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No One Murdered Because of This Blasphemous Religious Image

I’m not one to simply post links, but look at this image, think about who’s not going to be rioting and killing innocent people because of it…

… and then ask yourself, who’s making Islam look bad? Some filmmaker, or the crowds of zealots killing people in the name of someone who’s been dead for almost 1400 years?

36 comments to No One Murdered Because of This Blasphemous Religious Image

  • I think that the Whole World would be better off with NO Religion of any kind. They all profess to be the only true Religion,from REligion springs forth Wars and Hate Groups, Killing in the name of whatever God or Goddess you may worship. Families torn apart. We can be ggod or bad allby ourselfs, So lets not blame our behavior on a God or Devil!

    • AC

      umm.., actually Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs certainly dont claim to be one true religion. Hindus texts in fact explicitly claim there could be several paths for the same truth

      • Xevious

        Now now, don’t speak for all Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs etc. Many Buddhist and Hindus do claim that their religion is the one true religion, and have a long history of proselytization and spreading in their geographic areas, Buddhism one time even reached as far as Greece. The only reason they didn’t go further was really geography and infrastructure, not aspirations. After all Buddhism and Hinduism spread all throughout Asia, just like Islam did in Northern Africa and Asia and Christianity around Europe and the Americas. There was Buddhist and Hindu wars of conquest and inquisitions and holy wars as well.

  • Bill

    Love the picture, and the sentiment. Thanks. But alas for missed opportunities; I really wish the artist would have included Terry Jones getting butt-f*cked by a billy goat down in the holler.

  • Xevious

    It’s simple, muslims are way too easy to troll, to the point that trolling them can possibly put peoples lives at risk.

  • Anonymous

    You ask, “who’s making Islam look bad? Some film maker, or the crowds of zealots killing people in the name of someone who’s been dead for almost 1400 years?” I believe the film maker knew what the reaction would be if Muslims in the Middle East saw the film. It was like shouting fire in a crowded theater. The cartoon you published is like shouting fire in an empty theater. U.S. laws would punish the former, but not the latter.

    Reluctantly, I come down on the side of prosecuting anyone who deliberately, by any means, incites people to riot and kill, even if they do it by what otherwise would be protected speech, and even if some people, such as Americans, wouldn’t be incited. I would prosecute distributors as well as producers. (No one seems to be blaming those who displayed the film in Muslim countries.) I would require that dissemination of material known to provoke reactions like those seen overseas in the last few days be allowed only in protected areas, much as “adult material” in the U.S. cannot be disseminated where it would be available to minors.

    Therefore, I say promulgation of the anti-Islam film should result in prosecution if it was done deliberately to incite murderous attacks abroad, or in reckless disregard of whether it would incite those results.

    Those few American who still value true freedom of speech understandably will recoil at my suggestion. But with the advent of inventions like the Internet and You Tube, the world has become less hospitable to unrestricted speech. The well-accepted limitation on freedom of speech represented by the rule against “shouting fire in a crowded theater” should be extended to cover modern realities.

    • You just pissed me off, Anonymous. You’ve provoked me. By your own standards, your own words should be banned.

      I disagree with you, even though your ideas piss me off. So your words and your ideas remain here, freely expressed.

      • Anonymous

        It’s not likely you’ll go on a shooting spree or destroy property because of my comment. However, if I made it, to you, knowing it would cause you forthwith to do such things, I should be held responsible, even though you would clearly not be justified in what you did.

        Sometimes protection of people or property takes precedence over freedom of speech. Explain your viewpoint. Start with the court-made rule about shouting fire in a crowded theater — explain how doing that should be protected by the First Amendment.

        • Jim

          The reasonable person standard is a good one. A reasonable person hearing there’s a fire in a closed room will run. A reasonable person does not decide that making fun of a guy who’s been dead for over a thousand years is worth killing innocent people. I recognize reasonable behavior by momentarily misled people, which is incredibly different than the sustained violence taking place. I refuse to hold my tongue hostage to the standards of unreasonable bullies. That’s what these people are — they hope to intimidate people into silence. That’s bullshit and cannot be allowed to prevail.

        • To think about it another way, Anonymous, your standard appears to be that:

          * When nice, peaceful people are offended by what Alice says, then that’s all right.
          * But when mean, violent people are offended by what Alice says, we ought to arrest and prosecute Alice.

          That kind of approach is how mean, violent people gain power.

    • Xevious

      “Therefore, I say promulgation of the anti-Islam film should result in prosecution if it was done deliberately to incite murderous attacks abroad, or in reckless disregard of whether it would incite those results.”

      That’s a pretty scary and stupid suggestion. Here’s why:

      http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/09/that-anti-muhammed-film-its-totally-protected-by-the-1st-amendment/262324/

      “The well-accepted limitation on freedom of speech represented by the rule against “shouting fire in a crowded theater” should be extended to cover modern realities.”

      This is the tired old justification for censorship and stifling of speech. For one, it’s not “well-accepted” and two, many people don’t realize it has very disturbing origins. It originates with a case where the US Supreme Court upheld the arrest of a man because he was a Socialist Party member urging people to resist the draft during World War 1:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schenck_vs._United_States

      I don’t think anyone who believes in freedom of speech would defend that.

      • Anonymous

        Xevious, I saw your comment after writing my last comment. The citation to Balkin is apt, but in fact he makes my point:

        “Generally speaking, the rule is you can’t be held liable for speech that moves other people to violence unless your speech is intended to producing [sic] violence and is likely to almost immediately produce it. That’s the point of the familiar example of shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theater — you’re trying to cause a ruckus. But you can also see why this is not the best example. Sometimes there actually is a fire. . . So intent is critical.”

        I agree, except that I’ve suggested recklessness could also be critical.

        The author of the article you cited, Emily Chertoff, goes on to observe:

        “Ultimately, as Balkin explains, it is very difficult to prove incitement, which requires proving that 1) the speech in question [was] intended to cause an illegal violent act, and 2) that the speech did directly cause the illegal violent act at issue. In no way does what either Jones or ‘Bacile’ did qualify as incitement.”

        To the contrary: it’s clear that the speech did directly cause the illegal violence, and we can’t be sure about the intent. “Bacile” – whom I identified as probably being Nakoula Basseley Nakoula – has to be looked at seriously. He evidently knows he’ll be in hot water if he admits producing the movie trailer, so he’s denied that. We can only speculate about his intent, or the intent of whoever produced it, if not him. The question about intent also goes to whether the person reasonably should have known that the movie, or trailer, would movie get into the hands of people like the TV reporter who broadcast it in Egypt, and then would spark riots.

        I don’t think anyone with knowledge of recent events could doubt that a movie expanding on the anti-Muslim themes of the Satanic Verses, Danish cartoons, destruction of volumes of the Koran, etc., etc., had the potential to engender violent protests in the Middle East. Steve Klein, a consultant on the film, expressed concerned for “family members” in Egypt and admitted he warned that Bacile could end up like Theo van Gogh, “the Dutch film maker killed by a Muslim extremist in 2004 after making a film that was perceived as insulting to Islam.” “We went into this knowing this was probably going to happen,” Klein said.(Quoting from the article at http://bit.ly/QISC9Y.)

        The posting of the film, or trailer, on You Tube is important. Things didn’t really get started until an Arabic translation was done. Parts of it were broadcast on Egyptian television by Sheikh Khaled Abdalla, who regularly incites religious fervor. The television broadcast seems to have really prompted the unfortunate events in Egypt. Am I the only person to suggest that Sheikh Khaled Abdalla should be held to account for his role in stoking the fires?

        So are we who value traditional American civil liberties supposed to sit back, secure in the knowledge that the First Amendment will prevent any prosecutions in this country, and watch the rampaging Muslims on television without accepting any responsibility for the bloodshed and destruction?

        By the way, the Republicans defended freedom of speech last weekend. They were saying that the disruptions in the Middle East had nothing to do with the anti-Muslim film, but were caused by Obama’s weak foreign policy, featuring withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan and “apologizing” for American values (http://bit.ly/PcKhI1). As Brit Hume put it, the radicals in Muslim countries understand American military power. Is giving free rein to people who constantly taunt Muslims really the way to protect freedom of speech? Can we expect Muslims all over the world to cower before our military might and accept incessant denigration of Islam from the West? Will they ever believe that America’s shielding of anti-Islamic propagandists isn’t a signal that our government intends to wipe out Islam?

        • You’ve caused me a headache. You should have known based on my reaction to your previous that you’d cause me a headache. Therefore, by your standards, you shouldn’t have written anything, knowing that you’d cause harm…

          … except, right, that I won’t hurt anybody, so who cares? Only mean people who threaten to do something when people offend their sensibilities should be paid attention to. The meaner they are, the more we should do what they say. Otherwise, we cause them to act meanly.

          See also “battered spouse syndrome.”

        • Xevious

          “To the contrary: it’s clear that the speech did directly cause the illegal violence, and we can’t be sure about the intent. “Bacile” – whom I identified as probably being Nakoula Basseley Nakoula – has to be looked at seriously. He evidently knows he’ll be in hot water if he admits producing the movie trailer, so he’s denied that. We can only speculate about his intent, or the intent of whoever produced it, if not him. The question about intent also goes to whether the person reasonably should have known that the movie, or trailer, would movie get into the hands of people like the TV reporter who broadcast it in Egypt, and then would spark riots. ”

          The fact that people are honestly saying the producers of the film need to be “looked at” and that people should be arrested for making a crappy satirical film is pretty fucking scary. Makes me want to make my own crappy film of Muhammad interlaced with me pissing on the Koran and wiping my ass on it, complete with arabic subtitles. Give me a break, are you really trying to argue someone should be imprisoned because a film made people in another country viciously murder people? So if any group of people is driven to murder due to offense, should we limit free speech for them too?

          Should this video be banned: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMHlG6tJx9A

          How about this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuhjpU5Rin4&feature=related

          How about this website? https://encyclopediadramatica.se/Islam

          Should Lars Vilks illustrations be banned too? How about the Danish cartoons? You refer to the Satanic Verses as “anti-muslim” maybe it should be banned as well? By the way, The Satanic Verses is not “anti-muslim” have you ever even read it?

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Satanic_Verses_controversy

          “I don’t think anyone with knowledge of recent events could doubt that a movie expanding on the anti-Muslim themes of the Satanic Verses, Danish cartoons, destruction of volumes of the Koran, etc., etc., had the potential to engender violent protests in the Middle East. Steve Klein, a consultant on the film, expressed concerned for “family members” in Egypt and admitted he warned that Bacile could end up like Theo van Gogh, “the Dutch film maker killed by a Muslim extremist in 2004 after making a film that was perceived as insulting to Islam.” “We went into this knowing this was probably going to happen,” Klein said.(Quoting from the article at http://bit.ly/QISC9Y.)”

          So what? So because the film was intentionally offensive, and because when muslims get offended, they murder people, it should be banned? But muslims rage and kill people, and have made it illegal to simply criticize their religion, so should we ban all criticism of Islam?

          “Am I the only person to suggest that Sheikh Khaled Abdalla should be held to account for his role in stoking the fires?”

          Of course you are, but that’s Egypt, not the United States, so it’s none of our business.

          “So are we who value traditional American civil liberties supposed to sit back, secure in the knowledge that the First Amendment will prevent any prosecutions in this country, and watch the rampaging Muslims on television without accepting any responsibility for the bloodshed and destruction? ”

          If you value freedom of speech, yep.

          “Is giving free rein to people who constantly taunt Muslims really the way to protect freedom of speech?”

          Protecting freedom of speech is the best way of protecting freedom of speech yes.

          “Can we expect Muslims all over the world to cower before our military might and accept incessant denigration of Islam from the West?”

          So a shitty green screen film = military actions taken against “muslim countries”. Right.

          “ill they ever believe that America’s shielding of anti-Islamic propagandists isn’t a signal that our government intends to wipe out Islam?”

          That’s their problem. If they don’t think we’re just there to take their resources and get strategic locations, but that anyone actually gives a shit about wiping out Islam, oh well to them.

          :

        • Xevious

          As a follow-up, there’s a pretty good article detailing the situation:

          http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/09/201291391347458863.html

    • Anonymous

      Suggesting that a film that will provoke a group of people to violence should be banned, is like suggesting that muslims should never be allowed to display their religion in public because since 9/11 that runs the risk of violent attacks and civil disruption. Your suggestion is really silly, plus a lot of other things.

      • Anonymous

        Or Hell, it’s like suggesting that Park51 should never be allowed to be built, since it’s quite obvious it was built in that area to grab attention and controversy and they should have known it would incite a huge backlash that could possibly get violent.

        • Xevious

          It also sets a terrible precedent. Any group could do a violent or disruptive action just to get something they don’t like censored. People never learn from history it seems…

  • Bill

    We get so few things right (regarding civil liberties) in this country that on those occasions when we do it is vital for civil libertarians to stand up. The U.S has an enviable (indeed, unsurpassed) record of thoughtfully threading the difficult needle of free speech: Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969), National Socialist Party v. Skokie (1977), R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul (1992), Virginia v. Black (2003), Snyder v. Phelps (2011). Justices from both sides of the political spectrum have consistently ruled that freedom of speech…even ignorant, hateful, abusive speech…is fundamental to who we are as Americans. Anonymous would have us abandon this principle because, in the new global electronic village, benighted furriners just aren’t up to coping with our freedom. Far from arguing that we should, therefore, become less free in order to protect the delicate sensibilities of some particularly thin-skinned foreigners who might stumble upon our freedom via the intertubes, this actually argues that now, more than ever, it is our duty to protect our freedoms…our duty to the whole world (which is watching).

    The video in question is disgusting, tawdry, hateful, wrong, and malicious, and I personally regret its very existence. But some folks feel the same way about me, about Jim, and perhaps even about Anonymous. Once we start forbidding speech based on nothing more than the value judgements of those in power we can kiss all the rest of our freedoms goodbye, too. This is the crux of the matter. We don’t need to become less free to protect the world; rather, the least free among us need to develop both thicker skins and a better appreciation for the crucial power of free speech. We help them do that by setting a good example. You don’t like what I’m saying? Great, then you call me an asshole and you shrug it off. This is the way responsible grownups behave.

  • The world needs a lot more opportunities for ordinary people in the Middle East to somehow mix with people in other parts of the world. I’m stumped as to how to make that happen, but if every 16-year-old in the Middle East could somehow have a year studying in the western hemisphere, or east Asia, or Europe, or in a Pacific Island nation…and that student could live with a foreign family…and vice versa, that would be really valuable.

    Besides freedom of speech, another valuable part of our First Amendment is freedom of religion and separation of church and state. I wish Israel would seriously consider the advantages of the separation of church and state. On that point, Israel is not a good example for the Muslim world.

    • Xevious

      Well that was the case for much of the Middle East during the 20th Century. People from the Middle East studied and traveled extensively around the world, in the West, in Latin America, East Asia, etc, and were influenced by what they saw and experienced and brought it back, becoming the progenitors of the Nationalist and Modernist (secular, liberal, etc) movements that took root there. The US and Israel, among others, worked to destroy such movements, for obvious reasons, and actively funded and supported the most religiously backwards fundamentalists who now run the region. So yeah your suggestion could be a possible long term solution, but they tried that and got punished for it. So it’s not totally their fault.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think Jim Cook answered my question about the “fire in a crowded theater” rule of law. Another timely example: this week, someone phoned several universities stating that bombs had been placed on campus. Such statements could be made in books or movies, but existing law makes it a crime when the speaker intends, or is reckless about the fact, that the speech will cause even the relatively innocuous results that ensued. Is that law wrong? It’s not the words, but the words in a particular context, that makes the difference.

    The anti-Muslim movie (trailer), disseminated in Egypt, Lybia, Tunisia, etc., raises difficult questions for civil libertarians (I consider myself one). In no way do I, or did I, suggest that mobs in Egypt, Lybia, Tunisia, etc. had a right to run amok because of the movie. We need to think about whether disseminating such a movie overseas knowing it would directly lead to deadly riots, or in reckless disregard of the fact that it would do so, should be forbidden by law. This should be viewed in the context of societies that are ill equipped or unwilling to prevent riots such as those raging in Muslim countries in the last few days.

    We don’t need laws forbidding exposure of such material to Americans here at home. The movie was reportedly (http://lat.ms/TYXln3) shown in California without causing riots, or even arousing much interest. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who reputedly produced the movie, may not have intended the mayhem or been reckless about the fact that it would cause that. However, after all the incidents in the past few years, any informed person would know the danger of broadcasting the movie in the Middle East. If you knew the movie would result in deadly riots if distributed in the Middle East, leading to the deaths of Americans and firing up Republican war hawks in response, would you have no compunctions about making it available to an Egyptian television reporter so that it could be broadcast there?

    • Xevious

      “I don’t think Jim Cook answered my question about the “fire in a crowded theater” rule of law. Another timely example: this week, someone phoned several universities stating that bombs had been placed on campus. Such statements could be made in books or movies, but existing law makes it a crime when the speaker intends, or is reckless about the fact, that the speech will cause even the relatively innocuous results that ensued. Is that law wrong? It’s not the words, but the words in a particular context, that makes the difference.”

      So a film making fun of a probably fictional religious figure = lying about a bomb threat. Riiight…

      “We need to think about whether disseminating such a movie overseas knowing it would directly lead to deadly riots”

      Who would have guessed it would have? It’s hard to believe even with their track record that muslims are murdering people over this crap.

      “This should be viewed in the context of societies that are ill equipped or unwilling to prevent riots such as those raging in Muslim countries in the last few days.”

      Yeah but those nations do not fall under US jurisdiction. Why should people who practice their rights here be punished because it violates laws somewhere else?

      “We don’t need laws forbidding exposure of such material to Americans here at home.”

      Ah, so just forbidding Americans access to the outside world, which would be the only way to prevent someone from showing a film like this to non-Americans. Maybe we should create an intranet like in North Korea and what they’re doing in Iran, so such films won’t possibly cause trouble in other countries ;) That’s the only way I can see people here preventing it. Otherwise it’s Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, etc responsibility to ban it, not that banning it would be good.

      “If you knew the movie would result in deadly riots if distributed in the Middle East, leading to the deaths of Americans and firing up Republican war hawks in response, would you have no compunctions about making it available to an Egyptian television reporter so that it could be broadcast there?”

      Stomping freedom of speech to appease people who viciously murder others over a film is not worth it.

    • Xevious


      What I’ve been saying, just in video format and more entertaining.

      • Anonymous

        Okay, I watched the video. A fundamental point should be made that no one seems to have thought of. Freedom of speech in a particular country, such as the U.S., depends on governmental institutions that come down on people who react violently or in other illegal ways to unpopular or highly provocative speech (including movies). But the U.S. can’t control the mobs in the Middle East. The fact that we can’t control the mobs makes a difference when someone decides to tweak the nose of the monster overseas, and people die, including U.S. citizens. I’m pro-choice, but I don’t take the unnecessary deaths of born humans lightly, no matter where it happens. Until we can stop the Muslims bent on violent, murderous attacks because of a cartoon or a movie, we have a responsibility to at least try to prevent whatever sparks the attacks. Otherwise, we place our future as a nation in the hands of people like Bacile (or whoever it was), and those working with him/her to disseminate the incendiary material. If they have free rein, the onslaught against the U.S. and its western allies will continue to increase. The American electorate, controlled and benighted by the billions of dollars that fuel our military industrial complex and stifle free speech in our political campaigns, will elect people like Romney and Ryan and, yes, Obama and Biden, who don’t have a clue about what freedom of speech and religion are, but think that to defend their perverse “values,” the U.S. must control the world militarily. Along with that will come additional loss of civil liberties in the U.S., if there’s anything left to lose.

  • Xevious

    ” Freedom of speech in a particular country, such as the U.S., depends on governmental institutions that come down on people who react violently or in other illegal ways to unpopular or highly provocative speech (including movies).”

    Obviously, but it’s a contradiction on your part to admit that, because you’re basically saying speech should be prevented to appease people who react violently to speech and expression. Make up your mind.

    “But the U.S. can’t control the mobs in the Middle East.”

    Or anything else that happens in any other country, nor should it try.

    “The fact that we can’t control the mobs makes a difference when someone decides to tweak the nose of the monster overseas, and people die, including U.S. citizens.”

    You do realize that since there’s no jurisdiction we have to control rioting mobs in a foreign country, there’s nothing we can do about it except maybe increase security at embassies and consulates, which by the way is the untold story in this event (of course):

    http://www.salon.com/2012/09/13/how_congress_left_our_embassies_exposed/

    “I’m pro-choice”

    You mean that deceptive slang term for pro abortion? What the hell does that have to do with this discussion?

    “Until we can stop the Muslims bent on violent, murderous attacks because of a cartoon or a movie, we have a responsibility to at least try to prevent whatever sparks the attacks. ”

    No we do not, we should never even try to stop them to begin with. If they’re going to trample and murder each other and others over a film, that’s their problem. All we can do is try to protect our own over there.

    “Otherwise, we place our future as a nation in the hands of people like Bacile (or whoever it was), and those working with him/her to disseminate the incendiary material.”

    Oh so this is a life or death struggle for the future of this nation now? What the fuck? No offense, but what are you going on about?

    ” If they have free rein, the onslaught against the U.S. and its western allies will continue to increase. ”

    The onslaught against entire nations will happen because of a movie, so basically you’re arguing people should cower to violent thuggish mobs?

    “who don’t have a clue about what freedom of speech and religion are, ”

    I agree that both Democrats and Republicans are against free speech, but so are you, so what are you complaining about?

    ” but think that to defend their perverse “values,” the U.S. must control the world militarily. Along with that will come additional loss of civil liberties in the U.S., if there’s anything left to lose.”

    Are you saying the leaders of this country think they’re perserving American “values” by our foreign policy? Are you really that naive? They’re doing it for very specific “imperialist” reasons if you will, none of which involve spreading democracy and freedom. Do you need a crash course in US foreign policy or something?

  • Anonymous

    Mentioning being pro-choice was my way, perhaps ineptly, of saying that I value human life, but without accepting the morally distorted view that the lives of the unborn are equivalent to the lives of born individuals. What disturbs me about the views expressed by you and the fellow in the video is the attitude that it doesn’t matter if people die because of incendiary depictions of Muhammad presented in the Middle East by western propagandists.

    I don’t think someone in this country should be allowed use propaganda to bring about death and destruction, including to U.S. citizens and property, by mobs in other countries that don’t have the capacity, or the will, to prevent it. Is the difference, in this context, between intervention by military action and intervention by propaganda so great that we should actively oppose the former but ignore the latter? Would you defend on freedom of speech grounds U.S. agencies promulgating anti-Muslim propaganda abroad? Then why would you condone such promulgation abroad by private citizens shielded by domestic freedom of speech law?

    I believe objections to Islam don’t have to be provocative to Muslims. The incidents in recent years mostly involve violations of the religious ban on graphic representations of Muhammad. We’re well acquainted with bans on pornography (especially child pornography) and even photographs of bare female breasts. I don’t think it would be that offensive to civil liberties to suppress graphic depictions of Muhammad in the same way, if that would save lives. Who cares what Muhammad looked like, anyway? The same goes for profane and indecent language.

    • Xevious

      “Mentioning being pro-choice was my way, perhaps ineptly, of saying that I value human life, but without accepting the morally distorted view that the lives of the unborn are equivalent to the lives of born individuals. ”

      No offense, but what does that have to do with this discussion in any way?

      “What disturbs me about the views expressed by you and the fellow in the video is the attitude that it doesn’t matter if people die because of incendiary depictions of Muhammad presented in the Middle East by western propagandists.”

      It doesn’t matter to the extent that expression in the United States should be censored because people go on violent tantrums 10,000 miles away in a foreign country because of it. Are you for censoring things that offend the Chinese people or government? How about the various racist and intolerant depictions of Latin Americans that abound in the US media? How about things that offend American citizens and cause them to act violently like the Westboro Baptist Church funeral protests?

      What you seem to be saying is violent mobs in another country should be able to dictate and decide what is allowed in the United States, and that’s pretty reprehensible.

      “I don’t think someone in this country should be allowed use propaganda”

      A crappy parody film is now “propaganda”? Who says people shouldn’t be allowed to make propaganda anyway? So all the various media outlets, youtube channels, blogs, etc that propagate a specific political view that undoubtedly is going to offend someone should be banned? Do you think these ideas through?

      ” Is the difference, in this context, between intervention by military action and intervention by propaganda so great that we should actively oppose the former but ignore the latter?”

      So a crappy film that fewer than 10 attended in its premiere and that was later uploaded to youtube (a trailer actually) is the same as…”intervention” (i.e. invasion) by a military force? What?

      By the way, are you suggesting American citizens should not be allowed to distribute or even communicate with people in the Middle East and “muslim world”? So I guess you do want an American intranet.

      “Would you defend on freedom of speech grounds U.S. agencies promulgating anti-Muslim propaganda abroad”

      Sure, why not. It would be stupid, but I wouldn’t try to suppress it, it’d just blow up in their faces anyway.

      ” Then why would you condone such promulgation abroad by private citizens shielded by domestic freedom of speech law?”

      Um..you do realize there’s a difference between “private citizens” and governments right? What, are you as clueless as those rampaging muslims as to not understand there’s a such thing as an independent media and independent citizen access to the media here? Give me a break.

      “I believe objections to Islam don’t have to be provocative to Muslims”

      Although many muslims, I’d venture most in the “muslim world” find any criticisms or objections to Islam and Islamic law to be blasphemous and deeply offensive.

      “The incidents in recent years mostly involve violations of the religious ban on graphic representations of Muhammad”

      Um..so yeah then criticizing the ban on depictions of Muhammad would count wouldn’t it? Why should people who aren’t even muslim observe such a ban?

      ” We’re well acquainted with bans on pornography (especially child pornography)”

      Speak for yourself. I’m not. While I’m not for the distribution or creation of child pornography and for protecting children as much as anyone else, I do recognize our current ways of suppressing it have completely failed, and hell some countries do allow viewing of it, just not distribution and creation of it (Sweden for example), so no it’s not as clear cut as you say. By the way, crappy satirical film = child porn equiv. now? LOL. By the way, child porn is typically suppressed or outright banned because of the harm of children involved in the films, not because people riot and kill each other over it. So what the fuck is with that comparison?

      “even photographs of bare female breasts”

      Again, speak for yourself. I’m not for any ban on such images, or even such displays in public. I’m against topless bans and even bans on public nudity, which by the way is really only an American thing (in the west). So you’re speaking to the wrong guy here.

      ” I don’t think it would be that offensive to civil liberties to suppress graphic depictions of Muhammad in the same way, if that would save lives.”

      So people in the US who are not muslim must follow islamic law now, because someone might be offended? That’s pretty disgusting.

      By the way, I hate to be a corny American, but I counter your “save lives” quote with Ben Franklin:

      “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

      “Who cares what Muhammad looked like, anyway? ”

      Muslims do, to the point they’ll murder you over it. By the way, why do you get to decide who cares about what? What if I care and want to depict him in some way?

      ” The same goes for profane and indecent language.”

      There is no such thing as “profane and indecent” language, in an objective sense anyway. I think the only truly profane and indecent things are attempts to limit language.

    • Xevious

      By the way, you said in a previous post:

      “. Freedom of speech in a particular country, such as the U.S., depends on governmental institutions that come down on people who react violently or in other illegal ways to unpopular or highly provocative speech (including movies).”

      Do you really feel this way, because you apparently think people who react violently to a movie should get their way.

  • manning120

    (I hope I finally figured out how to keep my posts from being attributed to “Anonymous.” Sorry for any confusion on that.)

    The latest manifestation of the problem we’re discussing is exemplified in the Reuters article at http://reut.rs/PNsiXe. I think it’s obvious that 1.5 billion Muslims constitute a force that the U.S. must reckon with. Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf of Pakistan declared Friday a “Day of Love” for Muhammad, encouraging non-violent protests, and said an attack on Muhammad was “an attack on the whole 1.5 billion Muslims.” Pakistan has nuclear weapons. When these kinds of developments occur, only a fool wouldn’t recognize that the production and distribution of the tawdry fictional film, justified as an exercise in free speech, has put the U.S. at risk. You think the Muslim violence is unjustified and that the U.S. shouldn’t limit freedom of speech because of the irrational rampages of people you obviously dislike. Wait until those people taunt the rulers in this country by pulling off another 9/11. Iraq and Afghanistan, and the dismantling of civil liberties and humanitarianism in the U.S., were the opening responses of U.S. to the modest trauma inflicted by 9/11. Iraq and Afghanistan were devastated, with hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children killed and subjected to unspeakable horrors. Our military industrial complex remains a monster, taking directions from the likes of Obama and Romney, that could lead to the deaths of millions of Muslims, and probably more Americans than we lost in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus the final reduction of our nation to fascism. People like Nakoula Basseley Nakoula are pushing us in that direction. Curbing them legally – I’m talking about short prison sentences at the most – would help stop the perilous slide.

    By the way, I’d like to know the position of Jill Stein on this. Couldn’t find anything on the Internet.

    • Xevious

      “I think it’s obvious that 1.5 billion Muslims constitute a force that the U.S. must reckon with.”

      The “muslim world” is no serious threat to us, and in fact the only threats ever to come out of there are a result of 50 years of foreign policy that included terrorism and invasions, etc. If you think a crappy trailer of a piece of shit quality film is equiv., then…I don’t know, just what the fuck then.

      “encouraging non-violent protests”

      Isn’t that a good thing? I don’t see the problem there. I don’t think anyone would care if the protests were all peaceful.

      “Pakistan has nuclear weapons. ”

      OH NOES! Well except it doesn’t have ICBMS or any capacity or means to actually use them against the US. The only threat to the US in Pakistan is our drone strikes.

      And by the way, can you imagine a nuclear war being started over this film? If that happened, I still wouldn’t be for banning the film, I’d say if humanity is that stupid to wipe itself out over that, then fuck it, let it happen. :P

      “You think the Muslim violence is unjustified”

      What, you think it is?

      “Wait until those people taunt the rulers in this country by pulling off another 9/11.”

      Oh no, I’m so scared. Again, imagine “another 9/11″ happening because of this film. It’s humorous when you think about it. Anyway the chance of another attack like that ever happening is slim to none. Let’s be honest with ourselves, Osama Bin Laden and his cohorts got lucky and exploited a one time opportunity, but I understand Americans like to imagine we’re still facing worthy enemies like the Soviet Union, and not just half-assed mountain boys.

      “and the dismantling of civil liberties and humanitarianism in the U.S.”

      Which you advocate for at the end of the page, when you say this:

      “. People like Nakoula Basseley Nakoula are pushing us in that direction. Curbing them legally – I’m talking about short prison sentences at the most – would help stop the perilous slide. ”

      Yeah, putting someone in prison for making an unpopular and critical film, that’s nothing like fascism, which you invoke in your paragraph.

      Everything else you mention in between doesn’t make any sense. You cry and whine about the erosion of civil liberties, and then you advocate for doing just that. And, just like “Anonymous” which you distinguish yourself from, you equate a youtube video to massive military invasions. You PC liberal jackasses are both stupid and scary. Let’s hope you guys never get any power, you’re creepy authoritarian control freaks.

      • Xevious

        I should point out that this “Islam vs The West” narrative is a fiction concocted by the “far right” to justify everything from discrimination to wars, but apparently now pc liberals are using it as well?

        There is no “muslim world” in reality, there is no one unified Islam. It’s 72 different sects at each others throats alongside various ethnic and cultural boundaries with no unity whatsoever, and never has had been one world, just like everywhere else.

  • manning120

    Obviously there’s a lot more to this than a film, or even all the literary or pictorial “insults” that have riled up Muslims in recent years. The policies of the U.S. and its allies, especially Israel, underlie the seething anger of the mobs. I believe, along with people like Vincent Bugliosi, Rocky Anderson, and Jill Stein, that there should be legal action taken against the architects of some of the policies.

    Be that as it may, the following comment says it all as to your priorities, which I submit are seriously disordered (even if you think you’re just joking):

    “And by the way, can you imagine a nuclear war being started over this film? If that happened, I still wouldn’t be for banning the film, I’d say if humanity is that stupid to wipe itself out over that, then fuck it, let it happen.”

  • Xevious

    “. The policies of the U.S. and its allies, especially Israel, underlie the seething anger of the mobs.”

    While there’s an element of truth in that statement, that incidents like this didn’t happen in a vacuum (well I guess except Salman Rushdie…), but if it’s just US foreign policy, than why aren’t Latin Americans rioting in the streets, killing US ambassadors, threatening and actually doing terrorist attacks against the US, etc, when we’ve fucked them over far worse than the Middle East and for a hell of a lot longer. Certainly there’s something deeper to it, could have to do with their religious taboos they think everyone else should observe…

    ” I believe, along with people like Vincent Bugliosi, Rocky Anderson, and Jill Stein, that there should be legal action taken against the architects of some of the policies. ”

    Yeah I’d agree, but being that a youtube film doesn’t = military invasions, yet again you’re being ridiculous. You and “Anonymous” are pathetically grasping for justifications for your hatred of free expression and free speech.

    “Be that as it may, the following comment says it all as to your priorities, which I submit are seriously disordered (even if you think you’re just joking):”

    Bro, are you too stupid to realize it was an ironic musing on your statement regarding this film possibly starting a nuclear war. I guess you think the human race annihilating itself over a YouTube video is a perfectly acceptable scenario to envision, and doesn’t make you think twice of what you’re promoting. Now mind you it’s a completely ridiculous scenario, but you implied it could happen. You don’t find something seriously wrong with that? Oh well, anything to justify censorship and crushing freedom of expression, no matter how ridiculous the scenario. I don’t have to quote the same Ben Franklin quote again do I? I’ll just quote the Mexicans here: “Better to die on your feet than live on your knees.”

    That being said, I would be hardly alone in expressing that sentiment, if the human race really was that dumb.

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