Diatribe | Issue 25
The Innocence of Muslims
You may have heard that the Islamic world has been set alight again, but this time, not by a revolution – a truly crap movie has upset Islam, and I urge anyone with an eye for Z-grade films to watch Innocence of Muslims. The film whatever you want to call it mocks the Prophet Mohammed, calling him a murderer and a rapist. It also says the Quran is a mix of “false verses” from the Torah and the New Testament.
One would think a short and shoddy YouTube video was just, well, a YouTube video. Well, no. It is full of so many filming no-nos that it is probably one of the worst videos ever created. It literally took me half an hour to find, because I thought the videos I kept stumbling upon were terrible compilations made by a goat. It is that amateur, with crap acting, dubbed quotes, terrible transitions, and the echo of bad theatre.
However, there hasn’t been so much furore over a vid since #Kony2012, so maybe we should pay attention to it. It has led to the death of 11 people, after all, including an American ambassador. Many of the protesters have taken heed of the wacky remarks by fundamentalist clerics, and even in Sydney there was a sign which read “Behead all those who insult the prophet”. Protesters from Jakarta to Paris blame the US for the video.
Sadly, I feel compelled to defend the “land of the free”: the clip was not made by the US, it is only a product of the crap education system they have.
Some in the left have said the video has not caused the renewed tensions. They are wrong. Yes, there are many other issues in the Middle East which could have brought people out onto the streets, but this time it is pure and mindless fanaticism.
The film shows, for the second time this year, just how influential the media can be. But why should we get angry at a clip made by someone whose intention is to make us angry?
Yes, the director is a) crap and b) an intolerant American bigot, but there are these rather awesome things called freedom of speech and freedom of expression. No, the latter is not throwing a rock at thy neighbour, but when this does happen, as the clashes with police in Sydney attest, we should also look at the response of the police and the way they [mis]handled the demonstration.