Innocence of Muslims? Also in Polish – see bottom of article

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A letter in today’s Guardian epitomises everything that is wrong with the liberal apologia towards Islamic violence.

Also in Polish – see bottom of article 


Image credit – The Guradian/AFP/Getty Images

Jammu, India: A protester burns a US flag during a demonstration

While Tony Blair was being interviewed about the unrest in the Middle East on the Today programme, I found it extraordinary that he should have referred to the film Innocents of Muslims as being "laughable" (Report, 18 September). If ever a film was made with the specific intention of provoking Muslims worldwide, this is it. Having viewed the trailer on YouTube, I believe it was absolutely predictable that the cruel and vulgar depiction of Muhammad would result in outrage among ordinary Muslims and violent reaction against the US and the west by Islamist extremists. Surely those who made and then distributed this disgusting – not laughable – film, bear as much responsibility for the violence as those who are reacting against it.
Terence English Oxford

Tony Blair, for once, was right: Innocence of Muslims is laughable in the sense of contemptible (for its poor artistic quality), though not at all laughable in the laugh-worthy sense of “Life of Brian” (which is surely one of the greatest satirical comedies ever produced, in any genre). But neither of those senses is the one intended by Terence English. He means that the reaction provoked by the film is too serious to be funny.  He is right that the film is “disgusting”, but not because it offends Muslims. It is just a dreadful film – laughable in Tony Blair’s sense.

Terence English makes the all too common liberal error of patronising Muslims by assuming that their bigoted intransigence is a fixed fact of life which cannot be criticised, but must be accommodated like the laws of physics. It is a dubious application, not to say misapplication, of the classic limitation on free speech where “It’s like shouting ‘Fire’ in a crowded theatre.” Well yes, I see the point but no, there is an important difference. Fire is a chemical reaction that presents huge danger to everybody in a crowded theatre. That danger follows inevitaby from the laws of physics. The danger from Muslim over-reaction to trivial slights to their prophet is entirely man-made and inexcusable.  As Nick Cohen points out, in You Can’t Read this Book, the real offence is to assume that Muslims are incapable of civilised behaviour. This patronises and insults Muslims in ways that – if the liberal apologists would only think it through – goes right against their deepest liberal convictions: “Poor dears, they don’t have civilised ways like us, it’s part of their culture.” That’s the ignominiously coded meaning of “respect” in this case.

Having said that, there is a sense in which Muslim intransigence is an obvious fact of life today, and a realist must reluctantly admit that the parallel to shouting “Fire” has a certain pragmatic merit. While anybody has a perfect right to say what they like about any dead prophet, in this case you kind of wish they wouldn’t. What has no merit whatsoever, however, is Terence English’s conclusion that those who made and distributed the film “bear as much responsibility for the violence as those who are reacting against it.” No they don’t. That way madness lies.

Life of Brian reminds us of the contrast between Christian and Muslim reactions to offence. Christians were furious about that sublimely brilliant film, and they blathered and pontificated pathetically (in notorious cases never having seen it), but they stopped short of murder and arson. It would be completely impossible for the Monty Python team to get funding to make a comparable film about Mohammed. An additional consequence of Muslim intransigence and violence, then, is that high quality, sharply satirical movies about Mohammed cannot be made. With the exception of Theo van Gogh’s beautiful film Submission,  the only anti-Islamic output that slips through the net is rubbish like Innocence of Muslims, and that is artistically regrettable.

Today’s newspapers also bring us the story of an American actor in the same infamous film, who is trying to  get Innocence of Muslims suppressed, on the grounds that she was deceived into taking part. Nobody told her it was a film about Mohammed. She answered an advertisement describing it as a “historical Arabian Desert adventure film” (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/20/anti-muslim-clip-youtube-innocence?INTCMP=SRCH) The Islamic references were all, according to her, dubbed in later. The judge has rejected her request because of a technicality.

I have sympathy for her, having been deceived myself into taking part in more than one film which turned out to be other than it was portrayed.  And she seems to have come up with the only good grounds for suppressing Innocence of Muslims. It should certainly not be suppressed because of the alleged “offence” to a lot of paranoid Islamists, for whom being offended has become more or less their only occupation – perhaps they have nothing better to do.  But if she is telling the truth, the film should be suppressed because it was made under false pretences, deceiving the actors who, in good faith, took part in it and now find their professional reputations, not to mention their lives, at risk. That really is a good reason for pulling the film off YouTube, and I would not be sorry if the US authorities acted to do so. Moreover, if the makers of the film are to be punished, it should be for recruiting actors under false pretences, not for insulting the prophet of Islam.


Niewinność muzułmanów?

Autor tekstu: Richard Dawkins

Tłumaczenie: Małgorzata Koraszewska

 

List w dzisiejszym "Guardianie jest ucieleśnieniem wszystkiego, co błędne w liberalnej apologii dla islamskiej przemocy.

Tony Blair udzielał dzisiaj wywiadu w sprawie niepokoju na Bliskim Wschodzie w programie Today: dla mnie zdumiewające było, że mówił o filmie „Innocence of Muslims" jako „śmiechu wartym" (Report, 18 września). Jeśli kiedykolwiek zrobiono film z zamiarem sprowokowania muzułmanów na całym świecie, to ten właśnie. Obejrzawszy zwiastuna na YouTube sądzę, że było całkowicie do przewidzenia, że to okrutne i wulgarne przedstawienie Mahometa spowoduje oburzenie wśród zwykłych muzułmanów i gwałtowne reakcje ekstremistów islamskich przeciwko USA i Zachodowi. Z pewnością ci, którzy wyprodukowali i dystrybuowali ten odrażający — nie zaś śmiechu wart — film ponoszą równą odpowiedzialność za przemoc, jak ci, którzy nań reagowali. 
Terence English, Oxford

Tony Blair, tym razem, miał rację: „Innocence of Muslims" jest „śmiechu wart" w rozumieniu godny pogardy (z powodu swojej mizernej jakości artystycznej), choć zupełnie nie śmiechu wart w tym sensie, w jakim był wart śmiechu film „Życie Briana" (który z pewnością jest jedną z najwspanialszych komedii satyrycznych kiedykolwiek wyprodukowanych). Żadnego jednak z tych sensów nie miał na myśli Terrence English. Chodzi mu o to, że reakcja sprowokowana przez ten film jest zbyt poważna, by być śmieszna. Ma rację, że film jest „odrażający", ale nie dlatego, że obraża muzułmanów. To po prostu jest okropny film — śmiechu wart  w rozumieniu użytym przez Tony’ego Blaira.

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Written By: Richard Dawkins
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78 COMMENTS

  1. But if she is telling the truth, the film should be suppressed because it
    was made under false pretences, deceiving the actors who, in good
    faith, took part in it and now find their professional reputations, not
    to mention their lives, at risk. That really is a good reason for
    pulling the film off YouTube, and I would not be sorry if the US
    authorities acted to do so. Moreover, if the makers of the film are to
    be punished, it should be for recruiting actors under false pretences, not for insulting the prophet of Islam.

    Hm. Well. Even though it sounds a bit like a cop out at first, I guess it really isn’t. But after that is done we’ll have to make a PROPER film about Muhammad. It’s not difficult at all, really, you just shoot every scene involving Muhammad from a first person view. It’s even been done a couple of times before.

    • In reply to #2 by Bipedal_Primate:

      But if she is telling the truth, the film should be suppressed because it was made under false pretences, deceiving the actors who, in good faith, took part in it and now find their professional reputations, not to mention their lives, at risk. That really is a good reason for pulling the film off Y…

      izo

  2. Rushdie is saying it’s a lot more about power and controlled outrage than it is about religion. Without knowing anything about the first person Muhammad movies you’re referencing, I’m guessing they were made in a time before political Islam got its grubby hands on it and was able to turn it into an outrage switch.

  3. Having seen the film in English I would have thought she had a pretty good case. The producers have only bothered to overdub every time they want to inject some insult about Mohamed. Presumably they knew the cast would not speak the lines and dubbed in what they wanted them to say afterwards, which is pretty duplicitous.

    And the film is not funny in the slightest. It’s not in the so bad it’s good category; just in the so bad its terrible. It’s just an atrocious film.
    However, I do find the idea  that the producers have some culpability in the violence absurd and offensive. Responsibility for these acts can only rest with the offended; there is no slight or insult that justifies violence. Nothing. 
    To agree with that brings into play a whole world of double standards and hypocrisy that we in the west would regret. 
    Remember that just a few weeks ago it was a 12 year old girl with learning difficulties in the firing line. Presumably even if she had burnt pages of the quran Terence England wouldn’t have said she was getting her just deserts. You cannot placate the irrational and you diminish yourself if you try.

  4. I am a little more cynical than Richard Dawkins about this. I think there are several motives for the actual rioters.

    El Qaeda lost both a lot of its glamor and a lot of its operatives over the last decade. One of the biggest losses for their credibility was during the Arab Spring, which had little to do with them at all. In fact it goes against their plan for setting up regional religious caliphates, followed by a grand caliphate much like the Medieval Arabic/Muslim Empire.  For them, the movie was a gift direct from Allah. They could exploit it two ways. First, they have some base that has easily pushed buttons — people who will take easy offense and are willing to riot to show this. Second, they are sophisticated enough to know that there is constitutional freedom of speech in the United States, which made it impossible for the US government to ever give in to a demand to censor the movie. To get things going therefore, all they had to do was inform their mob that they should demand that the US government censor the movie. El Qaeda couldn’t lose. Obama had salvaged some street cred and now El Qaeda could “show” that Barack absolutely refused to withdraw the movie as “the people of god” wanted him to. The “incensed” would demand less Western influence in the “Islamic homeland,” something El Qaeda has always wanted so as to give it a freer hand.

    I believe they also knew how people in the West would react. And many of us have played along. As Richard Dawkins points out, many politicians quickly got meally-mouthed and defended the “poor muslims” over freedom of speech. I have also seen many comments to the effect that the West should abandon the muslim world completely, which is exactly what El Qaeda wants us to do. Finally, we have our own nut cases who are calling for some kind of retribution. That also helps El Qaeda because such people fit the stereotype of the crusader for muslims.

    But I think there was a second kind of rioter involved, which makes this a Rodney King riot. In the latter case, there was genuine outrage over the acquittal of the white cops in Los Angeles who beat the black Rodney King to a pulp on videotape. That led directly to some violence. However, there soon appeared a second kind of rioter. This type could be of any race at all (including many whites and Latinos)  but the motivation to riot was for the loot rather than the cause. A few days after the riot, Robin Williams appeared on Johnny Carson’s  bedtime show. When they got around to the riots, Mr. Williams stood up and gave an extended fist salute. “This is for Rodney King,” he exclaimed. Then he pointed behind him adding, “And those three TV sets are for ME!” Judging from the reports of looting accompanying the rioting in Pakistan and other places, I’d say this is a definite Rodney King riot — exacerbated by the economic extremes that many muslim countries have because korans advocate authoritarian government. It may be recalled that during the Arab Spring, muslim authorities in Saudi Arabia declared in a fatwa that it was the religious duty of all Saudis to be loyal to the king.

    So I am perfectly willing to gamble that the incitement to riot is probably an El Qaeda operation, and that in fact most muslims are about as tolerant as we are. And I remember the late Rodney King’s words during the riot, “Can’t we all just get along?”

    Thanks for reading,

    George Wolf

  5. Actually in Pakistan a lot of the targets have been soft targets that the Taliban have obviously had their eye on. The BBC have reported that ideologically inspired students have come direct from their Madras to burn down shops selling western goods and cinemas ( and they haven’t been screening that film locally). 
    As you probably know these hard liners want to destroy anything that can be branded frivolous or un-Islamic. As you say it’s a time to settle scores. Whether it was planned or not is a moot point.

  6. lboogie:
    “Not overly fond of the “Life of Brian” comparison because it is, again, comparing the actions of first world Christians to people who live in nations torn asunder by strife and tyranny. “

     Strife and tyranny seem to be the hallmarks of Islamic nations. The comparison between Christian and Islamic nations is illustrated in that difference; rough and approximate as it may be.

    The problem is, how do we ever persuade Muslims to change either their canonical texts or their adherence to them?

    Surely only by being brave enough to show the true face of Mohammed as he really was.

     Hence of course the hysterical opposition to such attempts, which would reveal the hollow fakery and absurdity of Islam. 

  7. One thing I’m interested in is the question “How many people are protesting because of the video?” Clearly the media has presented a picture of these protests sweeping the Islamic world. Already there is evidence that they are exaggerating the extent to which the film is the reason. There is this interesting piece: http://sitemaker.umich.edu/meg… and of course the always excellent Glenn Greenwald: http://www.guardian.co.uk/comm… . Have there been any good polls of protestors asking “why are you protesting”? Is there a good accounting of violent incidents? As much as I condemn anyone who commits violence because they don’t like a video of a cartoon, it is a convenient narrative for the U.S. in particular to spin this video as the reason. I’m sure it is in some cases, but I’m not sure the anti-video protests are spreading like wildfire like the MSM would have us believe…

  8. I have been hearing that a lot on religious debate forums. The maker of the film is as responsible for the violence as the perpetrators. No. The fact that a significant number of Muslims respond with great violence to their prophet being mocked may make us wish people would not do that but the violent criminals
    are solely responsible.
    If a member of one criminal gang said something mocking about the leader of a different gang which then killed other members of the first gang, we would all be quite clear that the murderers were to blame and the defence ‘he started it!’ would be dismissed with contempt. This suggestion that the mocker is to blame could only occur in religion because of the idea that religion is entitled to respect.

  9.  I think without a doubt there is more to the violence than simply the perceived offence. These are nations where large sections of the population are poor in more than just a material sense and are obliged to have a medieval view of the world at large. Their leaders have a vested interest in them being “offended” at the slightest provocation because it creates a convenient scapegoat for all their local problems. It’s a very convenient diversion from the inescapable fact that their corrupt religious leaders haven’t a clue as to how to bring these people out of the 12th century and into the modern world without  revealing themselves as the charlatans they are and consigning their preachings to the rubbish bin of failed ideas. There is no reason to think this sort of obviously contrived and whipped up violence won’t continue for the foreseeable future. I think in these situations, when you are told by your authoritarian religious leaders to go onto the streets and burn flags and property, that’s what you do. As far as I can see there is no freedom to not riot.

  10. I have always seen the shouting “Fire” in a crowded theatre as a particularly lousy argument (actually an assumption) made by a thoroughly illiberal judge who obviously didn’t understand what Freedom of Speech actually means.

    What, for example, if the actor on stage or screen was the individual who shouted “fire” in the crowded theatre? Would we necessarily assume that their would be a panic endangering life and limb? Of course not because we know that the actor was playing a part or a character and probably shouting “fire” as part of their performance.

    So there’s the very first fail (there are many more) – the assumption that there will be resulting panic confuses a direct causal relationship with that of a hypothetical scenario. The argument assumes that, as sure as night follows day, that as soon as someone shouts “fire” there will be a panic automatically presuming an unthinking, uncritical response from a passive, unsophisticated audience.

    The argument carelessly confuses the medium with context. The stage or screen is an environment where there is quite clearly absolute free speech – anyone can literally say anything without there being any presumed panic. The theatre, the part of inhabited by the audience, could be argued to be a controlled environment where the audience have volunteered to temporarily and conditionally suspend certain freedoms in the interests of Health and Safety.

    Ah, but what if a member of audience is the one to shout “fire” can we not presume that there will be a dangerous panic then? Is this not an acceptance that there are times and places where we cannot have absolute free speech? No, because as I say, it is an presumption (and that’s all it is) that there would then be a panic. The members of the audience, seeing for themselves that there is no apparent fire or smoke, may just think that the individual in question has lost his mind or playing some kind of joke before ignoring him.

    The truth is that, like most hypotheticals – it really needs to be put to the test. Perhaps, Derren Brown could try this experiment in one of his programmes for Channel 4. In fact, I am going to send him an email suggesting this very thing. I don’t know if it would get past any Ethical Boards but I think that it is at least worth a try to nail one of the most vague, specious and wooly-headed justifications for censorship.

    In short, you can shout “fire” in a crowded theatre if you wish but whether or not there would be a resulting panic is far from clear.

  11. Rushdie is saying it’s a lot more about power and controlled outrage
    than it is about religion. Without knowing anything about the first
    person Muhammad movies you’re referencing, I’m guessing they were made
    in a time before political Islam got its grubby hands on it and was able
    to turn it into an outrage switch.

    It’s most definitely about power, because it’s about forcing sharia on us. As for the films I mentioned, they can be found here, and are approved by serious men with beards at some institute  in Cairo.

    ‘The Message’ (1979), starring Anthony Quinn

    http://www.amazon.com/Message-

     ‘Muhammad: The Last Prophet’ (2001), animated

    http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad

    They only show the “good” side of our favorite prophet warlord, of course, but they’re not completely without entertainment value, either.

  12. Wrong- the US has not ‘spun’ anything, in fact there is an investigation to uncover the real reason which is thought to be Salafist inspired to ‘celebrate’ 911. Contrived long before the video first became known in Egypt. 
    Anyway it is irrelevant because Islamists will use any imagined slight as justification for their thuggery. 

    NOT spreading? What universe are you living in?

  13. Islamists cannot be persuaded since such persuasion transgresses the dictates of the koran and hadiths and condemns them to hellfire. Their concepts of dar-al-Islam, dar-al-harb; naksh; taqqiya; kitman; abrogation; guarantee that nothing will be questioned and all who do so will be exterminated or subjected to dimmitude.

    Islam’s similarities to Nazi ideology are startling- racial superiority, extermination of inferior beings, slavery, subjugation, humiliation to name only a few. It’s a truly alarming belief system.

  14. Cruel and vulgar don’t begin to describe beheading human beings and putting video on line (which any decent person would refuse to watch). This bloody idiot appeaser English seems to have vary short attention span.

  15. Well expressed. Their holy books are the problem, demanding they remain in the 7th century time warp that is Islam. It’s difficult to imagine the Islamic elite giving up total control of their brainwashed flocks without a major confrontation- which is what the books demand. Scary, isn’t it?

  16. You can’t blame the Arab demonstrators for the violence.
    They are (literally) ignorant and brainwashed. The same type of crowd reaction
    happened many times here in Europe just a few hundred years ago.

    The ones to blame are the religious leaders who stir up the crowds and the
    religious governments who don’t stop it. This is a politics
    and power phenomenon
    , religion has always been about
    power, it’s a Darwinian survival of the memes. Governments and religions work
    together in this and provide each other legitimacy. It is a standard tactic for
    reinforcing group (or nationalistic) identity to point to something that could
    be labelled a ‘common enemy’. Governments love it because it diverts attention
    from domestic problems and induces patriotism, religions love it for similar
    reasons, it reinforces ideas of religious identity, strengthening the bonds
    that bind.

    Our only hope in the Arab world (and perhaps the USA) is the young and their
    access to education and the internet. Let us wish them well in their struggle
    to throw of the oppression of religion the same way they are ousting their
    dictators.

  17. So we are to blame as usual and the Muslims are not responsible for their acts of violence. I suggest that every time a Muslim does a bad deed that a non–Muslim is put on trial and punished.

  18. JimJFox,

    All these points are perfectly valid.  the obstacles to reform are monumental.

    Until about a thousand years ago it was permitted in Islam to interpret the texts more freely. Now that most scholars assert the need for strict adherence to a literalist view without applied reason; there is this medieval and barbaric character to Islam, in which heads do literally roll for transgressions against idiotic laws that ought to have been abolished ages ago. As you say, this is alarming. 

    All I can suggest is, in light of the currently uncontained spread of the Muslim Brotherhood and the global rage epidemics, the west has to wake up and start to call this what it is: a worldwide threat to civilisation, requiring defensive action.

    Islam can only change from within, if at all; but true moderates with gonads are too scarce. Until the futility of present radicalism can be demonstrated to all, instead of rewarding it with aid and concessions, there will be no incentive for change.

  19. There’s a political point here goes to the heart of freedom of speech. The reason that shouting fire in a crowded cinema is not freedom of speech and constitutes an offence is that it’s predictable that people will react in a way that might cause harm, to themselves or others. Speech that does not constitute a predictable, or reasonable risk, such as criticising someone’s haircut, car or taste in movies etc is free.

    Now criticising someone’s religion should be just as free as anything else and there’s no earthly reason to have to “respect” someone else’s barmpot views about their sky pixie of choice or expect them to resort to murder because of it.

    However if the Mullahs and Ayatollahs can manage to whip up this sort of frenzy and create some harm every time someone in the west makes a film or publishes a cartoon depicting Mohammed then they achieve the aim of making such publications a predictable risk. This causes real problems for those in the west either making law or dispensing it. It blurs the boundaries between what is and is not free speech, it motivates people to apologise for the film or cartoon or whatever it might be rather than telling the Muslims to grow up and get over themselves and it greatly reduces any further criticism of Islam which is the ultimate aim.

    I have not the slightest doubt that millions of Muslims don’t really believe any of the crap in the Koran they’ve been forcefed since childhood but when you’re faced with imprisonment or stoning for saying so then you keep your mouth shut. If the Mullahs let any dissent at all take place without imposing dire consequences then the floodgates will open and Islam will go the same way as Norse, Greek and Roman mythology. To the Mullahs, criticism of Islam in the west is just as dangerous to them and Islam’s long term survival as criticism of it at home.

    If they can show their people that even the mighty USA can’t criticise Islam without facing their wrath and the retribution of Allah it sends a powerful message to their own population to keep toeing the line.

    Freedom of speech has already taken a terrible battering in the west and there’s a good argument for saying for don’t even really have it any longer. In the UK we already have speech crimes that are classed as racially motivated or hate crimes and that not just about insulting blacks or jews or ethnic minorities. The TV presenter Anne Robinson was investigated by the police for the heinous crime of making a slightly disparaging remark about the Welsh. You can call someone a daft cunt with impunity but if you call them a daft Scottish cunt or a daft Welsh cunt that’s racially motivated and you could well be facing a criminal record.

    Two police officers were recently shot over here and someone who posted on Facebook that this was not such a bad thing and wished that more plods would go the same way was promptly arrested. I might not agree with his sentiments but fail to see how his opinion was a crime.

    The only way to combat Islamic militism is for everyone in the west to keep on criticising it. If every newspaper had the balls to publish cartoons of Mohammed instead of just apologising for those who do so then the Muslims would eventually have to give up trying to kill everyone who said nasty things that “offended” them because there’d be too many people to go after. Either we in the west stand together or we fall divided. It’s that simple.

    Politicians will continue to say whatever they think their base wants to hear. If they think their base don’t like to hear criticism of religion, any religion, then they’ll continue to apologise for films like this one taking the piss out of Islam. If enough of us tell them that’s not what we want – we don’t give a shit what anyone says about someone else’s daft belief system then they’ll change their tune.

  20. Does anyone here know of any other film or documentary where the
    participants were unaware of the true nature or purpose of the completed
    show?

    Jim Henson’s ‘The Dark Crystal’ (1982) is about Islam and dhimmitude

    Joe Dante’s ‘Gremlins’ (1984) is about Islamic immigration

    Pixar’s ‘A Bug’s Life’ (1998) could probably have been inspired by Islam and dhimmitude. It’s about individualists who a overcomes despair and conquers a collectivist system of slavery through the use of creativity, innovation and voluntary cooperation, which is alien to a totalitarian collectivism like Islam.

    The Wachowskis’ ‘The Matrix’ (1999) is about Islam and dhimmitude in the EU

    The video game ‘Gears of War’ (2006) is also about the future consequences of western oil addiction and Islamic immigration to Europe. (Muslims are ‘The Locust Horde’ both in ‘Gears of War’ and ‘A Bug’s Life’.)

    And this proves that if you want to create art that shows the true nature of Islam, you have to use metaphors and symbolism, because then no one can prove that the film you made insulted the religion of  constant offense. The flip side is of course that not that many will understand what you’re trying to say.

    And here’s a picture of the prophet Muhammad, by the way:

    http://images1.fanpop.com/imag

    Not what he looked like on the outside, but what he looked like on the inside.

  21. No riots reported from Saudi Arabia! World’s largest oil exporter. I wonder why?

    Minister to wife:  “You see, darling, we just have to keep these arab chappies onboard, especially the ones with the oil! I’ll see if I can’t get some Guardian hack to rattle out an article blaming the film makers.”

  22. Here is a link to the original script: http://gawker.com/5944290/here
    slims/
    There can be no doubt that the actors knew they were making a satirical movie about Muhammed, although Muhammed was named “George”, Khadija “Condolesa” etc.. The script is full of references to the Quran, ahadith and biographies of Muhammed, like this one: ” …George spins all around but cannot find anybody else there. GEORGE: Who…who are you? GABRIEL (v.o.): I am Gabriel and you are George, Messenger of the Islamic nation. George puts his hands together in front of him. GEORGE: Praise be to Allah. GABRIEL (v.o.): Do not speak. Only listen. George looks up to the sky and opens his arms wide, awaiting the message he is expecting to receive.” etc., etc..

  23. Here, here, old pip. But I don’t think you have gone far enough with
    your dehumanizing ideas about Muslim immigrants. Might I add
    Arachnophobia (1990)?

    It’s always fascinating to see ordinary inhabitants of The Matrix morph into agents like you just did. You presented no arguments, you just tried to brand my views as ‘dehumanizing’. It’s called character assassination. It’s Agent Smith’s specialty. The dehumanizing views of Muslims don’t bother you much, do they?

    “Oh, the poor, poor Muslims whom I’ve been allowed to protect and help in a way that lets me inflate my ego even more. They have such a hard time with all the horrible islamophobia, these days, so I need to spout some airy nonsense that makes me feel good about myself.”

    Why did you pick ‘Gremlins’, specifically, to cry about? Because I said ‘immigration’? What programming did it trigger, exactly? Was it simply the ‘immigration-good’-algorithms, or was it the wole “brown-man-good-white-man-bad”-charade? Let’s reenact a scene from The Matrix, shall we:

    James Martin: – What is The Matrix?

    Bipedal_Primate: – The Matrix is political correctness and political correctness is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to prevent you from seeing the truth.

    JM: – What truth?

    BP: – That you’re a slave, James Martin. You’re a battery for the Muslim world. You will submit to them and you will pay the jizya, the dhimmi tax. That’s how they’ll repay your hospitality to all the cute little Gizmos. They are adorable, aren’t they? I know we weren’t supposed to feed them after midnight, but some people thought it would be the best way to tear down western civilization; from the inside. After all, westerners do behave like viruses, moving from place to place, depleting all the resources. Can’t have that. Let’s have a universal Islamic Caliphate, instead. Much better idea.

    Joe Dante hints at immigration as the underlying theme of the movie through the retired guy referring to all the foreign parts of his car as ‘Gremlins’. The rest comes from reading about Islam and paying attention to news that the mainstream media tries to hide. Think a little for yourself the next time you read about “Asian” gangs in the paper.

    Until that happens, it’ll still be a nice little Stockholm Syndrome you’ve got going for yourself, there.

  24. The “Rodney King riot” has another name, where the phenomenon is well known:  Recreational Rioting.   Seen in London last summer, but a common occurrence in Northern Ireland for many a decade.    Watching the media, there’s no hint that rioting is a sport in itself, and does not need a reason, just an excuse.

  25. It is simply amazing the lengths people will go to, (whether they are liberal apologists, fundamental Christians, or otherwise) to desensitize and censor materials that are the product of free-speech when it pertains to religion. Most especially Islam, for that is the only religion that people in free, westernized countries are afraid to criticize for fear of bodily harm or death. I am glad that the data seems to point towards a future in which problems like this will not be as much of an issue.

  26. It is also worth noting Christopher Hitchens’ take on the jurist, Oliver Wendell Holmes’, judgement that free speech could be limited – and who invented the parable of “falsely shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre”.  While Holmes later tried to back-peddle on this decision, his judgement is consistently taken out of context and expanded beyond his original meaning.  Hitchens illustrated the mendacity of Holmes’ example by actually shouting “fire” in a crowded theatre…

    Otherwise this response ‘Mr. English’ is bang on.

    The Authorities reaction, as Sam Harris noted (and available on this Site), was appalling, lamentable, … actually I can’t think of a suitable string of adjectives to describe such a  miserable and pathetic bunch of intellectually insignificant, yet politically powerful, individuals and institutions.

    I too would have no difficulty if the powers that be were to support the pulling of the film on the grounds of the producer’s misrepresentations to staff involved.  Some lives could be saved, taste would be defended, and free speech could remain untouched.

    Peace.

  27. the scary thing is (apart from the false pretence issue which is a serious one imo), this film maker has broken no laws in his country. the leaders of his country have publicly denounced his work.

    as for Mr English’s idea that the person who insults is as culpable as the person who murders, i find that very offensive. that’s just me though, if i went round hs place to commit a violent act on the basis his views offend me, no doubt he’d put hs hands up and accept his responsibility, or maybe he wouldn’t claiming it wasn’t his intention to offend me.

    either way my behaviour is expected to reflect his motivation right? of course not!

    had this film been released and muslims across the world simply laughed at the poor quality and clumsy attempt to get a rise, what would people like English and indeed Clinton and Obama and anyone else who has condemmed the film say? probably nothing as there’d be no need to. The number of people lining up to condem this film is shameful. it seems people in the west have been trained by extremists to measure the offensiveness of art by the vioence carried out in its name.

    humans are so easy to train

  28. Mr. Dawkins, I have a lot of respect and gratitude to you for helping many lost souls find their way out of the darkness, and I hope you will be able to shed more light on the best way forward to deal with the
    religion madness.

    My point is this.  If the film “The life of Brian” was shown in theatres in the 16th  century, many heads would have rolled…

    I suspect if a similar film was to be made today criticising the Jewish faith, many would call it anti Semitic…

    Unlike Islam and Judaism, Christianity have evolved with the times to make it more acceptable, if you choose to ignore much of the text in the “Book”.  Although Islam is much younger (more than 500 years younger) than Christianity, there is no guarantee that it will evolve, and Judaism is a clear example of not evolving!

    As a person who was born and bred in an Islamic country, I can assure you that majority of people who are Muslims today have the same thought process as those who watched the witches burn at the stake, and they are under the impression that they are doing god’s work, just as mother Teresa and Hitler did!!

    Basically, they are no different than the ant that climbs a blade of grass to be eaten.

    My question is: since we cannot get the religious people to live without their imaginary friends due to virus of the brain, and we are forced to live on this planet together, what are we, “sane people”,  to do to help the Muslims and Jews to evolve their religion to make it more tolerable??

    Best regards.

  29. The claims that the film inspired violence would be more credible if 1) the film, itself, wasn’t the victim of its own self-parodying craftsmanship and 2) if extremist violence wasn’t common-place to begin with.

  30. I recently had a letter published in the Newcastle Herald (Australia) on this topic…..

    To me, the most disturbing aspect of the recent Muslim riots is not the violent response itself. It is what we have come to expect from the religion of peace.
    The fact that a few cartoons or a YouTube video can provoke such anger and result in so many deaths demonstrates to me the mindset of religious belief and the effects of childhood indoctrination into superstitious, medieval nonsense. What truly irks me is the pathetic and miserable response from our own Prime Minister and the US Secretary of State.
    Both were quick to condemn the offensive nature of the film that sparked the furore. Now I haven’t seen the film, and I doubt they have either, but how is the nature of the film in any way relevant? We either have freedom of speech or we don’t.
    Those politicians who are so quick to condemn this video would do well to remember Voltaires famous words -”I may disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
    Where does it state in our laws or our constitution that we have some inalienable right not to be offended? After all, let us not forget that blasphemy is a victimless crime.

    The link to the edited version which appeared in last Saturday’s newspaper……

    http://www.theherald.com.au/st

     

  31. The film is no more vulgar,  cruel,  and disgusting than the probably fictive prophet/con man Muhammad  and the Koran themselves. Add in badly written. The Koran is filled with cruelty and is utterly disgusting. If I haven’t offended any Muslim believers, I will have to try harder next time.

  32. Superb article. Basically I think that this violence is a massive over reaction to a 14 minute piece of trashy film making (I mean check out the bad green screening) It may be offensive and insulting to the beliefs of Muslims but they have many opportunities of recourse. It’s just an excuse for them to go off on one again. Killing someone because of a film. There simply is no excuse. No one has a right not to be offended and no idea is above criticism. The minds of many in this word are held to ransom by text and dogma. It’s very sad. 

  33. >It is a dubious application, not to say misapplication, of the classic limitation on free speech where “It’s like shouting ‘Fire’ in a crowded theatre.” Well yes, I see the point but no, there is an important difference. Fire is a chemical reaction that presents huge danger to everybody in a crowded theatre. That danger follows inevitaby from the laws of physics.

    Well, I disagree.  The classic limitation to free speech is to yell fire when there is no actual fire.  The danger is that you may cause a needless stampede towards the exit.  So this limitation still has to do with human behavior caused by speech and nothing to do with physics.   

    Where I agree with Terence English is that this film was a deliberate provocation.  The makers of this film were trying to get a reaction and the rioters took the bait hook, line and sinker. 

    Of course, those who riot are responsible for their actions and I wouldn’t suggest otherwise.

    However, I do think this film approaches the fuzzy line of unprotected speech but after some reflection I’ve decided that the film makers are indeed with in their free speech rights.  The line I’m drawing is that the violence that was provoked was perpatrated by those who were offended.  If the film caused non-Muslims to commit acts of violence against Muslims (by defaming or dehumanizing, etc) I would have come down on the side that this was not protected speech.
     

  34. A few thoughts:

    - When a person yells “Fire!” in a crowded theatre, he is inflicting his speech upon the occupants of the theatre. They do not have the option not to listen to him. In contrast, Muslims have the option not to watch “Innocence of Muslims”. If they want, they can pretend the film doesn’t exist. If they don’t like it, they can simply refrain from watching it.

    - Persons who believe that there is a fire in the theatre literally have no choice but to run for the exits (assuming they do not have a death wish). The reason they have no choice is because of the physical nature of fire. A fire in a theatre will always be lethally dangerous, because of the laws of physics. Therefore the occupants will always have no choice but to run for the exits. In contrast, Muslims do not literally have no choice but to commit acts of violence, even though they predictably do so. Every Muslim can freely choose to respond to the film with violence, and every Muslim can freely choose to respond peacefully.

  35.  
    No. 
     
    Falsely yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre is unprotected speech because it can cause a dangerous panic.  It has nothing to do with the choice of those who may hear the speech and really has nothing to do with the physical nature of fire, per se, because there is no actual fire. 
     
    Search for Schenck v. United States, a famous Supreme Court case from which this limitation comes.  You can find it on Wikipedia if nowhere else. 
     
    Schenck is actually outdated.  The current applicable case is Brandenburg v. Ohio which holds that speech is unprotected if it is intent is to cause imminent violence and it is likely to do so.  Again, this can be found on Wikipedia and elsewhere. 
     
    Do you think that this film was intended and likely to provoke violence?  A strong argument can be made that is indeed the case and therefore the film is not protected speech.  I would loath to make that argument myself though. 
     
      

  36. Yes, it is unprotected speech because it can cause a dangerous panic. But WHY does it cause a dangerous panic? Because of the physical nature of fire. When faced with the prospect of a fire in a theatre, people have literally no choice but to run for the exits. This is what causes the dangerous panic. Of course there is no actual fire, but the fire that is believed to exist is certainly believed to have all the physical characteristics that make fire so deadly.

    Also, if everyone had the choice – upon entering a theatre – to flick a switch that would disable their ability to hear any deceitful/incorrect calls of “Fire”, do you think it would still be unlawful to yell “Fire” in a crowded theatre? Probably not, because everyone would just flick the switch, and the deceitful person who yells “Fire” may as well simply think the word “fire” in his head. So I believe the issue of imposing one’s speech on others is relevant here.

    The creator of “Innocence of Muslims” did not force Muslims to watch his film. The violent protesters – most of whom probably have not seen the film – are attempting to silence the filmmaker because they do not like what the film has to say. They have not been incited to violence. If the film were aimed at Muslims, and carried the following message: “Muslims, please commit arson and murder in the name of your religion! Your God commands it!”, then I would consider it a provocation of violence.

  37. “The conflict, portrayed by both (sides) as a holy war, was more an exploitation of religious fanaticism by those hungry for land and power”.Carl Sagan on the Thirty Years’ War: Cosmos, 1980.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  38. Steady on, Professor: “their bigoted intransigence” is a bit strong.

    Though I have no problem with bigoted intransigence so long as it is expressed in a reasonably civilised manner. 

    Lots of Muslims have publicly stated that they are against terror. This morning, googling “as a Muslim”  “against terrorism” returned 9.4 million results: rather more than “Stephen Fry”. I haven’t read them all, but the first page of these were clearly genuine statements against terrorism. This is by no means an avalanche in a world where a floppy haired Canuck popster gets the best part of 2 billion (US) results  (and why not?). But it is enough to seriously challenge the underlying assumption that the problem is the beliefs of almost all Muslims.

    Of course, it only requires a tiny minority of incendiary fanatics to make the news in a civilised western riot (here’s a famous example from the UK riots by those beastly Students http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/n… ) .  Every western protest in the last decade seems to have been dogged by a handful of nutters out to make trouble (and egged on by the press). I don’t see why Muslim protests should be any different. 

    And the disturbances don’t seem to have been very large. Even the Daily Telegraph, not normally on the pinko wing of the British Press, has cast some real doubt on just how big the protests themselves really were http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/n… (the main mosque in Islamabad? about 30 people. The riots around the US embassy there? About 5000 – about 1/1,000th of the city population. All data straight from quick Google searches: please correct it if you have better.)

    Does anyone have any statistics on the number of people injured in the recent disturbances, and how many of those were protesters rather than Western targets?

    Can we please, please try to regain a sense of perspective here? Or are we going back to sending in the cavalry whenever we see a crowd take to the street? What would that say about our respect for free speech?

    I would have thought that all right thinking people’s initial response to the film would be abhorrence, both as a work of art and as an obvious attempt to provoke damage to life, limb and property. Whilst we may not be ready for a law of blasphemy, I am amazed that our main response has been to vilify the victims for protesting rather than the provocateur for his nasty piece of work.

    Of course, the nutters who feed symbiotically off the provocation are even worse if they actually cause physical harm, and we may well condemn them even more strongly. But if the provocateur claims support from our most prized principles, then our first priority should be to make sure we apply those same principles to put him firmly in his place. The antidote to intolerance is more speech, not less. Let’s show the Muslims how a free society addresses their legitimate complaint.

  39. The Muslim complaints are hardly legitimate. 

    If you check the incidents in the film for accuracy it turns out that they are all correct according to the most respected sources of Muslims themselves; meaning Koran, Hadith and Sira. With the possible exception of one minor embellishment.

    This stuff is not invented to insult Muslims, it is the truth according to Islam.

    Coptic Priest Father Botros talks to Michael Coren and gives more details:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

  40. I think that a crucial point is Richard’s observation that too many Muslims seem too often too worried of being offended. It “has become more or less their only occupation – perhaps they have nothing better to do.” So true!

    And a consequence of that is that there are organized groups of people whose job is to actively scan the Internet looking for possible sources of offense. I believe that those people are  deliberately trying, successfully, to ignite fires in the theater of Internet, to adopt/adapt Richard’s analogy.

    But why do too many Muslims feel offended by such garbage as that movie? If I were a Muslim, I’d try to be magnanimous, i.e. literally “large-minded”, and consider such cases as what they really are: garbage for brutes and ignorants. Instead, too many of them are so narrow-minded that the best thing they can do is to blame an entire government for what happened! That is sad, at the very least. They do not have an idea of what liberty of expression is (remember the Danish comic strips) and will never have, at least until in their countries secular and religious power will not be kept distinct.

  41. As far as I know and have seen, the “film” is more of a preview of a film, rather than the film itself. That is a bit like judging a book by its cover. Granted, there may not BE a full film for which the preview purports to entice, but nevertheless. I remember seeing some truly awful previews of older films (as bonus features on DVDs) for films like Time Bandits, for example. The film was great, the preview, not so much. Had I concluded Time Bandits was a bad film based on the preview alone, I suspect some would consider an unfair criticism. But perhaps this is all too fine a point.

    I think the crudeness of the video is part of the intended humor, if you don’t mind my saying. Crudeness and candidness both seem to be in vogue now in humor, and if you are going to make fun of something, the more low budget it is (cardboard props and intentionally bad acting) the more funny than had it been given a professional gloss which would make it seem as if it were taking itself TOO seriously. Having mentioned one Monty Python film, is the history of (mythical) England stained by having the troop in “The Holy Grail” depicting its heroes running around banging coconuts rather than riding actual horses (which were beyond their budget)? Indeed, is the humor of the film diminished or augmented by this serendipitous budget-saving solution? Therefore cheapness in and of itself are not what make a film “bad.” Nor is it the sort of “bad” mentioned when one speaks of, say, Ed Wood films that are “so bad they’re good.” Boy, all this “film awfulness” criticism is quite complicated, and how fortunate we are that for the majority of it there are no Muslim references further mucking up and obfuscating this difficulty.

    There are even films that are more serious that have been accepted as great works of art and poetry, despite the fact that they are extremely low budget, have undeniably poor acting, and have offensive content. Many of Pasolini’s films come to mind, coming out of the Italian neorealist tradition of using local non-actors, warts and missing teeth and all, instead of “real” (union) actors. Nobody would say “oh, this film is so awful and would have been saved with a Robert Redford or Vanessa Redgrave in the lead.” Elsewhere his films depict rampant nudity and disgusting things such as pedophilia and defication, and yet he is considered a “great” director. (Perhaps because he met a grisly end gives him legendary status?) Or consider a serious film that criticizes Christianity, like Peter Greenaway’s “The Baby of Macon” where a baby is stolen by a woman for profit and then dismembered by the church, and then suggests and overlooks the multiple onscreen “raped until death” of the woman (after her lover is gored by a bull). Ah, but it was artfully done, and made a lacerating point dripping with symbolism – is it because Islam was not the religion criticized? Or because not many people saw the film, as in its own bankrupting obscurity is just punishment enough? In that case it is the manner in which the internet proliferates videos that brought attention to an otherwise destined-for-obscurity film? There are no doubt many more “bad” home-made films of this nature on videorecorders across the globe depicting the burning of Qu’rans or Islam in ways that would incite riots, but don’t because of their obscurity. Would they then “deserve” damning artistic criticism were they ever leaked out?

    Anyway, how else could one “seriously and soberly” depicted Muhammed and his hundreds of wives without giving up and realizing how absurd it would be and slipping, as Kubrick did in “Dr. Strangelove,” into a comical farce? Nobody has dared praised the film by doing what no other film has dared to do, either our of fear of reprisal or inability to raise any funds to produce such an endeavor. Like it or not, after over 100 years of cinema, “Innocence of Muslims” appears to be the first to lambast Islam. That should say… something, yes?

    Richard Dawkins, in his spot on criticism OF the criticism of the film, nevertheless twice manages to yet appear “on their side.” The first is when he agrees the “film” (preview, whatever) is awful. He mentions the “Life of Brian” and recalls the criticism it received by those who never saw the film – I assume he means never saw the FEATURE FILM, not just the PREVIEW. What if they HAD seen the preview? The point is that in voicing his dislike of the film, Dawkins does nothing to add to the overall merit of his argument, but instead appeases those who disagree with him, who might say “well, he did after all admit it was an awful film, so we can forgive him for whatever else he says.” The second is when he finds an alternate rationale to ban/block the film from Youtube (because it misled some of its actors about what the film was about) as a substitute reason for the fact that it offends Muslims prone to violence. If the film is ever banned because of this: mission accomplished, and Dawkins can say it was done without having encroached upon free speech. I might be going out on a thin limb or reason here, but it seems to me that both of these approaches smells awfully similar to enabling and apologetics of some kind, no?

  42. Something dangerous happened.. i had a thought

    This is probably too simplified but imagine when a child reaches a certain age, there comes a time when a parent needs to have ‘that’ talk. You know about Father Christmas (whisper, he doesn’t really exist)

    Children don’t go on murderous rampages of pure rage when they are told the truth about Santa

    The reaction of these so called adults is just not rational. The violent reaction reminds me of Zombie Apocolypse movies, they have no hunger for human flesh, but someone must pay for insulting their Godly beliefs.
    The first person they encounter after storming the Embassy will do !!

    They could respond by just laughing it off (terrible movie)
    Make a movie themselves

    I just don’t get why they have to respond in such a violent way

  43. What causes the problems is when non Muslims condemn Islam.
    We have to give up any religious bias and simply say that ALL religions are equally useless and poisonous to the progress of humanity.
    If freeing the world of unfounded beliefs and superstition is our goal, then what is the best way to accomplish this goal ?
    I don’t think that a movie like the Innocence of Muslims helps to get closer to that goal. It’s actually counter productive in it’s intellectual crudeness.
     

  44. Well, in order to “lose” something it is first necessary to have had it in the first place! There never has been an unbridled ‘right’ to free speech in the UK. What’s more some of the most troubling cases recently have had little if anything to do with religion.

    In recent weeks in Britain people have received criminal convictions for gloating over the deaths of dead police officers and soldiers. And, in what I thought was the most troubling case, a few days ago someone was sent to prison for cracking (wholly unfunny) jokes online about a missing-presumed-dead schoolgirl.

  45. A number of posters have queried “So what can be done?”  Accordingly, this post has nothing to do with the film per se, but is solely about what can be done…

    The Balkan wars showed that one could
    have villages very near each other for half-a-millenium, but which,
    due to diametrically-opposed religious views, never inter-married.
    With such a non-integration approach, when someone did incite some
    racial/religious hatred, everyone knew who the enemy was. By way of
    contrast, the post-WW2 Southern European migration to US, Canada,
    Australia, NZ etc are now all fully-integrated – meaning that within just 50 years, the migrant
    groups have all inter-married with locals, and there is a nil risk of
    any social uprising as a result, despite that being a high-rate of immigration.
     

    Many people (myself included) don’t mind high levels of
    immigration into Western countries, but wonder whether certain groups ought be favoured over
    others, in terms of their ability to truly ‘fit-in’ to a Western society.
    Some peoples (of all skin colours) will integrate well. Others never
    will. Should that be taken into account?  There are always more applicants that spaces, so it is not as if choices are not already being made.

    Arguably, the best thing that the West
    can do for peoples with archaic belief systems is to promote
    education throughout such societies. Australia pays (as part of its
    foreign aid) for a wider ‘full curriculum’ to be taught in
    religious-only (non-state) schools in Indonesia, as a gesture of good
    faith. Such an approach is arguably 100x cheaper and more effective
    than surveillance-based counter-terrorism measures. But we need to
    remember that it took a millennium for Christian faiths to come to
    the realisation that killing each other (Cathars, religious wars,
    civil wars, Inquisition, Northern Ireland etc) over slight variances
    in belief was pointless. Even with accelerated gains in education, it
    may may take over 50-100 years for Sunnis and Shiites to come to
    a similar realisation. Until that realisation is achieved, there will
    be outrage, riots and bombings. The religion virus (irrespective of strain) invokes an
    inherently ‘tribal’ attitude to outsiders. So it is arguably
    necessary to wait for the effect of this broader education to have
    its effect over one or two further generations. In the meantime, it may cause
    less friction to help educate, trade with, and deal fairly with such
    groups, WITHOUT inviting ever-larger non-integrating groups to live
    within Western countries.  The reason is that the non-integrating groups are precisely those who will not accept Western traditions, satire, freedom-of-speech etc.

    And before anyone claims that such a
    policy is unfair, consider that Japan has been doing it for years.
    Japan happily takes its humanitarian quota of refugees, but notes
    that it would be unfair to expect Muslims to adjust to Japanese
    culture and that such people would be happier being relocated to
    ‘majority-Muslim countries’, so Japan gets its intake of those groups
    which will integrate over time, and in essence, refuses such groups
    as will not integrate.

    Arguably the migration test for Western countries should be
    whether people are members of ANY group which ‘strongly discourages’
    inter-marriage with other groups. This makes it legal within a Western ‘rights’ framework.  Thus is is clearly NOT
    about any particular faith, but purely about proven integration skills. Many
    orthodox Jews, many conservative Christian groups and other religious
    sects fail this test. Having the significant migrant intake from
    groups which easily inter-marry would save billions in
    counter-terrorism programs (every year). This is proven by the fact that Japan
    does not spend anywhere near the amounts (per capita) that the US and Western
    Europe spend tracking the every email of all migrants from ‘troubled’
    countries with a history of terrorism.

    We don’t let ideologies dictate which
    drugs are approved – we rely purely upon the measured results of what
    actually works. It would be enlightening to shift the West’s
    immigration policies to such a system of feedback based on actual performance. Under such
    a policy it would not matter what nationality, religion or ethnic
    group one is from, as long as that group has a good history of
    peaceful integration. Sure, some people will become disadvantaged by
    any anti-social actions of others within their national, religious or
    ethnic group, but this approach would provide the necessary feedback,
    so that all within such group played a close monitoring role, to
    ensure against anti-social behaviour. This is far cheaper, and
    arguably no more discriminatory than letting in all such people, with
    the advice “Beware, as we spend billions each year monitoring
    just your group for any signs of anti-social behaviour.” Most
    groups would prefer to be responsible for those within their group.

    Further, if all citizenships and
    residency permissions were ‘provisional’ for a period of 15+ years,
    one might also provide a useful feedback loop to the individuals
    concerned, to avoid all forms of anti-social behaviour. There is no
    benefit to the state in granting permanency any sooner.  So anyone who becomes freshly radicalised, even though they are now a citizen, could still have their citizenship cancelled if they were undermining the values of their new country.

    Again, as I have noted above, let me
    stress that such measures should apply to ALL groups of migrants.

    Currently liberals in many Western countries are positively encouraging support for nationalist political parties, by the liberals promulgating the dream that all migrants are the same and that the West has nothing to fear from non-integrating groups. If/when the West works out how to have
    migration standards that are acceptable to the populace as a whole,
    then there will no longer be a need for reactionary groups to fight back.
    The Swiss require the relevant village/town to vote on every citizenship applicant! On one level, this is simply quaint.  Yet on another level, it fully takes into account the need to preserve a society’s values.

  46.  Excellent points, HorseFeathers. The reaping of propaganda benefit and the imbalance of the spin on this sequence of events is as abhorrent and cynical as it can get and it is the plain and simple truth that while the footsoldiers may believe, the true statistics (if they could be gained) would shatter the images that the power brokers on all sides are desperate to sell to us. God forbid (pardon the pun) that we would take a different path if we knew the truth in solving these issues, a path that would disenfranchise the men of violence, religious power and all sorts of profit and influence on all sides of this. It could lead to disasters like young girls not being shot in the head for wanting an education and ignorant old farts burning books or issuing fatwas being ignored like the moronic nobodies they should be.

  47. (I am writing from the perspective of a person living in Pakistan)
    To tell you the truth most people in the Islamic countries won’t bother what kind of movies some C class director in USA makes. But what happened is the guy who has some special need to offend the muslims makes the film. It is displayed in a crappy cinema in USA and nobody gives a damn about it. He then uploads it to the internet. Nobody bothers till then. There are hundreds of videos on the internet against Islam and Propeht Muhammad(PBUH). And the holy wars end on the comment section of Youtube. But here some news channel in the middle east decides to make it a thrilling story.
    Religion is one of the most booming industries of the Islamic countries. There are Molvis who own mosques and Madrassas and through the “zaqat” offered to them they maintain a life style like the “Pope”, perhaps. They are political powers in their localities. A religion gives a black and white perspective of the reality. So whenever this kind of an oppurtunity arrives every religious political party gathers up its workers. Sending texts to every person. Texts like ” what will Allah say when you arrive to him on the day of  judgement, that you did not behead the indifel who insulted my prophet”. All through the social media, the friday prayers and tv they are telling you to rise against west. (Presumably the entire USA was involved in making that under budgeted movie).
    So the people get emotional or whatever the fuck that is. They start rioting. In the meanwhile criminals rob banks( 6 banks burned in Peshawar), cinemas are burnt(but only of the opposing party). Then things get violent. and 5o odd people die. End of the drama. Later some texts will be circulated saying that we must keep it up. Boycott western products. Youtube is conveniently blocked. Good for the Govt. cause people like Musharraf and Imran Khan use it far better than the ruiling party does.

  48. I haven’t read an argument yet, supported by any evidence, as to why this movie is bad. I’ve just read that it is bad. For all I know, this is the best movie ever and perfectly accurate. I don’t have faith, you know. I could watch it but I still wouldn’t know if it is accurate or not. Has anyone done a dialogue breakdown to show how it is totally lacking in good content? Or are we assuming?

  49. I’ve just about had my fill of Islam and its proponents. The Muslim faith is entirely incompatible with western values. A silly example perhaps but just today I was walking my dog and a group of women dressed in niqabs who were walking some yards away started running when they saw my 4 month old puppy! So, dogs are evil but marrying a 7 year old girl is acceptable? This religion is utterly ludicrous and I can understand why its followers resist critical analysis of it at every opportunity.  What I find to be most dangerous though is the stance of non muslims towards Islam. Arguments with people who profess to be atheists and yet accuse me of intolerance because they seem to view Islam as something akin to a sect of Christianity or something innocuous. People who have not taken the time to understand the appalling views of Islam need to be educated. The news media also seem to be cowardly when mentioning Islamic crimes; the Taliban for example is reported as though it were simply a terrorist organisation and the fact that it is entirely based on a form of Islam is barely mentioned. Perhaps if ordinary people were exposed to the true face of this religion and were made aware of its medieval propositions then there would be more resistance to such things as Halal foods and Shar’ia law.

  50. I suppose that if from the time you can first comprehend anything you’re commanded to submit to the instructions in a holy book, it’s not surprising that so many Muslim countries are run by either dictators, or kleptocrats; it must be a doddle for them to rule over a people who’ve been cowed from the very word go. No wonder their subjects go barmy when they do get a chance to let off steam protesting.   

    It’s all just horrible really.

  51. We must consider that the people who prepared that documentary are also fanatic religious fundamentalists just like the ones they criticise, because any reasonable person knows that if you attack another ones opinions in a violent way you just end with only strengthening the beliefs of the other person and would end with a more violent response from that other person, because religious thinking is not a reasonable way of thinking, they don’t think about any logical arguments, their only purpose is to create strife so that they can satisfy themself thinking their religion is the right one.  You will see that Islam, Christianity and Judaism are not so different from each other. Each one is no better than any other fitting the needs of a modern society, the main difference is that social progress in Western countries developed in a way that they succeeded in suppressing the power of religion and limit it’s influences on society after reform and renaissance. Even, they didn’t achieve complete success, remember the strife in North Ireland, suicide sects in America, killing of seventy people by one fanatic in Norway etc… . Difference is that   reforms didn’t achieve success yet in Nations with majority of Islamic religion, however it will occur sometime. But this kind of violent criticisms directed by other religious fanatics make the things just worse.

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