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Perspective: Was "Innocence of Muslims" really innocent?

By rehashing tired old lies, filmmaker “Sam Bacile’s” imbecilic film portrayed a character that never existed. The motive of the filmmaker was certainly not satire, but a deliberate attempt at offense.

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: Ahmadiyya Times
By Amaar Ahmad | October 4, 2012

A few weeks ago, on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community conducted nationwide blood drives to honor the innocent victims of that day. Yet, as the recent anti-Islam film – “Innocence of Muslims” – shows, there are groups in America who could care less. To them, it does not matter that the vast majority of Muslim-Americans are peaceful, law-abiding citizens who are making positive contribution to society.

“Innocence of Muslims” was not an innocent use of free speech. By fabricating libelous accusations against Prophet Muhammad’s character, the film taunts and insults every Muslim who considers him a spiritual teacher and role model. At the same time, the senseless murders of the US diplomatic staff in Libya and deplorable vandalism across parts of the Muslim world deserve outright condemnation. There is absolutely no justification for a violent response. It only plays into the hands of these hate groups.

This violence is obnoxious on several grounds. Firstly, the protesters showed that they are incapable of patience and would react to the slightest provocation. Secondly, by vandalizing property in their own countries, they showed disregard for their own people. Thirdly, and most importantly, they violated the principles and message of the man in whose love they claim to have reacted.

The rioting protesters clearly violated Prophet Muhammad’s teaching that “a Muslim is one from whose tongue and hand, others are safe”. The rioters also ignored their own article of faith that Muhammad is a “mercy to mankind”. They forgot the fact that the Prophet  himself forgave countless acts of insult, hostility and ridicule by his opponents. No historian disputes that he granted amnesty to people who murdered his beloved daughter, his uncle and other dear followers.

Thus, violent protest is only a disservice to Islam  and provides a distraction from the malicious slander in the film. But there is nothing new in “Innocence of Muslims” which is simply old wine in a new bottle. By rehashing tired old lies, filmmaker “Sam Bacile’s” imbecilic film portrayed a character that never existed. The motive of the filmmaker was certainly not satire, but a deliberate attempt at offense. With the Danish cartoon controversy in 2006 in the background, surely he and his financial backers would know full well what they were about to set off. It was a calculated attempt to provoke. It succeeded.

At the same time, it needs to be remembered that Muslims in America did not take to the streets and kept their protest civil. Yet there are those who, in the name of free expression, would want to jeopardize social harmony. Why someone would feel the urge to cultivate anti-Muslim sentiment in an already polarized society is simply beyond my understanding. At a time when the world desperately needs peace, understanding and justice, there should be a recognition that Islamophobic groups are no friends of America. The rise of right-wing extremism should be a cause of concern because such groups wish to impose their paranoid views on the rest.

Thus, as anti-Muslim groups take free speech for a free ride, decent people need to support peace-promoting efforts of innocent Muslims – one pint at a time.

  — Perspective: Was “Innocence of Muslims” really innocent?
  — Ahmadiyya Times
  — By Amaar Ahmad, Blasckburg, VA USA

This content-post is archived for backup and to keep archived records of any news Islam Ahmadiyya. The views expressed by the author and source of this news archive do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of Ahmadiyya Times.

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