucified and then have his head chopped off, after which you marry his wife and sleep with her the very day you just executed her husband? Ok, so the movie mistakenly believed he committed adultery, instead of you know, rape!
    - And heck, the Prophet didnt have a problem executing a Meccan poet who had the audacity to mock or even in fact an old man who did the same, the merciful prohet stabbing the geezer in bed, while he was asleep.
    There are quite a few more of such incidents –

    Now here is my question – say, I make a movie showing all the nice parts of Muhammad and show the scenes where what I mentioned above also take place in my movie – do you honestly think Muslims would not be rioting and burning and pillaging becos I showed their prophet in the wrong light?

  • David Cohen

    A prophet does not force his faith on people, or use war to spread his word. Religion brings peace or is just a political tool, no prophet has political desires. No prophet has ever killed a man, but no man has killed more than Mohammed. No prohet has his countrymen conquer forein lands. No prophet commands armies. No propphet would use war to spread his word. Was Muhammed a prophet? NO HE COULD NOT HAVE BEEN.

  • jen

    The prophet as a sex maniac? A pedophile? Where ever would someone have gotten that idea ??? Oh wait, maybe someone who has read the Coran and the Sunnah?

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Quran/025-Muhammads-sex-life.html

    Sure, you can find a few statements of loving peace and tolerance sprinkled here and there, but there are also just as many horrendously shocking violent and almost pornographic verses, which are ALSO there and JUST AS TRUE as the rest. Isn’t it curious how Allah had such an interest in the prophets sex life and even set out specific rules for certain situations like when he lusted after his daughter in law?….

  • James West

    This film is absolutely disgusting and morally offensive. But having said that, the reaction to it by Muslims is so very hypocritical. After all the hateful things said about Jews and Christians, this avalanche of hatred unleashed against the West with the killing of an Ambassador and his aids is despicable. Islam has a lot of work to do to convert its own followers into decent human beings. Calling Jews pigs and monkeys, denying the Holocaust, calling for their total annihilation only shows Islam to be the anti-humanity religion that it is. The Koran, when taken in its entirety, is anything but a holy book. It is religious trash. But as they say, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Because Americans believe in religious liberty, we tolerate the religion of Islam, but because we are patriots who believee in freedom for all men, we abhor Islam for its religious tyranny, and we will do everything in our power to defeat the world-wide expansion of this false system of belief. If followers of Mohammed want to have the respect of their fellow humans, they should put down the sword, call off the terrorists, stop using children as suicide bombers, and submit their religious ideas to the world of competition where truth can prevail without having to defend itself by bloodshed.

  • Cris

    Why is it that when Muslims were the ones aggravated, it seems to them that there is a need to revenge by killing people who are not even directly involved? Have they forgotten the terror some of their brothers brought and caused to the whole world? If we will look at it, they have worse things done towards Christians.

    Needless to say, my point is not to totally shut their mouth or numb their feelings but to act accordingly and STOP KILLING DURING TIMES THEY ARE ANGRY.

  • Joel

    Good blog, it’s good to here a more balanced opinion.

    The world it seems, is full of people religious in self proclaimed title and by birth. Yet these people seem to use it as justification to commit awful acts in vengeance and hate. From all of this no religion escapes. Both Coptic Christian, Islam have shown ugly sides, however it’s wrong to tar all people with the same brush.

    I do not subscribe to any faith, however I was brought up to respect other people and to care for and empathise for other human beings. If there’s a god and he is choosing people with hate in there hearts over me because they perform certain arcane rituals, I seriously doubt I would consider the place I’d be entering as heaven.

    • craigdetweiler

      Thank you for the affirmation, Joel. I certainly agree with your thoughts on heaven. Well said!

  • Syed Jamil Yousuf

    It is not fair to blame USA or Christianity for making the film called “Innocense Of Muslims”. Making this type of film is strictly prohibited and a serious crime. We all should criticize if this type of film or picture ever telecast in future. We Christians Muslims & Jews are the follwer of One God and all we have Holy Books. We are not separate but someone tries to make us separate. All the three mentioned Prophets (Peace be upon them) are respectable & honorable which never denied. If these type of film relating to religious faith ever telecast in future it will be our prime duty to strongly criticize those. Religious belief makes human life peaceful & joyful in the Earth. We have no rights to fight with each other depending on Religion. God or Allah is for all, not for a particular groups or religion. Every Holy Books religion are same in the judgement of Allah (God).

    • craigdetweiler

      I am grateful for your profound plea for peace, Syed. May it be heard and received.

    • Greg39

      “Religious belief makes human life peaceful & joyful in the Earth.”

      I’d love to see your research for this because evidence says otherwise, it’s a lovely thought that we could all agree on if only it were true.

  • Ashraf

    The outrage of Muslims round the globe against the Video “The Innocence of Muslims” is justified. Same outrage had arisen when a Danish cartoonist made the same nonsense act in the past. Reaction to such acts had turned in violence at some places, even some people had lost to their lives too. Such agitations is justified and being a Muslim it is our duty to show our hatred with the doers of motivated film or cartoon.
    It is also sad to say that instead of showing hatred with the particular person or a group of people, we usually make liable for such act to the whole nation and its religion. After the 9/11 attack, the Christians started hating the Whole Muslim community, although that hateful action was carried only with a group of people. 98% Muslims condemned killing of innocent people in such a way. Neither Islam nor Koran has advised to kill any innocent people of any race or religion. If any Muslim has carried such act he will be questioned and will be punished in the Day of Judgement.
    To my surprise, Muslim brothers have started acting like the Christians after 9/11. We must hate only the person and those who are supporting them, and not rest of the Christians or Jews or to any other religion or nation.
    It is our ignorance that we treat USA as a religious leader of Christianity. If not then why US flags were set ablaze on both occasions. We may ask US government to take stern action against the maker of the video, so that no one should dare to do the same in future. We must respect all other religions, particularly the Christians and the Jews, who according to Koran are “People of the Book” and we are advised to treat them friendly, and to the rest of the religions and its followers nicely.

    • craigdetweiler

      Thank you for this insightful and gracious response, Ashraf. The U.S. government has taken rather swift action toward the filmmaker who was already on parole for prior instances of fraud and financial misdeeds. This flare up is quite a teachable moment for the Abrahamic faith traditions.

  • Greg39

    “To my surprise, Muslim brothers have started acting like the Christians after 9/11. ”

    Yes we all remember those scenes in the West were thousands went on a rampage with their Anti Islam posters, killing Muslims on sight all over the Western countries??? No wait, actually there were protests all over but most carried candles and cried for peace. There were some similar protests in the Arab world but killing a few thousand didn’t seem to get them as outraged as someone drawing a cartoon or making a dismal film!

    The books between them mean little difference they all talk of how the unbelievers are a lesser breed compared to their own. The difference with Christianity isn’t that it’s a more modern religion but we forced these hateful clerics (who always seem a lovely bunch until we see their symptoms) to modernise instead.

  • http://google isah isahk

    “OUR EMBARRASSMENT AND SHAME SHOULD BE FOLLOWED BY OUTRSGE” BY A SINCERE COPTIC CHRISTIAN.

  • sanmir

    The latest provocation against islam takes the form of a crude film degrading and insulting our beloved prophet (pbuh) this is not the first time nor is it likely to be the last. This disgraceful film has been blocked by youtube in Pakistan, Afganistan, India, Libya, Egypt and Indonesia this is due to the large protests that have been taking place in the muslim world!! Weather you are a muslim or not, please if you have any about how wrong this video is, help us get it removed off youtube and anywhere else it may be. It goes against youtube’s video policy and we need your help to get this sickening video removed. Please text SULUTION YES to 60999. Please forward this to as many people as you can. Inshallah you will get your reward. SOLUTION YES. Thank you


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