"Muslim Rage"

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"Muslim Rage"

"MUSLIM RAGE," screams Newsweek's new cover story about last week's violent anti-American protests. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the well-known anti-Islam activist, is here to tell "us" (The_West) how to "end it." And it's true, isn't it? All Muslims are constantly raging about everything. So to pay tribute to Ali's article — which describes the protesters as "the mainstream of contemporary Islam" — and the subtle, smart cover that accompanies it, we've collected 13 striking, powerful images of MUSLIM RAGE.

What are Muslims so mad about? Twitter ("Want to discuss our latest cover? Let's hear it with the hashtag: #MuslimRage," Newsweek begs us) has some answers:

when my mom got mad at me for putting a pudding cup in the microwave #MuslimRage

— Ayesha A. Siddiqi (@pushinghoops) September 17, 2012

13 Powerful Images of Muslim Rage


Issues Pages: 

Here is another piece in somewhat the same vein.


In 1857, Bengali soldiers (known as ‘sepoys’) shot their British officers and marched upon Delhi. The Great Indian Rebellion became very violent, very quickly. The rebels massacred prisoners, including women and children; the British put down the revolt with a slaughter of unprecedented proportions.

Now, that rebellion began when the troops learned that their cartridges, designed to be torn open with their teeth, would be greased with beef and pork fat, an offence to the religious sensibilities of Hindus and Muslims alike. Had Twitter been an invention of the Victorian era, London sophisticates would, no doubt, have LOLed to each other (#sepoyrage!) about the credulity of dusky savages so worked up about a little beef tallow. Certainly, that was how the mouthpieces of the East India Company spun events: in impeccably Dawkinesque terms, they blamed ‘Hindoo prejudice’ for the descent of otherwise perfectly contented natives into rapine and slaughter.

But no serious historian today takes such apologetics seriously. Only the most determined ignoramus would discuss 1857 in isolation from the broader context of British occupation. In form, the struggle might have been religious; in content, it embodied a long-simmering opposition to colonial rule.

That’s why those who pretend the protests against The Innocence of Muslims came from nowhere merely reveal their own foolishness.




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Twice today so far and also I got logged out while I was logged in because the system didn't like something. It did let me log back in.




[url=http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/the-innocence-of-white-people]The Innocence of White People[/url]

“Is there something about all this indignation that ‘we,’ the West, don’t understand?”

When asked to explain Muslim rage, I have an answer, but I already know the response to my answer. A defender of “Western civilization” will tell me, “Yeah, but we aren’t violent. They’re the ones who kill people over religion.” If numbers matter, however, the mythology of “America” kills many, many more people today than any myth of “Islam.” To sustain a pseudo-secular military cult, we have produced a nation of cheerleaders for blood and murder. We speak of the cult’s heroic work as “sacrifice” and say that it’s all for a divine cause of “freedom.”

That’s what we send out there, at them. This is not simply a world in which one side has a sense of humor and the other does not, or one side is “modern” and “enlightened” while the other side needs to catch up. The modern, enlightened side is burning people alive. Innocence is simply the playground bully calling your mother a slut after already breaking your jaw, and then wondering why you can’t take a joke.

Journalists ask me about Islam’s “crisis” as though it’s a private demon with whom I must personally wrestle every day; [b]meanwhile, my whiteness remains untouched and unchallenged by the decade of hate crimes that have followed 9/11. Journalists don’t often ask whether “white tradition” can be reconciled to modern ideals of equality and pluralism, or whether the “straight male community” is capable of living peacefully in America. When it comes to my participation in America, my whiteness and maleness are far more likely than my Islam to wound others, and thus perhaps more urgently in need of “reform” or “enlightenment” or whatever you say that Islam needs.[/b] Again, this is only if numbers matter.

Yes, there’s something that we, the self-identified “West,” don’t understand: ourselves. We see the violence that we want to see. We ignore our legacy of hatred and destruction, always wondering how they can even look themselves in the mirror.


@ onlinediscountanvils

Good article, and a good reminder of the perspective of things.

It does leave out a central part of this situation though. In the first place, not everyone is reacting with rage and violence. In the second, there are some valid political and social reasons why people might be angry, and even resort to violence. There is some evidence that the events in Libya and Egypt were not entirely motivated by religion.

The fact remains that religious difference, and even religious insult do not justify violence. I think the portrayal of Muslims as uncontrollable is nothing but racism, and I think the arguments that the threat of this mythical uncontrollable rage justifies curbing free speech is dangerous territory.

There are many people who are happy to exploit that myth  - this film maker, who knew he was going to get a reaction, is one of them. But given that there have been people killed for criticizing religion, I think it is not always that clear who is acting from an imperialist and racist perspective, and who is standing up for freedom of speech and secularism.

I read an online poll in one of the British newspapers yesterday asking if the Charlie Hebdo cartoons were free speech or provocation. One of the respondents wrote "free speech - but I had to think about it".

It bears remembering that we have religious intolerance in our society - those who attack abortion clinics, marriage equality, and even the foundations of science and education - and it is a serious issue. So while I think it is important to look at the greater effect imperialism has, it doesn't change the fact that intolerance is still a major part of this problem - one that plenty of people on all sides are willing to exploit.



I'm intolerant of hate speech and think people who spout it should be charged. I think the article above on Innocence of the White People got it right so I will repost some of it.

<a href="http://www.vice.com/en_ca/author/michael-muhammad-knight">Michael Muhammad Knight</a> wrote:

That’s what we send out there, at them. This is not simply a world in which one side has a sense of humor and the other does not, or one side is “modern” and “enlightened” while the other side needs to catch up. The modern, enlightened side is burning people alive. Innocence is simply the playground bully calling your mother a slut after already breaking your jaw, and then wondering why you can’t take a joke.


Religion might be considered as one of the few avenues available for people to express their anger.  If anger were openly expressed in strictly political terms, a dangerous proposition just about everywhere these days, the outpouring of frustration might necessarily implicate the political leadership.  Religion becomes an acceptable zone from the mutual perspective of power and the masses, from whom power is acquired from, into which all manner of expression is free to release itself within the confines of established parameters.  Religion serves power as a release valve, accelerant and pacifier, depending on the circumstances.


@ k

Do we include Salman Rushdie as one of those bullies?

How about people who point out things about religion in order to counter some people's prejudices, and oppressive actions? I'm sure some people find it truly offensive that the Jesus story includes him blessing a gay couple, but it is there, and there is nothing hateful about pointing it out.

Look, I'd say I agree with much of your feelings about hate speech, but it is NOT that black and white, and not everything involved in this debate is hate speech. More importantly, when some people start calling for censorship because of the threat of violence, and for criminalizing blasphemy (not accusing you, but I have read that argument) it is a very dangerous precedent, and one which is led by fear, not understanding.

And to clarify, I did not say that I thought the article got it wrong in any way - only that there are things central to this situation which it does not address.



And @ Slumberjack

I'd say that's true. So long as we frame this as a bunch of wild Irishmen fightning amongst themselves over their supertitions we don't have to look at what the British are doing.



6079_Smith_W wrote:

How about people who point out things about religion in order to counter some people's prejudices, and oppressive actions? I'm sure some people find it truly offensive that the Jesus story includes him blessing a gay couple, but it is there, and there is nothing hateful about pointing it out.

Actually this movie did not say that Mohamed blessed a gay couple it appears to be saying he sodomized both of them before deflowering a nine year old girl in a drunken orgy.  This film is clearly over every line I can imagine and thus needs to be condemned. 

That you would compare the two tells me why I don't like that type of "objectivity."


I think the film should be condemned too, k.

And that is exactly what everyone has done. I also think it was made specifically to insult Muslim people, and that they, not islamophobes, are the target audience. Whether it should be illegal is another question. In my opinion, no, and the only part of it that makes me waver on the question of it inciting hatred against them is the first part which is set in modern-day Egypt.

As for insulting someone's prophet, sorry but I have no interest in bending our law to cover that. I don't think either of us want to follow that precedent to its logical conclusion. There are enough people here in Canada who are working on that already.



Seems there are others who also want the film shut down.

The excuse: the presumed threat of Muslim rage.


How are we in any way served by feeding this?




Blasphemy of any religion should never be illegal. That includes videos of Jesus engaging in sodomy. 

Like hasn't Bill Mahar, Southpark, Monty Python etc. already been there, done that? If your religion cannot handle criticism, mocking, blasphemy etc., then I don't know what to say to you. 

I reserve the right for artists to say whatever the hell they want about Mohammed, Jesus, etc. If these protests would not have been blamed on this stupid movie, no one ever would have heard of it because it is poorly made, dumb, offensive and oh yes, stupid. 

And as others have pointed out, he lied to the actors. BUT, mocking, making fun of religion and making stuff up about a religion should not be a crime. 

I do not believe these protests are really about this movie anyways - there are many, many more examples of so-called blasphemy against Islam throughout our culture and art. We went into Libya and many other zones in the ME and made a big fucking mess! We should stay the hell out of other countries' business - that is the answer. The answer is not to extinguish free speech or sign onto some ridiculous international law banning blasphemy! The correct response is "That is stupid, offensive movie and no one should give the guy internet hits. Now, let's agree to stop bombing other countries"


Part 2: The Innocence of Muslims  -  by Layla Anwar


"...I hope you have realized by now that it is not about a 13 mn. video trailer in itself, but what this trailer represents in the grand schem of things..."

Sean in Ottawa

There is a free speech argument that is very powerful when a person wants to say something because of some motivation in communicating that: art, sharing of ideas etc. However, when a person uses words just to hurt-- when there is no other purpose in their words other than to provoke, they have perverted the point. That should be condemned. Freedom of expression should not be perverted into a weapon used exclusively to provoke others. I am not saying that all reactions are justified but let's not hurt each other in the name of freedom of expression. This film everyone was talking about did not have offending people as a byproduct -- that was the exclusive point of it-- the sole purpose.


The Free Speech Diary  -  by Esam Al - Amin


"Congress passes 'The Global Anti-Islam Review Act'..."


West Braces for Clash of Cultures  -  by Ismail Salami


"...Protest is a form of freedom of expression which is denied Muslims in France but is given lascivious free rein in the anti-Islam moves in the country.."


From your article:

"The challenge is how to widen Western slander and libel laws to also protect the reputation and legacy of historical venerated figures and symbols from outrageous insults and despicable fabrications of their lives."

Oh really? Somebody had better warn these guys:


Though maybe it is appropriate, if we are talking about mythical beings and people rising from the dead to defend their reputations in court. Although I'd be interested to hear what kind of case they'd make for damages, seeing as one has to actually demonstrate that harm has been done to the aggrieved party.

Of course in the good old days they'd just torture them to death and burn them. That's what happened to the last person condemned for blasphemy in Europe. He got drunk one night and knocked a crucifix off a bridge. Just for good measure they burned Voltaire's "Philosophical Dictionary" along with him.


And didn't the White house condemn Innocence of Muslims? Of course I know there are cases in which legitimate criticism of Israel is confused with anti-semitism, but even in the real legislation, many of the things cited are legal and available.



The 'Pro-Israel' Network Behind the Innocence Video  -  by Justin Raimondo


"...In order to understand the real motives and goals of the motives of Innocence, it is necessary to take a good look at the people who have, so far, been identified as the film's authors and promoters.."


There's also this thread: http://rabble.ca/babble/international-news-and-politics/libyan-and-egypt...

...in case people want to post stuff that isn't relevant to the anti-racism forum.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Free speech is the biggest sham ever perpetrated on the American people. It ain't on the level. It's a gold brick.


@ CF

Sure, but how are governments supposed to reflect that in concrete terms? Start banning things? Restore the blasphemy laws? I remember when Canada first brought in hate literature laws in the 80s  the RCMP walked in the U of Calgary reference section (where NOTHING was allowed to be taken out) and confiscated a bunch of historical Nazi material until the press noticed, and they realised that perhaps it was not the wisest move.

And of course, there is Canada Border Services setting themselves up as the arbiter of morality (at least the non-straight kind) in the Little Sisters case.

Criminalizing the wilful incitement of hatred is one thing, but somehow I don't think banning is the most effective or instructive way of challenging difficult material and ideas.

And in this case we have something even worse - both sides in this crisis using the racist "uncontrollable rage" line as an excuse. Even PressTV was referring to the "redline" like it was RIchard Nixon's old madman strategy.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Start banning things? Restore the blasphemy laws?

This is the caricature trotted out by the far right whenever they feel their precious "free speech" rights are being challenged. I consider it a joke. What do you think?

Here's my position: I think the "no offence meant" defence is an increasingly common trope poisoning our political discourse. It is the constitutive logic of Michael Scott, homophobic athletes, Fox News and Geert Wilders. It is the paradigmatic neoliberal stance: individualistic, anti-social, violent and banal. Speech is never free -- it comes at a cost. Those who feel that their speech should be free usually make others pay it, good intentions notwithstanding. Those who can't seem to get their speech heard, free or not, don't have the capital to speak.

The problem with this gentleman's film is not a question of free speech. The underlying meaning and violence of his words is upheld, repeated and perpetrated by a warmongering state and racist media. That's the "free speech" we need to stop: the one that says daily that non-white peoples are not deserving of comfort, dignity or life; that non-Christian peoples (and their atheist bretheren) deserve torture, humiliation and misery. Until we stop that speech, buzzing pests like this film will continue to draw fire for the murderous words of our rulers.


I know you know that CF, and I ask it rhetorically. I think I see much of the same conflict you do. And it is not simple.

Of course the "no offense" line is nonsense. I think the film maker very much intended offense. But I don't think the target was Muslim-haters.

I agree with much of your analysis. But I would say that the problem is most definitely NOT free speech. It is the racism and imperialism that you correctly point at. Unfortunately, free speech is their excuse, and real free speech is often the victim of collateral damage in situations like this (and you can read evidence of that in some of the solutions that have been proposed) . I'm not making a far-right argument, but I do think it is important to counter the legal and criminal solutions some people want.

Now more than ever, it is vital to keep the distinction befween the two clear.



Catchfire wrote:

 that non-Christian peoples (and their atheist bretheren) deserve torture, humiliation and misery.

That's most Sunday sermons


Army Colonel Threatens to Sue Top General for 'Concealing Truth About Islam'


"A US Army colonel who was suspended from a top military college for teaching an anti-Islamic course is threatening to sue America's top general for 'violating academic freedom' and 'caving in to Islam'.."


Gee.... they canned his ass? Why would they do that?

That doesn't sound at all like the rest of the cynical stereotypes that seem to be framing this story.

For that matter, neither does this:




Thousands Protest Film Outside US Consulate (and vid)


"Some 2,000 [PLUS!] people gathered outside the US consulate in Toronto Saturday afternoon to protest a film posted to YouTube that they believe is anti-Islamic. 'Free speech does not give you a right to attack somebody's faith,' said a protester who idenitifed himself as Mohammed..."

the largest anti-US demo by far in this town for some time - far in excess of the anaemic and pathetic 'anti-war' gatherings in recent memory.


'Muslims Provoked, Whipped and Banned' (and vid)


"Outrage is growing across the Muslim world over a US-made movie which insults Prophet Muhammed. Interview with Sukant Chandan, filmmaker and political analyst and others


The Politics of Blasphemy - Islam, Free Speech and Imperialism  -  by Andrew Levine


"..Insults to Islam - in our time and place - are insults to the victims of imperialist domination and to the indigenous forces struggling against it...'


I actually wonder who Sam Bacile thought he was working for, and not just because of his attempt to pass himself and his backers off as Jews.

I'm just looking at who is getting the most mileage out of this. I think we know where the government of Iran and certain other parties stand on this, but have you found any organization outside of fringe elements  who have spoken in favour of Bacile's film? I mean, I'm sure someone has, but I have yet to see it printed or offered as a serious argument - anywhere.

Virtually everyone, including the government of the U.S., has solidly condemned this film.

So while I understand that some people are angry over the film, I have to ask what they WANT. Again, we know that the government of Iran sees this as a legal matter. You have also cited articles calling for blasphemy to be grounds for a lawsuit.

And apparently a Canadian Copt who says he had nothing to do with the film has been charged by Egypt; he says he had nothing to do with it, and that they are targetting him because he is an activist.

I do think there are lines between legitimate criticism of religion, statements designed to demonstrate free speech, and statements designed to provoke or incite hatred. But sometimes not everyone can agree on motive.

From your Andrew Levine article:

(John Stuart)Mill was right.. the state should stay hands off. This is a case for remonstrance and persuasion, not coercion; notwithstanding the reprehensibility of contemporary Islamophobia or the dangers attendant upon its encouragement.

I'd have to say I side with Levine on that point.

Taking a legal route for anything other than incitement of hatred is completely unacceptable, though I am sure there are a number of people like Pat Buchanan, Mike Huckabee, and the Westboro Baptists, who would love to have blasphemy on the books, and themselves in the judges' seat.



I'm just looking at who is getting the most mileage out of this.



an excellent and productive approach - will possibly even lead you to the accursed progenitors of it all as well...

Here's an example of some mileage making


Anti-Islam Posters to Appear on NY Subway Stations


"The inflammatory billboard advertisement, which reads, 'IN ANY WAR BETWEEN THE CIVILIZED MAN AND THE SAVAGE, SUPPORT THE CIVILIZED MAN. SUPPORT ISRAEL, DEFEAT JIHAD', has presumably been financed by radical conservative blog writer Pamela Geller and is to be installed at 10 different metro stops.

US District Judge Paul Engelmayer in New York issued a ruling ordering city officials to install the anti-Islamic banner advertisement for public display, based on the First Amendment right of free speech.."

Now you know why Canada, USA and Israel are so right for each other - funny how these western settler-states always return to the same old slogans eh?


and here are zios Pam Geller and Michael Coren  telling you all about it and more, on Faux News North...

'Islamophobia Is A Lie'




Yes, NDPP. But I sense that we have a bit of a moving target here.

Why are the very real problems of racism and imperialism being sidetracked into this blasphemy nonsense. I disagree with Levine for framing his argument around blasphemy rather than the discrimination iand xenophobia which ARE the real problem..

Why are people protesting that film, which is completely ridiculous, was only made to get a reaction, and which has been roundly condemned, rather that calling Newsweek to task for their highly insulting portrayal of Muslims? 

Because sorry, while I am onside when it comes to the the latter, and criticizing those racist bus ads, I have no interest in calling for anyone's arrest or execution for making an anti-religious film, however inflamatory, or any kind of ban just to skirt around someone's religious taboos. Saying that free speech doesn't give one the right to attack religion may be an understandable expression of anger, but it is not something I agree with, and there is no causal connection between the two.

Free Speech didn't make that film; hatred did. Do you imagine for a moment that criminalizing blasphemy would have stopped it? I don't. Frankly I see haters rubbing their hands with glee at that prospect.

Bacile made this film to make people furious, and near as I can see many people are helping him reach his goal by doing exactly what he wanted them to do.





the provocation aspect  has been treated by several contributors:

West Attempts to Trigger Clash of Civilizations  -  by Tony Cartalucci


"...With Neo-Conservative warmongers behind a recent inflammatory film titled 'The Innocence of Muslims' and their counterparts among radicalized sectarian extremists leading violent protests across the Middle Eas and North Africa, it woujld almost seem as if the publication of insulting cartoons b a French paper, 'Charlie Hebdo,' was part of a greater strategy to create a manufactured conflict between Islam and the West, setting the stage for more overt military operations...The plan - flip the script again..."

West Tries to Trigger Clashes of Civilization  -  by Thierry Meyssan




6079_Smith_W wrote:
Sure, but how are governments supposed to reflect that in concrete terms?

For starters, they could stop pushing onto everyone their own violent jihad, aka the global economy, which is nothing other than a faith based collaboration between political structures that can't seem to get by without resorting to violence and perpetuating hatred.  Once this is accomplished, the hate mongers would be hard pressed to locate their usual association with what remains, because such a system would disappear were it not for its violent, coercive tendencies.  The ideology of the hate mongers would be seen more clearly as the dangerous self-aggrandizing agitations of a few, instead of being blended in and rendered as indistinguishable as it is from the dangerous, self-aggrandizing society we currently exist in.  But I think we have to finally understand the co-dependency between hatred and the economy.  At any rate this wasn't an attack on a particular mythology, because if it was we might find at least a shred of solidarity in it.  As it stands, all sides to this incident are perfectly aligned only with one another.


Slumberjack wrote:
As it stands, all sides to this incident are perfectly aligned only with one another.

That's an important insight, worth underlining.


@ SJ

I agree with much of that, and in fact, the point that Unionist quotes is very much the point that I have been making, all the parties seeking to inflame and find division here are really on the same side.

But your statement wasn't in response to my question, which was which was that if Free speech is a huge swindle (again, in the contect of blasphemy), how can governments reflect that in concrete (legal) terms? My rhetorical point - they cannot, at least not in our society. It goes against the presumed separation of church and state, most of our law, it  wouldn't work, and besides, free speech isn't even the problem.

But as I also said haters and oppressors on all sides would love to see  them try that sort of clampdown. That serves their ends just fine.



People should have the latitude of free speech to challenge myths, but we don't because the type of free speech we’re used to comes at such a high cost.  Who creates and benefits from a situation where certain types of speech maintains and widens the existing divisions?  It can't be said that an environment has been prepared in which a true notion free speech flourishes, when our concept of free speech is so intimately linked to the fortunes of our political and economic system, that it makes 'free speech' complicit in the excesses which are undertaken.  Instead of calling it free speech, perhaps we should refer to it as speech that comes with a price tag.  You are correct in saying that the types of government we're most familiar with can't do anything to reveal the swindle that 'free speech' actually is, mostly because they simply won't do without their particular version of it, which always requires a 'them' and an 'us.'

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Well I just have to say that your posts in this thread have been excellent, SJ.


Slumberjack wrote:

It can't be said that an environment has been prepared in which a true notion free speech flourishes, when our concept of free speech is so intimately linked to the fortunes of our political and economic system, that it makes 'free speech' complicit in the excesses which are undertaken.  Instead of calling it free speech, perhaps we should refer to it as speech that comes with a price tag.

Complicit? No it's not. Not any more than banning, jailing and executing people for it is going to provide any kind of education. What happened when the east bloc countries declared that fascism no longer existed in their countries, and that all the Nazis were in the west? It didn't stop it at all; All it did was give some people a new reason to become neo-Nazis.

You know, CF said the question of banning free speech was a right wing argument, and I agree it is something they use, sometimes. But the fact is that is exactly what some people are talking about in this argument. So if it is going to be raised, let's not leave it as an amorphous accusation. Should we extradite that fellow to Egypt to be persecuted for insulting the prophet? Should that film be banned, and on what grounds? And if we ban it, shouldn't we also throw "The Last Temptation of Christ" on the pyre as well? After all, if the argument is going to be made on the grounds of blasphemy, who gets to decide what is criminal? My guess is the pope or some evangelical council.

Sorry, but this is not a free speech issue at all, and trying to solve it trying to stop free expression will educate no one, it won'd stop it, and it will in fact make it worse.


Did anyone read those J.S. Mills quotes in that counterpunch article? It's not always a source I agree with, but I think he nailed it (Mills, that is).


6079_Smith_W wrote:
Sorry, but this is not a free speech issue at all, and trying to solve it trying to stop free expression will educate no one, it won'd stop it, and it will in fact make it worse.

This is exactly what most of us seem to be saying, that it isn't free expression.  Its also true that it won't be stopped, and not through any lack of desire on our part that free speech be removed from the context in which it finds itself in, but because of its usefulness.


I'm not sure what you mean by that. As I said, I agree with much of the dynamic you point out. But the principle of free speech is in no way "complicit" in this, and there is no reason to claim that it is, unless we are talking about limiting free speech.

After all, no one is talking about shutting down public transportation to prevent it from being used for racist ads. That is because this is not being caused by buses.

The difference is, of course, there are plenty of reasons why some people would love to increase the criminalization of dissent and expression.

voice of the damned

And if we ban it, shouldn't we also throw "The Last Temptation of Christ" on the pyre as well? After all, if the argument is going to be made on the grounds of blasphemy, who gets to decide what is criminal?

Well, I think the argument is more that the blasphemy is a cover for racism and imperialism.

But even that's problematic, in my view, because there are lots of other types of speech besides blasphemy that can be used as a cover for racism and imperialism(the invasion of Afghanistan was justified on feminist grounds, for example). Plus, there have been numerous times when PRO-Islamic speech has been used to advance imperialism.

As has often been pointed out in this forum, during the 80s the CIA-backed front groups used Islam as a rallying cry to get people to fight an American proxy war in Afghanistan. So, in that context, someone insulting Islam and its founder could be seen as being anti-imperialist, since his speech could have the effect of convincing people not to fight for American interests. But, if the standards now being promoted for determining hate speech were applied then, he could be arrested. Whereas the preacher telling people to join the CIA-backed militias and fight for the Prophet would get off scott-free.



voice of the damned wrote:

Well, I think the argument is more that the blasphemy is a cover for racism and imperialism.

Some of us are making that argument; but not everyone in this wider discussion.

And I agree that blasphemy is not the only thing that is being used as a foil.


But I do have a problem with the argument that criticism of someone's prophet or god should be grounds for censorship, lawsuits or criminal charges; If it is a cover then let's talk about the real problem.

I prefer to leave the shell game to John Baird and his office of religious freedom.


Sean in Ottawa

I would not say that free speech has no value.

I would say that law and ethics are not absolutes and should never be presented as such. Too often they are. The over simplistic approach to these things is rampant.  The government's formula for minimum sentences is one symptom-- the acceptance or rejection of freedom of speech is another. Rights and obligations have a hierarchy based on issue, effect and seriousness. The interpretation is socially constructed from there.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

This rage has more to do with identity than religion at this point. Muslims have been portrayed as savage, illiterate and evil in the media and by politicians for more than 2 decades that at this point they are left with two options - abandon their faith and identity for western ideals or grovel and pray that they won't be bombed by NATO.

If I were in their shoes, I would be incensed. They are described and derided as reactionary and brutal because of 4 US deaths that were probably orchestrated for reasons other than that stupid film trailer. No one bothers to mention the hundreds of thousands of innocent lives lost among Palestinian, Afghan, Iraqi and Libyian civilians. How many more lives will we destroy before history calls this a holocaust?


Protesters At US Consulate in Toronto Demand Government Action Against Anti-Islamic Movie


"Islamophobia has now become the official policy of the US and Canadian governments,' Zafar Bargashi, director of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought in Toronto, said once offstage. He said that neither government has taken enough action against the film.

'Not a single Canadian politician has uttered a single word about this scandalous and filthy movie,' said Bargashi. 'We simply cannot accept the excuse that it's freedom of expression. There is a limit. It's hate speech.."



Nader Fawzy isn't the only person who is being accused because of this film, even though he had nothing to do with it.

Apparently if Salman Rushdie had died when he was supposed to, it would have never been made. Because of that, there is a new bounty on his head.



The interview with Rushdie on The National tonight  (sept 23) is worth watching.


The Summer of Muslim Discontent: It's Not 'The Amateur FIlm' Stupid   -  by James Petras


"The so-called 'Arab Spring' is a distant and bitter memory to those who fought and striggled for a better world, not to speak of the thousands who lost life and limb. In its place, throughout the Muslim world, a new wave of reactionaries, corrupt and servile politicians have taken the reins of power, buttressed by the same military, secret police and judicial powers who sustained the previous rulers..."


Anti-Islamic Advertisements To Hit NYC


"As early as next Monday, ten NYC subway stations will showcase adverts declaring, 'In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.' The campaign was created by The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) an organization considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center watch group.

Pamela Geller, the executive director of the AFDI, stands by her signage despite rampant complaints circulating before the campaign has even begun. 'I will not abridge my freedoms so as not to offend savages,' Geller tells Sky News..."

We know who the real 'Savages' are



Google Entrenched in Zionist Ethics, Politics: Analyst (and vid)


"Despite the growing anti-American protests across the Muslim world over an anti-Islam video promoted through YouTube. Its owner, 'Google' has refused to remove the video.."


From your article at #44

"And above all the vast majority of all Libyans who have been impoverished by the war and who looked on with indifference or satisfaction as the armed gangs bombed the US Consulate.  The violent protest over the amateur film denigrating the Prophet was clearly the pretext for a vast accumulation of popular and elite grievances which resulted from armed Western intervention.'

..except that that is not what happened. The militias which attacked the embassy have now disbanded, by popular demand.

And that last PressTV article was nonsense. She provided no examples of any double standard on Google's part, nor any connection with zionism. As a matter of fact, how does the film have anything to do with zionism? The filmmaker was Christian, pretending to be Jewish in order to make people more angry. Near as I can see PressTV is just loving this film. If they didn't why is it front and centre in their coverage?

Here's a question; of those here who have seen the film, who actually considers it incitement of hatred, and on what grounds? Personally, I think the only part that comes remotely close is the opening section set in modern times, and even that falls short. That Newsweek cover is more of an incitement to xenophobes, as is the bus ad. The film is a stick in the eye to Muslims, designed to get a reaction from them, and no one else.

And really, the protests bear that out; they have nothing to do with making Muslims look bad. It is all about the insult to the prophet. I sympathize with their anger, because I think the film was not made as a criticism in good faith. But none of that is grounds for censorship.






The 'Pro-Israel' Network Behind the Innocence Video  -  by Justin Raimondo


"If someone had planned to upend US foreign policy - to utterly destroy the very basis of all our diplomats and military personnel have been working to achieve in the Middle East or throughout the Muslim world - they couldn't have done a better job of it than whoever put together Innocence of Muslims..."


Findings: 'Precision' Consulate Attack Coordinated with Jones Telethon/Film   -  by Jim Fetzer



Freedom Of Speech: Insults, Incitement and Islam -  by Graham Peebles


"...What good can possibly come from continuing to allow such a distasteful film to be circulated? It serves no purpose other than to provoke further potential violence. Enabling Muslims to be marginalized, and demonized once more, constructing some perverse justification for continued American and Israeli intimidation, aggression and the spreading of paranoia.

Allowing this film to be shown or not has little to do with censorship and/or free speech, and to reduce the issue to such notions is a convenient, distraction, fabricated in order to avoid discussing the filmmakers intention and the underlying causes of Islamist hurt and anger, which arise largely out of American foreign policy..."


Why Bill Maher;s Blood Libel is Bigotry  -  by Juan Cole


"The touchiness of Muslims about assaults on the Prophet Muhammed is in part rooted in centuries of Western colonialism and neo-colonialism.."


Iran's President Ahmadinejad Slams US-Made Sacriligious Movie


"Fundamentally, first of all, any action that is provocative, [and] offends the religious thoughts and feelings of any people, we condemn,' Ahmadinejad told CNN's Piers Morgan in an interview on Sunday.."

the full interview will run on CNN Monday evening (9:00 PM) Eastern


Europe Strengthens Repressive Power of the State


"In response to Muslim protests this buildup of state power is directed against the entire working class. On the basis of the same argument, ie, free speech, one could defend the anti Semite cartoons published in the Nazi rag Der Sturmer..."


An extraordinary letter printed in the Toronto Star is, for me, a welcome balm for the "fighting fire with fire" methods of many others.  Here's an excerpt:

Muslims have the example of the Prophet Mohammed to guide them on how to act in these situations.

One of the best loved stories from the Prophet's life relates how each day he was verbally abused as he passed the home of an old woman. One day she wasn't there, so he stopped in to ask if she was alright.

The Qur'an does not even mention blasphemy. Nor is the Prophet ever recorded as speaking on it. The offence is purely an invention of later Muslim jurists who made a crime of it.

Gary Dale, West Hill