I have. Both are so poorly done that, if it were not for its repugnant nature and that it led to a chain of events that caused retaliation against the U.S. government and American businesses, it would be considered a joke.
A few things I now believe are factual:
- The actors in the film believed this was a film about life in the Middle East. There have been strong suggestions that they believed it was to be soft-core pornography.
- The actors’ voices were badly dubbed over, like watching a 1950s' "Godzilla" movie dubbed in English.
- There have been reports that many of those who participated in the riots in Egypt were paid protesters, with the moneys most likely coming from al-Qaida and other anti-American extremist groups.
- There are enough videos and news reports from outside the U.S. that have led me to believe that these protesters represent an extremely small fraction of those of the Muslim faith, the extremists.
I believe the anger toward those who seek to destroy American property and kill American citizens, for whatever reason, is never justified. I also believe that the U.S. government has not helped in the elimination of this anger or to relieve the tensions.
I believe that nearly 100 percent of the protesters never saw the film or the trailer, much like Salman Rushdie’s book “The Satanic Verses” was never read by most of those who called for his death for blasphemy in 1989. My thoughts here come from conversations in the LinkedIn group for the Association of Opinion Journalists concerning the issues of misinformation and propaganda.
There is another problem I have recognized during this and earlier confrontations about religious beliefs and government. No one from either side wants to talk or learn. I have also found, during conversations with my overseas acquaintances, the rest of the world remains a bit confused concerning government, religion and American freedom of speech.
When those who are responsible for “Innocence of Muslims” say that they do not care what the world thinks of their film, especially the Muslim world, that they are not responsible for the riots and they are protected under the First Amendment, I take issue.
The Rev. Terry Jones, pastor of Dove World Outreach Center; Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and Alan Roberts, the reported director and producer; and others responsible for this film, all anti-Islamist, have taken the stance that they do not take responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
The mere fact that they happen to be Americans and Christians only adds gas to an already out-of-control fire. It is this guilt by association that is used to direct further resentment to the whole when it is only a small sliver of the pie that is bad.
I try to explain to my foreign friends that the First Amendment and freedom of expression are not absolute. It is here where I disagree with those whom I would normally call allies. I believe that those involved in the production and distribution of “Innocents of Muslims” (other than the actors) cross that line. I will go so far as calling their actions treasonous.
Statute says that anyone who “levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason.” As a layperson and non-attorney, like most of you, I believe those who funded, produced and distributed this film have violated U.S. code and Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution.
By producing the film and knowing the possible repercussions, including the death of American diplomats, Nakoula, Roberts and others have incited a religious war against America, have given aid to the enemy, al-Qaida, by providing ammunition for its propaganda machines, and therefore have committed treason.
There is an online petition at Change.org asking the U.S. attorney general to consider such charges. Show the world that Americans do not tolerate actions, such as this video, that are designed specifically to enhance hatred and war.