Death, rioting, and destruction are not laughing matters. The death of the American ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other consulate personnel in Benghazi and the destruction of the U.S. consulate there last week are tragedies to our nation, to diplomacy and peace, to Libya’s progress, and to those who knew and loved Stevens, Sean Smith, Glenn Doherty, and Tyrone Woods.
So the reaction by Muslims worldwide to the trailer of the once unknown film “Innocence of Muslims” — being blamed for much of the most recent Muslim rioting and those deaths — is no laughing matter.
While initially blaming the film, an investigation into the murder of Stevens and his coworkers may actually find the film trailer nothing but a convenient excuse for an act of terrorism by extremists.
But if not a laughing matter, what does the rioting by tens of thousand of Muslims worldwide over this film trailer represent?
Utter, incomprehensible ridiculousness is what it represents.
Why? I watched the film trailer for “Innocence of Muslims” that has engendered so much anger, rioting and protests among Muslims this past weekend. It is clearly one of the most amateurish and ridiculously stupid trailers I have every seen. I would no more pay good money (or bad money for that matter) to see this film than the man in the moon. No educated person would.
The trailer is so bad that it begs the question of why actors and actresses would embarrass themselves by being associated with this film. The acting is bad. The message makes no sense and is clearly a political one that must be taken with a large grain of salt. The actors and actresses were obviously starving to agree to “star” (I use this word loosely) in this film.
It’s unfortunate that the trailer depicts Islam’s major prophet Muhammad as a pedophilic, philanderous murderer. Depictions of Muhammad, regardless of the intent, are prohibited in Islam.
But this movie trailer is so ridiculous, so clearly amateurish, and so antithetic to how most Americans feel about Muhammad and the great religion of Islam that it makes no sense to riot against it, let alone kill people over it.
Ridiculous factor number one: No educated person (and maybe that’s a major part of the problem. Most of the rioters are uneducated) would consider this film as anything but ridiculous.
Most of the rioters had not seen the trailer before they decided to take to the streets to protest and riot against it. This is the second reason the riots, death and destruction associated with this film are ridiculous. I’d guess a majority of the rioters haven’t even seen the film (not that they’d want to it’s so bad) and yet they’re rioting against it. They’re like a bunch of lemmings dashing over a cliff. Ridiculousness factor number two. It makes no sense to riot against something you haven’t even seen.
By rioting, destroying and killing, the protesters caused more people (like me) to take the 15 minutes to view the movie trailer that most people would not have even known existed. Frankly after viewing the trailer, that 15 minutes is a quarter hour I wish I had back, but the reality is that by rioting against the trailer the Muslim protestors ensure millions more will see the trailer and possibly the movie (although a big waste of money) than otherwise would have seen them. Ridiculousness factor number three.
Lastly, many of the protests occurred before it was reported the film was produced in the United States, which it was. Obviously, most of the rioters are clueless that You Tube uploads can occur from anywhere in the world. How did the protesters and rioters know the film wasn’t produced and distributed by some extremist group overseas hoping to start a worldwide protest movement against Americans? The fact is, they didn’t know. Yet they rioted anyway. Ridiculousness factor number four.
Look, this film is bad for several reasons, most importantly that, at least on the surface, it may have caused the death of four American patriots and diplomats who were furthering the cause of liberty and democracy in Libya. But it’s so clearly a bad film from its acting to its message that it makes no sense to attribute it to America, or the way Americans feel about Islam or the prophet Muhammad, and riot against it. It’s time for the ridiculousness to stop over this stupid film.
Barry Fetzer is a columnist for the Havelock News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.