Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Film that Sparked the Violence, Egypt, Libya

Susan Brannon
12 September 2012

The Israeli-Jew filmmaker, Sam Bacile, 56 went into hiding after his movie caused an international controversy in Egypt and Libya, where the American ambassador Chris Stevens was killed along with three others from his staff on Tuesday 11th September late in the evening. Sam Bacile defends his film saying, "Islam is a cancer and that he intended his film to be a provocative political statement condemning the religion."

 In Egypt protesters climbed the walls of the U.S. embassy and replaced the American flag with an Islamic banner. While in Libya, the American consulate was attacked and came under fire by an angry mob in response to the film. Bacile expected something "like this to happen" to be the next Theo van Gogh, the Dutch filmmaker killed by a Muslim extremist in 2004 after making a film that was perceived as insulting to Islam.

The film that triggered the violence is titled, "The Innocence of Muslims" and the movie trailer was released on You Tube on 2 July 2012. Someone dubbed the film into Egyptian Arabic with correct translations. Through the use of the internet through channels of "rumor-heavy" media, has been playing the highly offensive clips from the film. The word quickly spread around the globe regarding the continual insults towards the Islam Prophet Muhammad, violence, and sexual implications that insult the Islam religion.

The film costs $5 million to make and was financed with the help of more than 100 Jewish donors. The film claims that Muhammad was a fraud whose obedient followers act as a cadre of goons. Muhammad approves of child sexual abuse, adultery, rape and stealing of others goods. Mr. Bacile says, "The U.S. lost a lot of money and a lot of people in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we're fighting with ideas." He identifies himself as an Israeli Jew although he lives in California. He wants "the movie to help his native land by exposing Islam's flaws to the world". Bacile is apologetic about the American ambassador who was killed, but blames the embassy security in the failure of protecting the embassy. 

However, there are two sides to the story, one as an "artist/activist" who has the right to "be creative" and voice freedom of speech" and the second are those who belong to the Muslim the religion themselves. A filmmaker must understand that when he steps out to clearly insult those of another belief system, it will create havoc. In terms of the Jewish/Islam conflicts that have been going on for decades, this is without question a very delicate matter. As a filmmaker, to put oneself and others at high risk and to be willing to produce such insulting materials is arrogant and irresponsible to civil society.

Bacile, knowing that he was insulting the leader of millions of Muslims around the world, as an "American/Israeli" put our country, our leaders and people at a security risk around the globe. Already three people have been killed and the pot is now at the boiling point. The pot against the American people has been at a high simmer for a very long time, and it only took these insults to raise the heat. 

However, if Bacile clams to be an Israeli Jew, living in California, then why did the Muslims in Egypt and Libya attack the American embassy and consulate? Don't you think they should be attacking Israeli embassies instead? No, I am not anti-Semitic, quite the contrary but I can't understand why the uprising was set against the American people.

Even if I was Israeli, or Jewish, I would be angry because Bacile imposes his beliefs as representations of Israeli or Jewish beliefs.  Imagine if the film attacked Judaism in the same manner as it attacks Islam, the news outlets would not only focus on the "uprisings" without mentioning the film's name (as they are doing now), but I am sure that they would include the name of the film and details as to the attack against the Jewish religion with the Rabbis and Israeli Prime Minister making some anger statement for the film.

Yet, I do not believe that the Israeli's would attack the American embassy or consulates and kill innocent people.  I do not condone the violent actions against the American people, it is not the way to resolve the problem and it is not right.

However, it is the action like Bacile's has taken the lives of innocent people through his anti-Muslim attitude and this too is not right.  One life is too much when it is those who are standing on the sideline trying to get by day to day.  I am sorry that we lost our Ambassador to Bacile's arrogance.

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