Yesterday protesters angry about a film that ridiculed the Prophet Muhammad burned down the US consulate in Benghazi and killed some people.
The film Innocence of Muslims sounds like a truly revolting piece of cinema, and it appears to go out of its way to insult Islam. From the trailers appearing online, it also appears to have few, if any, production values. All religious issues aside, the film looks like a steaming pile of ordure.
Given the tendency of some religious fanatics to call for the death of anyone who insults their faith, releasing the film was probably unwise. I certainly won’t be linking to any trailers of the film for this reason (and for aesthetic reasons, of course). I feel sorry for the cast and crew, who it seems were duped into making a hate film and are now discovering that their dialogue has been crudely overdubbed in many places to say something completely different.
I don’t have time for people who go out of their way to pour hatred upon the beliefs of others in the way that this film appears to. But as revolting as the film may be (and it sounds revolting), let’s not forget that the film hasn’t killed anyone. I suspect the only way this film could lead directly to someone’s death is if they were tied down to a chair and forced to watch it, because it’s quite possible that if they managed to get their hands free from the restraints they would claw their own eyes out.
Usually when this sort of thing happens we hear apologists trying to justify the actions of the murderers, as if it was inevitable that a film insulting religion would lead to death, and pointing the finger at the person who provoked the violence. But however unwise the act of making and releasing the move might be, it is just a piece of rubbishy cinema.
The people who have killed to avenge the insult to their god are to be despised and denounced. No insult to a person’s faith can justify murder, and these lunatic hate-filled murderers must be condemned and vilified. The maker of this film also deserves to be condemned on a number of grounds, but he does not deserve to be killed or assaulted on the grounds of insulting religion, as many will now be demanding.
The maker of Innocence of Muslims has failed to show any sort of respect to the hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world, despite the fact that most of them are peaceful and decent people. In a healthy society we tolerate and respect the religious beliefs of others, provided they do not cause harm to others. But any faith system that demands death or violence as a response to insult deserves our contempt.