Freedom & responsibility

Freedom of expression should be a right of every man and woman, but in order to prevent abuses, people need to be accountable for their opinions. Anonymous speech in the form of monetary political campaign expenditures was already causing havoc in the US before “The Innocence of Muslims” ever went viral. The only purpose of the crudely made movie was to provoke the sort of madness and destruction we’ve witnessed.

The onus of this latest round of violence also lies with Sheikh Khaled Abdullah for airing an Arabic dubbed version of the film on Egyptian television. Few had heard of this movie previous to it being broadcasted on his show. Following the airing, riots erupted throughout the Middle East and other Muslim countries. One of the riots resulted in the death of 4 US diplomats in Libya. Would it be fair to say that he could have easily predicted the violence that followed? If so, the audience needs to hold him accountable and perhaps Egypt needs to consider revoking broadcast rights. In fact, the Al-Nas channel that aired the film had previously been suspended by the pre revolution Egyptian government for promoting religious and sectarian hatred.

Freedom of speech in the United States allows anyone to make as many moronic movies as they want. Ex prisoner and a bank fraud artist, Nakula Basseley Nakula took full advantage of this and paid $75 a day to several actors who thought they were working on a movie about ancient warriors in the desert. Their lines were later dubbed over without their permission. The movie was shown once in Hollywood to a nearly empty theatre after which it was dubbed into Arabic and posted on you tube.

Nakula needs to take responsibility for his work since it is not the role of the government and the Los Angeles police to keep him and his family in hiding. By doing so they are only enabling others to anonymously ignite violence around the world without being responsible for the consequences. Holding the angry mob that stormed the US embassy in Libya accountable is, of course, without question. Their actions were without excuse, but what is more important is working to reduce the risk of a similar event happening in the future.

Mullahs in Pakistan are already taking advantage of lingering frustration and have whipped up mobs into committing even more violence. Blocking you tube is not the solution and neither is denying visas to Google employees. The internet is full of blasphemous content regarding all religions but that does not give anyone the right to censor or kill and terrorize in the name of religion. The government should not fall prey to the extremists instead it should do everything in its power to curb the lunacy that is spewed by them.

Ultimately, the movie was intended to infuriate and that’s exactly the result it achieved. Now the producers of the movie and its supporters are pointing to the riots as evidence of Islam being a violent religion. Hence, the rioters played right into the hands of the Islamophobes who will use this as an opportunity to tout their views about Muslims being fanatics. The result could give support to candidates who are pro war and anti-Islam in a critical election year for the US. Mobs aren’t known for thinking clearly and these angry people are probably going to cause themselves harm if they continue. The anti-Islam protests have been the headlines for days now not to mention the Newsweek cover which has depicted 1.5 billion Muslims around the world as a single ferocious and angry entity. This crisis also brings attention to political parties which use religion to spur violence for political gain. Fox news is busy criticizing Obama’s policies in the Middle East. Mitt Romney called the Obama administration’s response to the attack on the US embassy in Libya “disgraceful,” and that he chose to “sympathize with those who waged the attacks”. The media needs to be careful because the last thing this world needs is another warmongering US President.

Day of love of the Prophet: 20 killed, over 200 injured in Pakistan

Aftermath: Students take to streets to cleanup


1 Response to “Freedom & responsibility”

  1. 1 jazzup
    September 26, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Openly, I have been following the events; it has been a good learning process. Honest to goodness, from satanic verses, an unfortunate attempt to burn the Holy Quran to cartoon and films, the miscreants have kissed the dust by dishing out this dirt, absolutely worst than a wolf whistle. All this could easily be categorized as a multitude of sins.
    I believe, Pakistan certainly went in a different manner by celebrating the day as a day of respect for the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Perhaps this is what actually has allowed most of the people to be less than pleased. The other verdict was from Turkey, labeling it as a crime.
    Now the after math, an actress of the movie went to court against Google and it was felt as Google is yet to winnow the offensive material from YouTube she might come out with flying colors resulting into abscission of the substance. I had the following questions, could that actress term the verdict as decision from the “Kangaroo Court“? Why Google has partially blocked the movie? Why has not any American Muslim approached to the court neither against the people behind this movie nor versus Google?
    On account of media houses, only Al Jazeera did a bit of job by having an interview with the Editor of that Newspaper from France. On CNN, Zakaria asked a few questions from Mr. Rushdie, openly, he is going to play both ends by pronouncing it as “ Rage Machine “. Earlier some one had a cleric from Egypt. BBC had covered it under its usual programme “Have Your Say”. The question is why any media conglomerate didn’t come up with an idea to discuss the issue with the Holy Father.
    In the same breath, there were a few good articles from the US academia and a few from the Euro zone. All suggesting to move towards technological / digital research to deal with such, what is being termed at large as “Exceptional Situation “.
    Now the demonstrations, particularly in Pakistan. Yes, Bad news travels fast. The dirt did urge the people to put the bee in the bonnet. Yes, it was a pain in the neck; rather still it is, they would keep on baying for blood of those perverts. On account of literacy it would take time when people do learn to have some thing done in fine art. Along side protesters media must not egg upon such events negatively.
    Its certainly has been meat and drink to those American miscreants. Yup! YouTube has certainly taken it under the chin. Now the big question; has Pakistan along side any other Muslim country around the globe enacted any such cyber law which could coerce Google that this particular content has violated the local laws and these countries must be as bold as brass. Further, the users must not harden their hearts towards YouTube.
    Yup! freedom of expression has been the drape. On the other side, it would take best will in the world to turn over the leaf. The last Blasphemy case was in 1838; even Blasphemy is included in the List of Sins of Bible.

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