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Posted: 17 Sep 12, 02:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

*shrug* A base and dull movie made by people just as fundamentally stupid as the ones who are using it as an excuse to engage in violence.

Still, I can't help but feel like I'm living in the bloody Dark Ages when there is a figure - any figure at all - that is supposed to be beyond any kind of portrayal (I don't even mean satirical or allegedly comical).

The whole thing leaves the taste of 9V battery in my mouth. I can't speak lowly enough of the people who made the film in the first place (truly dodgy characters, they are) and I'm annoyed at being reminded that I live in a world where a very loud minority think it's okay to off people because of a movie that made fun of someone who doesn't even exist in any practical sense.

Honestly, I could just piss on someone. It'd really alleviate the irritation I'm feeling.


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Posted: 17 Sep 12, 03:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

What pisses me off most is that the full cast and crew of that 'film' were lied to, cheated, and now placed in physical danger, but they have no legal rights to have the film blocked.

That is just wrong, and it shows a great flaw in the American system: the entrepreneur *always* gets the better of his employees, even if he cheats them.


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Posted: 17 Sep 12, 05:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Ha, good point. I can't imagine what a task it'd be to get it reliably excised from the internet at this point, though.


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Posted: 17 Sep 12, 07:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Zebonka12 wrote:
Ha, good point. I can't imagine what a task it'd be to get it reliably excised from the internet at this point, though.


True, I don't think it's possible at this point in time. But the fact remains, I think the public outrage should be directed primarily at two things, the acts of terrorism in response to this 'film' on the one hand, and the way the cast and crew of this 'film' were treated (cheated) on the other.

These people, especially those who appear on-screen, are now in serious danger, all because of the director, and I don't hear anything about a desire to protect *them*, least of all from the FOX-style tv-stations who applaud this 'brave act of free speech'.

Plus, I think it's disgusting how Romney tried to politicize this even before the ambassador's body was cold.



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Posted: 17 Sep 12, 09:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

That is just wrong, and it shows a great flaw in the American system: the entrepreneur *always* gets the better of his employees, even if he cheats them.


Oh yes, let's blame America for this one, too. 

Even though we've had films like "Borat" and others that parodied some ethnics groups.

Even though it was an Isreali Real Estate devoloper, "Sam Bacile" who translated the film into arabic and posted it.  (I don't speak Arabic, so there's no way to tell the actors lines were translated verbatim.  "Bacile" is not a real person and is neither Israeli nor Jewish, as has been reported, and that the name is a pseudonym for about 15 Copts and Evangelical Christians from Syria, Turkey, Pakistan and Egypt

And let's not blame the actors, I'm sure they were all experienced actors with their SAG cards.  Making a film about the middle east and not doing any prep work.  Not a one of them spoke Arabic?!?  That would have seemed odd to me at the offset.

It was reported on September 8th that Sheikh Khaled Abdalla, in his broadcast on Al-Nas television, criticized the film's depiction of Muhammad.  The U.S. Embassy in Cairo issued a statement condemning what it called "continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims," an apparent reference to the video.  So these muslim leaders should share no blame, either. 

Freedom of Speech cannot be a one-way street.  Zebonka references the Dark Ages.  In some sections of the middle east, children are raised to hate the Western world.  Encouraged to perform violent acts against us in the name of religion. 

I have not seen the film, nor do I intend to....  it doesn't sound like it's very good.  But blaming American Entrepreneurship for everything is way off base.  This movie probably would have gone away quite quickly, unseen by millions, until radical fundamentalists turned it into an attack campaign.

They're not mad it shows Mohammed... they're cranked at the way he's depicted.  I'm sure if the "Mohammed" in the movie went around saving babies and getting kitties out of trees, Carl's Jr. Tripoli would still be standing.

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Posted: 17 Sep 12, 10:42 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Interesting commentary by David Frum...


Blaming the video is convenient for the Obama administration. Blaming the video obviates questions about inadequate security at the Benghazi consulate. Even better, from the administration's point of view, the more we talk about the video, the less we talk about whether the administration made the right choices in its Libyan and Egyptian policies.

But blaming the video also imposes some ugly costs. Self-selected Muslim leaders exploit incidents like this to pose demands that threaten human freedom in the Middle East and around the world.

Even under the prior secular regime of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt regularly used blasphemy laws to persecute religious minorities and independent thinkers. That country's new Muslim Brotherhood government has already shown itself even more aggressively intolerant of dissenting speech, suppressing newspapers that print criticism of President Mohamed Morsy.

Pakistan's record is even worse, with courts pronouncing death sentences on supposed blasphemers, most recently a mentally impaired Christian girl accused of burning pages of the Quran. (She was released on bail Friday after it was established that her accuser, a local imam, had faked his evidence.)

Western countries, too, are targeted by demands for the regulation of speech deemed objectionable by certain Muslims. From "The Satanic Verses" uproar of 1989, through the Danish cartoon incident of 2006, to this latest video, European and American governments and media institutions have compromised their most cherished values to appease angry mobs.

Clear-eyed observers will notice that these periodic uproars are rarely, if ever, spontaneous. They are almost always contrived by political actors for political purposes. Ayatollah Khomeini's issuance of a fatwa against Salman Rushdie helped distract attention from the bitter decision to end the war with Iraq with a compromise peace he could have had six years earlier, sparing hundreds of thousands of Iranian lives.

The Danish cartoon incident was the work of freelance European imams, hoping -- like Al Sharpton in the Tawana Brawley case -- to promote themselves through a manufactured controversy. (The most provocative of the Danish cartoons were apparently fakes.) And this latest video uproar has been used by the Muslim Brotherhood government of Egypt to rally support against the last of the old leaders of the Egyptian army and security services.

Opportunistic leaders use these incidents in this way for one reason: They work. They gain results at low to nonexistent cost.

And unfortunately international institutions have lent legitimacy to these outrages.

President Barack Obama delivers his annual address to the United Nations on September 25. Let him take time in that speech to refute and repudiate blasphemy laws. Let him say that he upholds and vindicates free speech as an American right and that he respects and endorses free speech as a universal human right.

Let him say that Americans will be protected in their speech rights against threats of violence from anyone, anywhere. Let him say that if freedom of speech means anything, it means first and foremost the right to criticize orthodoxy, political or religious. Let him say that freedom of speech includes the right to mock, to be rude, to be stupid and to be wrong -- because we know that speech that is stupid and wrong will be rebutted, refuted and mocked in its turn.

Not everyone shares the American regard for free speech. That's their lookout. But the leaders of the United States will not be bullied into compromising their most cherished values -- and their most solemn constitutional obligations -- by inciters of mobs, by would-be dictators and by overweening street preachers. Let him say that, too.


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Posted: 17 Sep 12, 11:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sam Bacile doesn't exist. A coptic Christian called Nakoula Basseley Nakoula produced it, and the director was apparently Alan Roberts, a porn director. He claims he was amongst those mislead as to the content. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is a convicted financial criminal who was forbidden from using computers in any way.


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Posted: 17 Sep 12, 12:41 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

If Sam Bacile didn't know the trouble this would cause he's an imambacile. ha ha ha

I'll get me coat...


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Posted: 17 Sep 12, 12:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The whole thing is threatening to nudge me into conspiracy theorist land. LOL. A strange parallel confluence of events in Canada has me processing this in ways that are unfamiliar to me. The other day I linked an old Pierre Trudeau video here on QZ in a thread about Canadian politics. It was from the official CBC Archives, which would be the equivalent to the official BBC Archives for example. An advertisement ran before it...the weirdest advertisement I have ever seen, and one I could frankly not believe appeared associated with the YouTube channel of a news organization, let alone the publicly funded news organization of a democratic country. It was blatant anti-Muslim propaganda, specifically anti-Iran propaganda. Imagine the basest negative political ad ever with all the archtypal ominous, leaden and urgent images and voice overs, in this case aimed against Iran and their efforts to secure a nuclear weapon. It was truly the weirdest YouTube "ad" I have ever seen. Whatever one thinks of the Iran/Isreal situation this was just creepy propaganda. Within 24 hours Canada had dramatically shuttered our embassy in Iran and thrown Iranian diplomats out of Canada, an extremely unusual and provocative move for us. Within days of that our PM is announced for a "World Statesman" award from some outfit in New York that I don't know much about but seems to be pro Isreal. It was just a really unusual trifecta of events seemed designed to rather unsubtly yank public opinion in a particular direction.

And then this film. The timing. The predictable reaction in the ME. The truly painful and laborious amateurishness if the film. Amateurishness to the point that if somebody came up with some solid evidence that it was painstakingly made to look anything-but-backed I think I'd be inclined to believe it. I find myself, weirdly, thinking of the upcoming movie 'Argo' with Ben Affleck that dramatizes the CIA involvement in Canada's spiriting some of the Iranian hostages out of Iran in 1979 under cover of an elaborately staged movie production.

I'm laughing at myself, mostly, and I'm not truly pitching a vast conspiracy, but things are ratcheting up in the Iran situation and I think we'd all do well to be very vigilant and thoughtful about what our governments and media are telling us about these kinds of events and the Arab world. It's not the time to fall into uncritical partisanship in either direction.

Now if you'll excuse me I have to go put on some lipstick for the cameras in the air vents. Ha ha.

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Posted: 18 Sep 12, 03:41 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

For once I totally agree with Microwave, mainly the article he quoted. I am sick and tired of my government trying to obey the Middle Eastern mob and trying to forbid the public display of that movie (which nobody in their right minds would want to watch, anyway). The Sudanese government blamed the attack on the German embassy on chancellor Merkel because she had not done anything about the Danish cartoons shown in a German demonstration.

The freedom of speech is mainly the freedom of a minority to voice their opinion or else it is worth nothing. I do not need freedom of speech to say that the sun is shining, I need it when I want to say something extremely unpopular. There is no human right to be not offended by what other people say and we cannot let a rioting mob dictate what is possible to say or show or display in our countries.


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Posted: 18 Sep 12, 04:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Exactly. The movie itself was a dick move, and any kind of freedom of expression really ought to be prefaced with some kind of thought about what it is you're trying to say, and how it advances the discussion or whatever - but that's not what these protesters are saying. They aren't just saying 'please don't insult our Prophet' - they want complete control on the topic. Fuck that for a joke! All of the usual sods are raising their ugly heads at the minute - the ones that want sharia law to come into effect and all of that.

And what gets on my nuts the most is that it almost certainly has to be (as usual) the noisy minority. I don't really have any close Islamic friends, but I've never met any of them that took any part of this nonsense. Certainly none of them were into beheading over something as trivial as mocking an outdated literary figure.

I'm just sick of the undeclared war of intimidation that tends to surround some faiths. In the 60's, it was Lennon and his poorly worded argument about Christ - boy did THOSE chickens ever come home to roost. Now it's the Muslim faith - any time that anyone wants to have a discussion or make any kind of satire on the topic, they have to be looking over their shoulder thinking 'jeeze I hope this doesn't get a fatwa put on me'. That is, frankly, bullshit. My first reaction to hearing about this movie was that *everyone* should make a movie mocking the Prophet. They can't get all of us, right?

(It wouldn't work, obviously, but if anyone who doesn't give a shit about Islam is going to get torched anyway, we might as well get a few good videos out of it).


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Posted: 18 Sep 12, 10:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Micrówave wrote:
This movie probably would have gone away quite quickly, unseen by millions, until radical fundamentalists turned it into an attack campaign.They're not mad it shows Mohammed... they're cranked at the way he's depicted.  I'm sure if the "Mohammed" in the movie went around saving babies and getting kitties out of trees, Carl's Jr. Tripoli would still be standing.

Actually, any depiction of Mohammed is considered to be blasphemy, mo matter how good or bad.

Otherwise - excellent post.


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Posted: 18 Sep 12, 12:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"no religion, as that word is understood by the ordinary, reasonable person, shall be treated with contempt, mockery, scorn and ridicule."

That was the interpretation of the highest court in New York on a statute that banned the showing of 'sacreligious' movies that was overturned in a SCOTUS decision in 1952. Given that it took a Supreme Court case even in a country like the United States with it's long and cherished free speech tradition to get blasphemy laws off the books little more than two generations ago, we are in for a loooong ride with people who have virtually no free speech rights or values in their collective theocratic history.

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Posted: 18 Sep 12, 12:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Perspectives from that other side:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/17/world/middleeast/muslims-rage-over-film-fueled-by-culture-divide.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&smid=pl-share

Interesting that some did express it as a rational right or reasonable expectation not to have the culture broadly hurt or offended. It strikes me as reasoning that a lot of us would be vulnerable to if a sufficiently sensitive spot was hit. I find myself recalling the outcry about the proposed mosque close to the WTC site, for example.


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Posted: 19 Sep 12, 01:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"It strikes me as reasoning that a lot of us would be vulnerable to if a sufficiently sensitive spot was hit. I find myself recalling the outcry about the proposed mosque close to the WTC site, for example."

Absolutely. But there is a huge difference in how the offended Americans dealt with their feelings, isn't there? I do not recall any suicide attacks, riots, murder or flag-burning in the streets of NYC or anywhere else. Although the issue was hijacked by a group of fanatics - even these fanatics did not do much worse than going to court and accepted when they lost. The rights of the minority were upheld by the government as well as the courts of law. Today the matter is peacefully resolved and no embassy or mosque or church was burnt to the ground.

It is time to see the advantages of a civilised society and to stand up for our values which are not only different but better than those of Middle East theocracies which we sadly keep helping to build.


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Posted: 19 Sep 12, 07:03 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"I find myself recalling the outcry about the proposed mosque close to the WTC site, for example."

I still chuckle when I think of that thing. It really was pointless. The location of their intended building might've been exaggerated in the media, but the thing simply didn't need to exist in the first place. The world has enough churches, mosques, and golf courses - as far as I'm concerned they're all equally ripe for the bulldozer.

It was a big fuss about a building that no one needs in the first place. Free speech, on the other hand, does need to exist - even when it's abused by prat filmmakers. We'll just have to deal with them on a case by case basis.


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Posted: 19 Sep 12, 09:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I saw the clips on youtube...and if i dunno what the fuss is about. What i mean is, there are far worse material on the internet that is offensive to islam's prophet which have been online for a long long time.

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Posted: 19 Sep 12, 09:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Does anyone remember "The Last Temptation Of Christ"?

It was a great movie. Brilliant acting, well written, but highly controversial. I was criticized for going to this movie by my peer group. I only wanted to see it because the music was by Peter Gabriel, but ended up seeing it a couple times in the theatre and owning as soon as it was on home video.

It most certainly displayed Christ in a manner offensive to some hardcore Christians, but it was a harmless film. Nuns were picketing the theatres!

Should we lop Scorcese in with this Nakoula character as shit stirrers?

What about the anti-American propaganda in middle eastern culture. If Bagwhan Bill releases "Death To America", does that give me the God given right to go torch a 7-11?

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Posted: 19 Sep 12, 12:07 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

YourValentine wrote:
and to stand up for our values which are not only different but better than those of Middle East theocracies which we sadly keep helping to build.


To this I can only reply with a hearty "fuck you, Jerry". And yes, that is offensive. It damn well should be. No system or culture is superior to any other. Christians aren't torching mosques in America, that is true. On the other hand, you won't see a religious Muslim landlord evict tenants in the middle of winter. I am not a friend of organized religion in any form, but I will say this: I have never met a muslim anywhere near as offensive as some of the christians who try to run the show where I live.

Anyone who proclaims his or her culture as inherently superior to anyone else's has gone a long way on the road to fascism.


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Posted: 19 Sep 12, 12:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

What disgusts me utterly is that you people are defending a man who, in peddling his own extremist views, has WITTINGLY and WILLINGLY endangered scores of people's lives. Nakoula tried to be as offensive as he possibly could, to provoke the most hostile reaction he possibly could. He is just as much a terrorist as the people who attacked American embassies are.


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