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Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Holds Open Forum on Anti-Islam Movie


Multiple members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community attending the forum noted that as Americans, they are grateful for the first amendment. However, they feel that the intent of the filmmaker was not only to harm Muslims but also to incite civil unrest in the Muslim world, therefore making it a form of harmful speech.

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Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: Matawan-Aberdeen Patch
By Chelsea Naso | October 10, 2012

In the wake of a video posted on Youtube, a local Muslim community held an open discussion on the film, the reaction by the Muslim world, and the line between free speech and harmful speech.

The local Ahmadiyya Muslim Community held an open forum Sunday on the anti-Islam film and the violent protests that it sparked across the Muslim world.

A trailer for the film was posted on Youtube by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula under the username “sam bacile” in July but did not garner wide spread attention until a portion of it was translated into Arabic by an Egyptian TV station and broadcast on Sept. 8, according to BBC News.

In Islam, it is extremely offensive to depict Prophet Muhammad in any way, BBC explains. The film portrays Prophet Muhammad as promiscuous, violent and foolish.

The forum, which took place at the Baitul Hadi Mosque in Old Bridge, asked the audience whether they believed the desecration of a holy figure was protected by freedom of speech and how they believed the Muslim community should respond.

The discussion fell on determining the line between freedom of speech and harmful speech, and whether or not the film crossed that line.

Multiple members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community attending the forum noted that as Americans, they are grateful for the first amendment. However, they feel that the intent of the filmmaker was not only to harm Muslims but also to incite civil unrest in the Muslim world, therefore making it a form of harmful speech.

Others, however, felt that despite how offensive the film is to Muslims, it did not violate any American laws.

Abdul Nasir, a member of the Baitul Hadi Mosque in Old Bridge, said the local Ahmadiyya Muslim Community hopes to hold a second forum in the near future.

Read original post here: Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Holds Open Forum on Anti-Islam Movie

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