An interesting essay on the “Innocence of Muhammad” fallout here.
“The group behind the film, in other words, managed to evoke all the classic themes of anti-Semitism as a way of disguising the Coptic and evangelical network out of which the ‘film’ came.”
“So the Butterfly Effect set off by a low-budget bad propaganda film gotten up by two-bit frauds and Christian supremacists, and then promoted by two-bit Egyptian and Libyan fundamentalists, has provoked some squalls and cost the lives of four good men.
“The storm provoked by this butterfly has revealed character on an international scale. The steely determination of an Obama to achieve justice, the embarrassing grandstanding of a Romney, the destructive hatred of a handful of extremists in Cairo and Benghazi, and the decency and warmth toward the US of the Libyan crowds, all were thrown into stark relief by the beating of the butterfly’s wings.”
[The “butterfly effect”: a butterfly flapping its wings might set off minor turbulence that ultimately turns into a hurricane.]
“If you wonder why a desperate Mitt Romney rushed to lie about President Obama’s handling of crises in Cairo and Benghazi and make the ugly claim that Obama’s first response was ‘to sympathize with those who waged the attacks’, the latest poll from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life helps fill in the blanks.
“Unbelievably, the poll finds that the percentage of Republicans who believe that Barack Obama is Muslim, not Christian, has doubled since October, 2008.”
There are two questions that come to mind when reading this post on Salon.com by Joan Walsh.
First: Why do so many Republicans think that President Obama is a Muslim when all of his religious affiliations have been Christian?
Second: What’s so bad about being an American Muslim that it’s considered a slur?
These are questions — especially the second — that we must address.
“It’s impossible to ignore the way that Romney’s accusation not-so-subtly plays into that pervasive GOP belief that the president shares a religion with our enemies.” Walsh writes.
What’s your response to this dilemma?
“[Sam] Bacile, the producer of the film, is not Israeli, and most likely not Jewish, as has been reported, and that the name is, in fact, a pseudonym.”
There’s more from The Atlantic on the search for the folks behind the anti-Muslim film trailer here: “Muhammad-Film Consultant: ‘Sam Bacile’ Is Not Israeli, and Not a Real Name”.
UPDATE [13 September 2012]: “The AP Solves the Mystery of the Man Behind Innocence of Muslims“.
“That man is Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old Coptic Christian with a criminal past who lives in California.”
“The United States ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, was killed along with three of his staff in an attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi Tuesday night by an armed mob angry over a short American-made video mocking Islam’s founding prophet, the White House and Libyan officials said on Wednesday,” writes David D. Kirkpatrick in the New York Times today [12 September 2012].
What can American Muslims do to prevent such senseless violence that makes Islam seem medieval?
Those of us living in the U.S. are understandably uncomfortable with such expressions of free speech, but we also understand that they must be permitted or democracy is a sham.
Can we do more than just speak up, as CAIR has done? (Nihad Awad, executive director, said in a press release yesterday, “The only proper response to intentional provocations such as this film is to redouble efforts to promote mutual understanding between faiths and to marginalize extremists of all stripes.”
Read more about the troubles in Libya and Egypt here: U.S. Envoy to Libya Is Killed in Attack.