The only thing that was funny about “Innocence of Muslims,” the controversial film that mocked Prophet Mohammed and may have caused inflamed mobs to attack U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya, was its title!
“Innocence of Muslims”... Are you kidding me?
How could we – Muslims – be “innocent” when we have allowed some dodgy film-maker by the name of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula to be taken seriously?
Thanks to us, this man – who has reportedly been convicted of financial crimes and is believed to have directed the film under the alias ‘Sam Bacile’ – is now under protective-watch of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Yes! All what was achieved by those of us who attacked the U.S. missions and those who killed Chris Stevens, the American ambassador in Libya, is that they helped turn Nakoula from a villain to a victim!
All he (Nakoula) has to do now is to play the “freedom of expression” card and watch himself transform into a “hero,” despite the hateful nature of his film.
Thanks to the reckless retaliation of some of us, the voices of the many peace-loving and kind-hearted Christian Copts (in Egypt, the U.S. and elsewhere), who have criticised Nakoula (a Copt residing in the U.S.) will now be lost in the details.
Furthermore, as many actors and participants in the film are now claiming that they were tricked into taking part in the project; who knows what would have happened to the ex-convict anyway?
This is not to say that we - Muslims – don’t have every right to protest and to strongly oppose any insults to our religion or its icons.
However, we must realise that when we allow some of us to attack an American embassy; we are not only allowing a serious breach of international laws and diplomacy to occur, but we are also suggesting that we have an issue with America in its entirety, rather than with one cheap film, its director and a few of his assistants and promoters.
Did we really forget – so soon - how bitter and difficult it was to have to keep repeating that we, Muslims, are “not terrorists” and that “it is not fair to generalise” throughout the past eleven years?
Did we really forget – so soon – that it could also be argued that it those same “Americans” (including the late Mr Stevens) that helped the Libyans liberate their country?
Let us also not forget that the official American position has condemned the film.
Needless to say; many aspects of America’s foreign policy remain undoubtedly questionable, particularly when it comes to Washington’s blind support for Israel; a matter which we have tried to resolve using our own methods rather than by adopting ways that actually work in the U.S., such as lobbying and forming pressure groups.
However, if after 64 years of trying the same thing we are still expecting different results, then we are certainly guilty... at least by Einstein’s standards!
Faisal J. Abbas is the Editor-in-Chief of Al Arabiya English and can be reached on @FaisalJAbbas on Twitter