Outraged about films
Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 20, 2012 14:09
The news has been ablaze lately with stories of anti-Islamic acts occurring throughout the world.
First came Nakoula Basseley Nakoula’s film “The Innocence of Muslims” discrediting the holy prophet Muhammad, a central figure in the Islamic religion, one normally viewed with respect and dignity. Yesterday, a caricature of Muhammad in the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo fueled even more protests.
More commonly known by the pseudo-name Sam Bacile, Nakoula was revealed to be an Egyptian-born Coptic Christian intent on deceiving not only this production staff when making the movie, but also the world. Yet, his deceptive actions still underscore the many attacks on the Islamic religion.
While many prominent U.S. figures have denounced the film’s depiction of Muhammad, is there really much more the U.S. can do?
Various credited sources, from Reuters to NBC, scorn Nakoula for his “atrocious” directing, yet continue to critique the material content of the film as if it were up for an award at the Cannes International Film festival.
While they shower statements of disbelief and abhorrence over the content of the film, from the terrible sets to the acting, the media fails to recognize the immense power and ability they have to address the entire world’s anti-American chants at the moment.
The outrage has culminated with protests in Somalia, Nigeria, Niger, and Sudan and the death of four U.S. consuls in Benghazi.
There is no need to deny that this is a serious issue. However, in the wake of these various anti-Islamic sentiments, at what cost do we have the right to free speech?
The StarTribune easily reminds us of one of “the most famous First Amendment cases in U.S. history, Schenck v. United States ” in which “Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. established that the right to free speech in the United States is not unlimited.”
Yes, we may never be able to yell “fire!” in a movie theater, but the U.S. media missed the mark this time in focusing on appeasing the people who are threatening to attack diplomats.
We are not in the right in this scenario, nor have we ever put our nation in the position to be right.