I must say that I resisted writing anything about the topic I will cover today...not out of fear, but out of a sense of not wanting to shed any additional light on the topic. However, I could resist no longer, and the light I will be shedding on this comes from a place where both sadness and disgust reside within me.
By now, you have probably heard of something that is trying to be passed off as a film, titled Innocence of Muslims. If you've heard of the film, you have also likely heard about the protests that have arisen throughout the Middle East, Europe, and Asia, as well as Australia and Canada in response to the film. Although it is being said that some of the protesting is in direct response to the film, and some is the result of the film being a last straw in many people's minds.
To begin, let me address the least important aspect of this: Innocence of Muslims as a film. If I had seen the entire film, I would be able to address this more fully, but all I have seen is a fourteen-minute long video on YouTube that is supposed to be a trailer for the full-length film. The full-length version is supposed to have been screened only one time, at the Vine Theater in Hollywood, California in mid-June of this year. It has been reported, however, that an actual full-length film may not even exist.
What I saw when I watched the fourteen-minute video was absolute garbage. It doesn't even suffice as a trailer. What "clips" were shown displayed a film that visually looks like it was done by rank amateurs. To say that it looks like high school film students made the film isn't incorrect, but it would give high school filmmakers a bad rap. The acting is so bad that it makes Robert Pattinson look Oscar-worthy. ("Muhammad" asking someone questioning his sexuality, "Do you remember the night at the gym?" Come on!) Actors in the film who have said they didn't know anything about what the finished product would be are, in my mind, telling the truth because many lines of dialogue were clearly (and poorly) dubbed in during post-production.
Speaking of high school filmmakers, I'm sure they could do a far better job at making a movie than this piece of crap.
Okay, enough about the as-a-film aspect. More importantly, the film is an anti-Muslim propaganda piece. It has been called by its makers and promoters as anything but an attack on Muslims. Make no mistake about it, dear readers, whether you've seen the video or not, whether you want to see the video or not, this film is an attack on Islam. Period.
Much has been made about the producer of the film, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (aka Sam Bacile). Some articles have him as being a porn film producer. He once was a government informant on a bank fraud case to try and benefit himself, since he was implicated. He served jail time for the bank fraud and has had other run-ins with the law, including time served for the manufacturing of methamphetamine. He has also reportedly used more than a dozen aliases. Mr. Nakoula is no stranger to lying or breaking the law.
He is also no stranger to antagonism, since he claimed, during an interview for the film, that he was an Israeli Jew and had received five million dollars to fund the making of the film from Jewish friends. So, let me see if I have this right: You're Jewish and Jewish friends fund the film which is anti-Islam. Is it such a huge stretch to make the observation that this film could be oddly considered as an early birthday present for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, who has repeatedly stated he wants to wipe Israel off the map? (No, I have absolutely no proof that such is true; it is merely an observation, which wouldn't seem so far-fetched if it was ever proven true.)
There is one more player in this exercise of ignorance and intolerance: Pastor Terry Jones. Does the name ring a bell? This bile-spewing individual -- that's bile, not bible -- who gives both ministry and Christianity a dark stain of discredit, is the man who wanted to burn copies of the Qur'an, the Muslim sacred text, in 2010. (He and several others went ahead with the burning in April of this year.) Just two weeks ago, on September 11th, what Jones called "International Judge Mohammad Day", he screened a copy of the film for his parishioners at Dove World Outreach Center, located in Gainesville, Florida.
Clearly the use of the word "innocence" in Innocence of Muslims is derisive. The idea is to say, "Hey, you know that [wink, wink...nudge, nudge] all Muslims know this is all true, right?" (I guess "Insert Laugh Track Here" is supposed to be appropriate.) Mr. Nakoula and Pastor Jones obviously feel very passionate about this subject and this film. Their positions are that any finger-pointing at them is unjustified, and that anyone who does that is ignorant. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and Pastor Terry Jones, it is the two of you who are ignorant, and any finger-pointing is, indeed, justified. You are nothing more than hate-mongers! You're not as innocent as you'd like to think!
As I mentioned at the opening of this entry, this film saddens and
disgusts me. It breaks my heart to see people using religion, as it has
been so many times throughout history, the wrong way for the wrong
reasons. Additionally, I am just so sick and tired of religion
bashing. I couldn't care less who is doing the bashing and who is
getting bashed. People such as Nakoula and Jones, and many others like
them, who use misconstruing and misinformation with heavy doses of
ignorance and arrogance to create a world ruled by hatred and fear are
not, cannot, have never been, and never will be oh-so-innocent.
How about a film called Innocence of Nakoula and Jones?