A Riotous Film Hits a Raw Nerve


The shock value crowd has done it again… this time with schlock trying to offend the umma, but with four dead Americans to their credit so far.

The religiously inflammatory film  “Innocence of Muslims” that stupidly sparked chaos throughout the Islamic world and saw four Americans embassy officials killed in Benghazi, Libya, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, is still raising holy hell throughout the umma. It is also drawing attention to the ineptness of the U.S. government’s foreign service and just how dangerous to Americans the far-right religious fringe can be as well.

But first, about the film, if you want to call it that. This religious hit piece could go down as one of the worst video snuff jobs ever made. It depicts the Prophet Muhammad in person (verboten under Islamic strictures). Not only that, it shows him womanizing, extracting extortion from adversaries, and slaughtering enemies throughout its 11 minutes. True to history or not, the acting is piss poor; the cinematography is third grade; the directing is a joke. The movie is worse than the fabled “Blood Sucking Freaks.”

The claims “Innocence of Muslims” makes against Islam get cheapened in this expose, kind of a like a bad sales training video shot in the ’80s somewhere for a property scam company in central Florida. It goes so far in trying to provoke Muslims to their typical beserker blood lust that, in a way, the fact that the filmmaker’s identity has been revealed by the feds after some innocent victims have already been killed actually proves the existence not of the Abrahamic God, but of karma. (That does not excuse the feds. They should be the first ones transported to the front lines of the flag burning, Salafi screaming mobs calling for American heads.) Hey, I’m not hoping for any harm to come to Nakoula, really. But the guy might have considered other people’s safety before he started rolling tape. Especially because he’s a Copt. His people are outnumbered nearly 10-1 in Egypt. They really don’t need this kind of bad press over there. (Notice the Coptic Church’s reaction to this a few paragraphs down.)

The squalid quality of the film nor its maker’s intentions doesn’t excuse the umma from its usual tantrums — attacking American embassies,  consulates, and safe houses, and murdering innocents over the actions of one guy in the U.S. over a film that can’t even classify as a B film (I wouldn’t call it a C film either, maybe a D film?), speaks volumes about how far down the evolutionary scale religions gone wild can take you if you let them.

As I wrote earlier, shockingly, federal authorities just revealed the filmmaker’s identity, 55-year-old Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a Coptic Christian from Los Angeles who made the film with a false identity,  tricked the actors into thinking the film was about desert warriors not about Mohammed, dubbed in the anti-Islamic bits after the shooting was over, and whose dossier includes a 2010 bank fraud conviction. Nakoula received some kind of spiritual support from another Islamophobe All-Star, Terry Jones, the Florida pastor known Koran burnings on the ninth anniversary of 9/11 that drew similar protests throughout the Islamic world has been in communication with Nakoula, saying that he spoke with him and prayed with him.

One source from which he did not receive any spiritual support was his own church. The Coptic Orthodox Church said it wants no part of Nakoula’s film and that he should face his own consequences.

“The Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles, Southern California & Hawaii strongly rejects dragging the respectable Copts of the Diaspora in the latest production of an inflammatory movie about the prophet of Islam,” the church said in a statement. “The producers of this movie should be responsible for their actions. The name of our blessed parishioners should not be associated with the efforts of individuals who have ulterior motives. Copts across the Diaspora never participated in any humiliation or violence against those who often persecute Christians. It is not the Christian way to respond to hatred with hate. Christianity prohibits a Christian from such acts. If burning the Holy Bible is wrong, then burning any book revered or respected by others is equally wrong.”

And as the Muslim world protests spread globally, pressure begins to build on the U.S. government’s inability to protect its own. The Drudge Report headlined a report from Britain’s Independent that the U.S. State Department may have had some knowledge of an impending attack in Benghazi that saw U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others killed but took no precautions. Calls have even been made from certain right-wing corners of the Web for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s resignation over the matter.

Also, the attack on the consulate, State Department officials feel, may not have anything to do with the film because of the vicious nature of the attack. The Independent article said this:

Senior officials are increasingly convinced, however, that the ferocious nature of the Benghazi attack, in which rocket-propelled grenades were used, indicated it was not the result of spontaneous anger due to the video, called Innocence of Muslims. Patrick Kennedy, Under-Secretary at the State Department, said he was convinced the assault was planned due to its extensive nature and the proliferation of weapons.

Of course, it may help the State Department’s case in some way to make this attack seem somehow unrelated to the film. That way it could claim that this would have happened anyway irrespective of the film, but still, how could it ignore its intel and still have done nothing?

Easy for us to say, of course. The State Department gets thousands of pieces of intelligence and probably has to ignore a lot of them. Still, the U.S. is going to lose a lot of credibility over this one. Especially since we were the ones supporting a lot of these countries in the Arab Spring revolutions. Now we are reaping the fruits thereof.

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About Pete Mladineo


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