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Sunday, September 25, 2016

I was not aware of a film insulting to Islam until American embassies were attacked in Libya and Egypt. Thus, Muslim extremists managed, through the expedient of riot and rampage, to bring attention to the very thing they loathe, a thing which, but for their help, would have been little noticed. The irony of that likely goes over their heads like a jet plane.

“Innocence of Muslims” is said to have had a budget of $5 million. From the look of it, maybe 40 of those dollars made it to the screen — you’d see better production values in a porn video. Better acting and more natural dialogue, too. Of course, it’s not the quality of the movie that’s causing the problem.

Islam forbids depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. “Innocence” not only depicts him, but also shows him as a philanderer, child molester, killer and feckless fop. The actor who plays him seems to be channeling John Ritter, circa “Three’s Company.”

So yes, “Innocence of Muslims” is, indeed, an insult to Islam. And to film. And to intelligence.

All that said, the greatest offense here is not this crude attempt at provocation. It is, rather, the mobs of Muslims storming the gates of American embassies in Egypt and Libya. In the former, they pulled down an American flag and replaced it with a black Islamist flag. In the latter, they killed four people, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. At this writing, protests are spreading across the region, with outbreaks in Iran, Iraq, Israel, Morocco and Tunisia, among others.

Not to trivialize a deadly situation, but in considering these would-be defenders of Islam, one is struck above all else by their childishness. I am thinking of a specific scenario familiar to any parent of two children or more:

The kids are in the back seat, and suddenly you hear the dreaded words: “He’s touching me!” It is whined at a pitch of such fevered urgency that if you didn’t know better, you’d swear one child was killing the other. But no, it’s only that child number two has discovered she can, with little effort, drive child number one into spasms of apoplexy. So she keeps doing it till you hear yourself yelling, “Don’t make me turn this car around!”

  • It would not surprise me if the video that incited the violence was just the spark that started a fire that was just waiting for an opportunity to ignite. Religious fundamentalists throughout the Islamic world see the emergence of democracies and freedom in countries like Tunisia, Libya and Egypt as a threat to their ability to control and influence events the way they have done for centuries. They are determined to do whatever they can to stop the trend and ensure Western influences do not change the way of life and values they hold dear. Obviously, their behavior is inconsistent with the teachings of Islam, but to those who see their way of life threatened by external influences ignoring religious dogma is a minor irritant when the goal is the preservation of their subliminal beliefs.

    • sisterH

      Maybe Obama and Biden should rethink their bragging about killing Osama. The White house is working overtime to promote the myth that the original attacks were inspired by the you tube video. It was 9-11 and the foot ball gets spiked all the time when Obama and Biden are out campaigning. Our people died because the President is in love with his power and is trying to hold onto it. He was so busy campaigning that he blew off his duty to stay on top of national security threats.
      The icing on the cake is that we are giving billions to the muslim brotherhood and demonstrating to the world we arent’t willing to help Isreal. I smell a muslim funded president with an anti american agenda. It is not what he says it is what he does.

      Same guy lies and says he wants to protect the middle class. Reality….job blocking legislation, sky rocketing fuel cost, bigger banks, more expensive health care, growing debt, downgraded credit, more handouts and less oportunity to prosper.

      The only thing this president cares about is getting re-elected. He has no solutions or plans to fix the problems. His entire focus is on marketing himself. He is like a product in an infomercial. You watch it, you get all excited about what great things it can do. You send in your money and it finally arrives. You take it out of the box and actually use it and find out that is doesn’t really work the way it did in the infomercial. It all sounded great and it was supposed to do a great job but it doesn’t.
      Obama supporters from 08 need to ask for a refund…this guy doesn’t work.

      • Dave_dido

        Let’s see if I can follow your thought processes here, Sister H:
        A. Obama kills a Muslim hero(OBL) and angers Muslims
        B.Obama brags about killing Muslim hero and thereby really pisses off the Muslims even more
        C. The really pissed off Muslims decide to get back at Obama by rioting and killing innocent Americans. They are justified in doing so because he bragged about killing their hero.
        D. A,B,and C above are proof that Obama is a Muslim-funded, anti-American President.
        As Stimey said to the curly-haired little girl in the “Watt Street” episode of The Little Rascals: “Uh-uhhh, SisterH, I can’t figure that one out!”

        • Thank you Dave_dido. I’m sure someone will attempt to counter your well-founded and orderly comments with nonsense, but truth is a pronouncement unto itself. Also, I got a kick out of your “Little Rascals” reference. 🙂

          • Dave_dido

            Thanks, Walker. Sometimes these posts can use a little levity, no? Glad you got the Little Rascals reference- you must be over 50.

        • Happily_retired

          What you’re saying is just puppy-cock. Muslims have been angered for generations and if you don’t agreed with them, then it’s you or anybody they can take their anger out on. Whatever you think, none of this makes the President a Muslim or funded by Islam. Stop taking them drugs, they’ve affected your logic..oh my bad maybe you don’t have any (obvious). Also, ready your bible. When Ismael and his mother were throw out and started the tribes from of Ismael (Muslims..read it). They were angry and have cared that angry through-out the years.

          • Dave_dido

            I’m sorry that you didn’t understand my post. Perhaps you could ask a friend or co-worker to read it and explain to you that it was meant to defend President Obama, for whom I have the utmost respect. Then you might want to apologize for your unkind remarks, Happily.

          • Happily_retired

            I don’t think I need to have someone read it to me. I can do that myself. It’s not very clear, clever or funny if you were trying to be funny. I don’t need to apologies to you, you need to write with clarity about what you’re saying.

      • howa4x

        What drugs are you taking since they must be very powerful. You seem to be in an alternative universe. Bin Laden was public enemy number one all during the GWB presidency. He failed to even come close to getting him although he tried. The republicans usually campaign on national security issues and If Bush got him Romney would be crowing about it. As for all your other points. It is the Republican congress blocking the Jobs bill, The president has no control over gas prices. Remember the oil embargo and Nixon? Bigger banks happend after the collaspe of the financial sector in the last few months of Bush, when Paulson bailed them out and pushed the weaker ones into the stronger ones. Healthcare is actually getting cheaper. The legislation took the profit out the insurance system which amounts to 20%. The Act calls for electronic record keeping which if you understood where the cost drivers are, you would know that uneeded testing that happens because different doctors can’t access your records is a major problem. Also this is the same HC reform that Romney did in Massachuttes so why don’t you write about that if it’s so bad. As for the debt, GWB started 2 unfunded wars, gave a drug benefit to seniors and a trillion dollar tax cut to the wealthy, all on borrowed money from China. The republican congress fought the repeal of the tax cut for the wealthy so we still have it and it adds 1 trillion/yr to the deficit.
        Te banks aren’t lending at 100% and that is stalling the economy. I can’t believe you put this all on Obama since he had to clean up 8 yrs of a republican mess. In the last 3 months of GWB we were loosing 700,000 jobs a month, and since Obama started to turn things around we’ve had 26 straight months of job growth. You want a repeat of the Bush administration with some of the same people and expect a different outcome. That is called insanity!

      • Sister, the signs held by Muslim protesters demanding respect and an end to insults directed at their religion and their prophet is not a myth being advanced by anyone, it is there for everyone to see. I guess that is the reason some Republicans are already blaming the liberal media for having the audacity of showing evidence that counters the illogical explanations being put forth by the Romney campaign. Next time you watch news about the ongoing protests try to read the signs they are holding, and then come back and tell us the film had nothing to do with it and suggesting it did is just a myth.

      • oldtack

        SisterH

        Do you know the origin of the Middle Eastern State called Israel? What do you know about ancient history pertaining to this area? What do you know about history of this area from WWII to the present?

        Can you give me the figure of how much money the Western Powers have funneled to Israel since it’s inception in 1948?

        You assertions are absurd and inane all made with no proof of anything.

        It is about as absurd as my proclaiming the movie was an insidious plot backed by the Tea Party Republicans and deliberately released on this particular date by the Republican Party to discredit the President and draw him from the Campaign so that they may have a better shot at gaining power and the White House.

        Neither your accusations nor mine have any merit but what do you want to bet that both absurd accusations will gain a group of followers that will swear on the veracity of either one they choose.

        If you have documented facts to back up your allegations then share those documented facts with everyone so that we all may be enlightened.

        If you can’t back up you allegations with documented fact – then – say nothing at all.

    • We should rename to the Divided States of America. It seems the religious factitious have chose to demonize each other for poticial gain. Obstruction seems to be the norm.

  • René Milan

    I keep hearing the distinction between the majority of reasonable and peaceful muslims and the small minority (which from where I stand number in the millions) not truly representing muslim values while causing problems around the planet, being made. But I have yet to hear resounding public condemnation of these people by muslim authorities representing this assumed mainstream. Instead we get justification, encouragement and incitement from imams, ayatollahs and whatever other fancy titles these people assume. It’s like explaining the paedophilia rampant in the catholic church as isolated incidents when it’s known that cover-up and encouragement is practised all the way up to the pope. If these “mainstream muslims” don’t take action against the “traitors” in their midst, which is really their responsibility, they have mainly themselves to blame for being viewed as complacent or complicit. And in that case they truly are.

    • Sort of like Pat Robertson and all the other ‘christian’ leaders who spout ignorance.

  • RobGinChicago

    When has Islam respected any other religion in the world? I’m not defending this ignorant and provocative film, but how are other religions fairing in predominantly Muslim countries? It’s OK for the local Imam to refer to Jews as pigs and monkeys, and for Islamic lead governments to officially circulate the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and then throw a murderous hissy fit when someone points out that Mohammad had “issues”? Even the “moderate” Muslims are asking the U.S. to pass laws making criticism of Islam a violation of the law (so long as they are free to say anything they wish against other religions). Respect and tolerance must be a two way street, and self-control is an admirable attribute, the hissy fit masters must try it sometime.

    • johninPCFL

      Link to your “moderate muslims asking the US to pass laws”?

  • SaneJane

    They are not defending Islam they are fighting against democracy. I question the timing of these riots and attacks. Who stands to benefit?

    • smittyray

      And they are not rioting due to a film but this has been a planned riot due to the date 9/11. And you are correct, nobody stands to benefit from all of this corrupt action.

  • My problem is why do Moslems always say their religion is peaceful? I seem to misunderstand the meaning of PEACEFUL, is it burning other peoples property and even killing to prove that you are peaceful, Why cant you say we are a violent religion then people will always keep away from you or we would like to invite amongs us PEACEFUL people to discus or even debate religion, but by this everybody in the WEST should be careful if and when to talk to a MOSLEM.

  • The intentions of the one who made the video was to show that they are violent and that was exactly what they did, if the West also start to respond the same way there will not peace on this earth.We are tolerant how about them, if we know who is representing the Islamic world we will like a DEBATE .

  • People have been using religion to domonize each other from the beginning of time. Who is the money behind the film? Why are they demonizing Moslims? Are the terrorist attackers promoting this film to cover their attack. Are politics is the US promoting this film. Why are politics using this film to demonize President Obama and the United States? Obstructionist seems to be the norm. Maybe we should rename, to the Divided States.

  • emadis41

    Leonard Pitts Jr did not think his article before writing it. The mobs who attcked the Cairo Embassy, reprents a trivial number of people who were riot go happy, mostly paid and driven by political agenda rather than religion. They represent less than 0.001% of the popultion of Cairo’s 20 million inhabitants.

    The writer insulted the billion Muslims who did not riot and were friendly to our cause, with his generalization. If that billion rioted, perhaps the situation would be more grave than what it is now. He does not have all the facts; an accurate account of what happened, the video was loaded in you-tube in English and draw little attention, then it was dupped in Arabic, still no attention, so the perpetrators view it on aChristian TV channel in Egypt, and that is when people rioted. If the writer knew about this and he still calls all the Muslims as children then he is also guilty as those who put up the video, because their intention was clear, as one of them brazenly said that “this is the purpose of his life”.

    Muslims as you do not know, will never insult Jesus or Moses or any other Prophet, something the perpetrators knew very well, this is not the first time and perhaps will not be thelast time that Islam is being velified. I did not hear anyone calling the Evangilists reaction to the “Passion of Christ” and “The DaVinci Code” as childish; many however, defended their actions as “feedom of speech”. Would you extended this freedom of speech to the Muslims as well?

  • When “Christians” belittle any other religion, they become the very thing they belittle.

    The GUTLESS IDIOTS who made this despicable film, then post it online DO NOT represent the Christian faith, any more than the depiction of Muhammad in this film represent Muslims.

    I have worked with Muslims in the past, and found them to be generous, kind and hardworking. Certainly they may not necessarily represent the masses of Muslims, but then neither do the generous,kind and hardworking Christians necessarily represent the masses of Christians.

    Beware of the stone you throw. It could easily be picked up and thrown back at you.

  • The problem with that comparison is that they’re not angry at the disrespect for Islam. They’re just angry. “Innocence of Muslims” wasn’t the reason. It was the excuse.

    A better analogy would be hearing Sibling #2 crying that Sibling #1 hit her, and Sibling #1 responds “But she touched me! She started it!” Then the next day, Sibling #2 cries that he hit her again and he responds “But she was looking at me! She started it!”

    Wouldn’t you assume, in that situation, that Sibling #1 just enjoys hitting her?

    These morons attacked a German embassy too, don’t forget. They’re not mad over a film; they’re just mad at the Western world in general. They’re not rioting because of the film; they’re rioting because they want to. The film is just an excuse.

    • To many of them it doesn’t matter whether the provovcation came from an American, a Dane, a German or Rushdie. Muslims are very sensitive to attacks against their religion and react to the slightest provocation in ways that would be unthinkable in Western societies. Knowing that, why was a film produced to provoke them, why did it use an Arabic dialet, why was it released on the eve of 9/11. The answer is quite simple, the makers of the film knew exactly how people would react and not only did they make a provocative film, the chose Arabic to ensure its audience understood its content, and released it on 9/11 to influence public opinion in the USA and, possibly, the outcome of the upcoming election. It would not surprise me if the FBI already has an inkling of who is behind the making and release of the film, I just wonder if we will ever know.

  • oldtack

    I agree with Dominick

    This is a time bomb with a lit fuse just waiting to explode. We in America decry the Islamic religious fundamental form of life and government as archaic. We find their fundamental way of life as in need reformation.

    We sent Troops to their Countries in retaliation for the bombing of the world Trade Center with the mission to disable the Taliban and kill Osama bin Laden and bring Democracy to the Middle East. Except for the killing of Bin Laden this was swiftly accomplished. But then – we stayed until we went from Liberator to Occupier. Not only are we “occupiers” we are heathen because we worship a deity other than Allah

    Let us “turn the tables” here. We have our Religious rites and dogmas suitable to us. We have a form of government with which we are comfortable. Then we are attacked and invaded by a Foreign power and they stay as Occupiers. They not only are Occupiers, They are heathen since they worship a God other than Jehovah. They perform acts that we perceive as an insult to us and our religion.

    What would the American populace do? Would we conduct ourselves in a different manner or would we be killing their Troops and planting bombs to destroy personnel and vehicles?

    I think the citizens of this country would act with common sense and try to resolve this problem without all out war. The majority of the citizens in the middle East also react in a civilized manner.

    On both sides it is the Radical religious fundamentalists’ and radical extremists that wreak the havoc.

    This is why we need Barak Obama for the next four years. He is willing to work out our problems whereas Romney would fire first and aim later. His idea is more money for the defense department. A large increase in the size of our Armed Forces and a policy of strike firs and strike hard with no mention of any attempt to resolve.

    Romney/Ryan – the 21st Century answer to Hitler/Himmler

    Doubtful – read the history of the RISE of the Third Reich (1924-1933)

    • daniel bostdorf

      Those who failed to have any sense of global history are condemned to repeat age old mistakes.

      Fascist rose up in 1933.

      Joseph McCarthy failed in his uprising to subvert the Constitution in the 50’s.

      The Teaparty today, backed by the Koch Brothers and unlimited right wing money, is like the brown shirts of 1933.

      I advise all of you to read Will and Ariel Durants’s 13 volume definitive work called “The History of Civiliation” along with the ‘Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” by William L. Shirer. It is the definitive record of how fascist take over a country.

      • oldtack

        I have “TheRrise and Fall of the Third Reich but I find that most people who read this book get so engrossed in the Fall part that they seem to forget the RISE part
        If one can find the English translations it is much more enlightening to read the Chronicles of all events.

  • howa4x

    The problem with our forigen policy for years was that if a leader stated they were anti communist we would back they to the hilt,and looked the other way if they terrorized their own people. Sometimes we gave them training in tourture techniques sponsored by the CIA, or we would sponsor a coup that just overthrew democratically elected leaders that we considered a threat. In chile we overthrew Allende because he wanted to nationalize American factories to give his people better working conditions and pay. We installed some generals who began to systematically eleminate the opposition, and give the deals to US companies that we wanted. So to in the middle east. We kept Murabak in power in Egypt, while we knew he was repressing his own people, not even allowing political parties. The students in those countries saw us as keeping these tyrannts in power, whether it be in the Phillipines with Marcos, or currently the King in Saudi Arabia.
    In the middle east there is a distrust of us with the average person, who sees us a leaning too far toward Israel and supporting repressive governments. This condition makes it very easy to have a spark ignite this unrest. Republicans think we should have stuck by Murabak till the end, but that just would have been a recipe for disaster. We cannot stop a ground swell of change.
    Obama said it best when he talked about the change to democracy being messy. Usually the only organized factions are the Mosques, and clerics have a lot of say.(not to much difference here is there?) In a cynical way they use this power to destabilize shaky new elected governments to cement their own power and agenda. Look at Iran after the fall of the Shah. There was an attempt at democracy but the people felt the unrest of change and the door opened for the Mullahs to walk in. Egypt never in history had a democracy, nor did Lybia, or Tunisa. Currently there are a large number of factions seeking to have an advantage. Formenting unrest serves their agenda. There is no intervention we can really do that would work. We are already demanding that host countries fulfill their responsibility to keep our embassies safe. We could cut off aide but that would create much more hatred than already exists

    We have to keep it all in perspective, at this critical time. Republicans do not serve the interests of our country by making reckless statements now. These countries are not used to freedom of speech and see everything that is said on the news or on the internet as comming directly from the government since that is what they are used to. Remember about 5 million plus people live in Cario and less than 10,000 are causing the unrest. The press would have you believe it is wide spread since the news depends on sales, so they hype everything. We can only ride it out, since the less we do now works in our favor. There is no other viable option.

  • daniel bostdorf

    In this age of social media, facebook, youtube, twitter and others, we now live an a “global theatre.”
    It is illegal to shout “fire” in any theatre.
    This includes the “global theatre.”
    The anti-muslim video was obscene and a total lie.
    It was like yelling “fire” in the theater. And it should not be condoned. And it isn’t. It is being pulled from Youtube.
    Those who made this film must be held accountable for yelling “fire” that has caused an already incendiary situation to finally ignite…
    Essentually this video was the match that sparked a fire in a theatre. A global one.
    Sure—you have a right to free speech….but not when it causes death and destruction.
    Finally–Obama apologized for the insensitive and careless video that caused this. And as president, he should have.

  • Ye, the Muslim rioters are insulting Islam themselves. They will never progress in life. This is why most if not all Muslim countries are struggling and stagnant financially. They have the oil however their leaders are pocketing it’s wealth.

    They are warriors. They are radical Muslims with little education and very tunnelled vision. They even kill their own people. How sad.

  • Let us go afer the people who made this movie, find out who is responsable.

  • dljones

    The government is continuing to hide the fact the Muslims of the Brotherhood uprising was a pre-planned commensuration in response to our 911.

    Romney’s response was accurate, appropiate, and timely. In today’s hearing, they are now referring to the heavily armed and coordinated militants as an attack of terrorists.

    Yet, Obama and Mrs Clinton condemn the attack and apologize for are right to free speech.