Friday, September 14, 2012

The 'Christian,' the jihadists and the junkyard dog

Let's agree that this week's violent Muslim rioters in Libya, Egypt and Yemen are contemptible lunatics. What else can you call people who attack or kill others over the posting of a 14-minute film clip on YouTube?

Then let's ask a question: What are we to say about the people who made and paid for such a film?

The offensive excerpt shows the prophet Muhammad having sex and ordering massacres. It comes from "Innocence of Muslims," which has had a checkered history. Actors in it reported this week that it was initially filmed as "Desert Warriors" and contained no derogatory references to Islam. The director, who called himself Sam Bacile during the shooting, claimed to be an Israeli Jew.

The Associated Press revealed that he is actually a Coptic Christian named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who's on probation in Southern California after conviction for financial crimes. The source of his funding is unclear. Apparently, he dubbed Muhammad's name into the film in post-production, eliminating the harmless dialogue that had originally been shot.

Why would he do this? To provide some keen analysis of Muhammad's character or investigate some element of the Muslim religion that would account for extremists' current behavior? Hardly. He did it to pour gasoline on a fire that was out of control before his cameras rolled.

American free speech laws probably protect even his vile behavior, though there may be some hate-crime legislation under which he could be prosecuted. But I'm reminded of the dog in an auto junkyard I used to drive by on the way to pick-up basketball games in high school.

That German shepherd barked at every shadow, probably because he stood outdoors all day in the hot sun. Once, I saw a bunch of kids throwing gravel at the dog, infuriating the beast to amuse themselves while standing safely on the other side of a high fence. I chased them off, though they probably went back the next day.

Nothing excuses the derangement of the Muslims who are willing to kill because someone made a nasty movie. But the behavior of the people who provoke them, like the cruelty of the kids who harassed the enraged dog, can be just as inexcusable. I think, as I often do, of an axiom I learned as a boy: "Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD." 


Bettie Hellenthal said...

Maybe you can concentrate on covering performing arts in Charlotte instead of wasting bandwidth on some quasi-political bushel of nonsense.

Sell Your Junk Car Atlanta said...

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, information outpost, and freedom of speech I believe, Bettie. So please, let your ignorance be withheld on a topic you have no compassion for.

-David Enabulele