As a nation and culture that is always changing and always growing, we look to movies to guide us, to reflect on our past and to inspire our future.
Movies bring us joy and a sense of relativity in which we can all find comfort.
Unfortunately, not all are produced with goodness at heart.
The recent controversial film, “Innocence of Muslims,” is neither inspirational nor repentant. It is extremely offensive and inappropriate, and it serves no purpose except to go viral in a society that idolizes the Hollywood world.
The production of “Innocence of Muslims” is being investigated, but right now the director is believed to be Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, also known as Sam Bassiel.
The “Innocence of Muslims’” trailer was first posted on YouTube this past July, but was then translated into Arabic and re-circulated through Egypt and the Middle East. The 14-minute trailer stirred the already unstable Middle East even more. According to U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, in more than 10 countries people are rioting against the film “and the nation where it was produced, the United States.”
Investigators believe that the film was the final provocation that led to the terrible killings of United States Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three other diplomats.
It is disappointing that in the democratic nation we live in, people take advantage of our freedoms.
Yes, of course, we have freedom of speech. But we also have decency and respect.
According to Fox News, the White House asked Google, YouTube’s parent company, to make sure that the trailer did not breach YouTube’s standards. YouTube believes the trailer is acceptable and will not take it down.
However, at this past Cannes Film Festival, in May 2012, a film titled “The Anti-Semite” was banned from the festival. Apparently not only banned from the festival, it is also nowhere to be found on YouTube.
As described in the Arts Beat blog of The New York Times from May 25, 2012, “The Anti-Semite” “stars Dieudonné as a violent and alcoholic character who dresses as a Nazi officer at a party, and also features Robert Faurisson, a prominent Holocaust denier, as well as imagery that mocks the Auschwitz concentration camp.”
Similarly, “Innocence of Muslims” mocks the prophet Muhammad and portrays him as an abusive and womanizing child molester. Both of these films ridicule a religion that many find sacred. And while neither offers a direct threat, both are demeaning to an entire group of people.
So why was “The Anti-Semite” banned and removed, but not “Innocence of Muslims?”
The Executive Director of the Cannes film market, Jerome Paillard, spoke about the ban. He clarified, saying, “Our general conditions ban the presence of all films threatening public order or religious convictions.”
If only YouTube followed those standards as well.
Unfortunately, removing “Innocence of Muslims’” trailer will not appease all in the Middle East; there’s so much going on that has nothing to do with a 14-minute trailer.
But why even wave a red flag at the bull?