Showing posts with label Coptic Christian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Coptic Christian. Show all posts

Monday, September 17, 2012

Separatist religious extremists behind anti-Islam film causing violence

Mohammed or George as
he is referred to in film
By now most of the world has experienced the violence that has resulted from a film-clip promoting the movie currently called “Innocence of Muslims,” with some reverting to violence, others reacting in revulsion.  The actors recruited to do the film thought they were making an adventure film of some 2,000 years ago named, “Desert Warrior.”  Many say they were duped but that will be hard to understand once you watch the minute-long trailer gone viral on You Tube.

Film trailer that created all the violence:

The rioters are angered over the film’s depiction of the Prophet Mohammed depicted as a “womanizer, buffoon, ruthless killer and child molester,” according to CNN.  After looking at the trailer, I get something of a different idea of George, Mohammed’s name used when the film was shot, but I will leave this up to your judgment.  The man behind the film is Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who was convicted of bank fraud in 2009 and has an array of aliases.

Nakoula taken into custody
Nakoula is a Coptic Christian who lives in Cerritos, Calif.  The church’s foundation is based in Egypt and has followers worldwide.  Coptic Christians apparently date all the way back to the second century where a portion of the Gospel of John written in Coptic was found.  It is an oppressed community in Egypt, particularly following the riots from the film.  Once the film’s trailer was translated into Arabic—after two months on You Tube—all hell broke loose.

There are varied versions of what the actors and crew were told the film was about.  Judging from watching the trailer, it should be obvious to anyone it was an insult to Mohammed and the Muslims.  Lines were definitely changed with voice-over, but it is still clear that the intent was to ridicule the Islamic faith.  Steve Klein, another Californian and anti-Muslim activist and script consultant to the movie, said the film was called, “innocence of Bin Laden.”

Fla radical pastor Terry Jones
Klein and Nakoula both knew there could be repercussions from making the movie and Nakoula commented in an interview that even after the violence, he was glad he had made the film.  Defending one’s religion is one thing, but degrading another’s, especially when you know how Muslims feel about insults to the Prophet Mohammed, is contemptible.  Shades of Terry Jones’s Quran-burning that started Afghan riots.  Jones was asked to help distribute the movie.   

In addition to this questionable kind of freedom of religion, there is also the protection of the 1st Amendment.  It does apply here but have these radicals pushed the envelope?  So far there have been no major uprisings in the U.S. and Nakoula has apparently been taken into custody by police on suspicion of parole violation.  My gut feeling is that it was more likely for his own protection.  The fact remains that due to the riots many have died and more wounded.

Four Americans were killed in the violence including Libyan Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.  President Obama says the U.S. will not rest until those responsible are brought to justice.  So far, four have been arrested.  Although there is no excuse for this kind of retaliation against Americans, isn’t it also likely that these religious extremists—first Terry, then Nakoula—have gone much too far in the pursuit of their rights by this kind of condemnation of Islam?

Each of these radicals has given terrorists the excuse to promote their cause, in this case burning the Libyan Embassy killing four Americans, including the American Ambassador Chris Stevens.  One writer, H.A. Hellyer naively comments that “…the Coptic Church should never be placed in the position of having to apologize for the actions of a few of its members.”  His premise is right but the minute Nakoula identified himself as a Copt, the connection was made.

And, argues Hellyer, the Muslim community at large shouldn’t be obligated to apologize for a group of extremists led by misfits like Jones and Nakoula who are pushing their own agenda at the sake of sacrificing the lives of others.  But isn’t this what has been going on in the U.S. for the last few years?  Good Muslims are living among us in this country but at gatherings my wife and I have attended, the Islamic community is condemned as a whole based on limited incidents.

Americans must stop looking for people or causes to hate and encouraging others like them to take up the gauntlet against what they wrongly perceive as their enemies.  Karl Rove under GWB introduced hate to politics, the state of Arizona welcomes and thrives on hate groups, and racial hate once again reared its ugly head in Mississippi recently by the murder of African-American James Craig Anderson by young people, not the normal old time racists.

Where will it end?

MR. PRESIDENT: If you look frail, if you talk frail, and if you walk frail, you must be frail...

      ...too frail to lead this country for another four years. I know, we all know, what you are afraid of; the lunatic who could win the ...