The offensive film

(50 Posts)
nailak Sat 22-Sep-12 01:23:48

curiosity got the better of me, I watched the film,

it is not funny or witty by anyone's terms,

it has no message behind it from the little i managed to watch,

it seems to purely exist to insult, offend, stir up hatred and mock. There is no film making merit behind it,

it is not particularly well shot or produced or directed,

and it is obvious that it has been dubbed and the actors had no idea what the final version would be.

does anyone agree or disagree with this? I mean seriously was there some humour in there that i couldn't see because of my bias?

This is not supposed to be a thread about the merits of free speech, or how we can mock one religion but another, or anything like that, but specifically a criticism (in the academic sense) of this particular film.

I have to admit I couldn't watch all of it for some reason, which I can't quite put my finger on, it was uncomfortable to watch to say the least.

but it seems there was no reason for it to be made other to get the reaction it did?

nailak Sat 22-Sep-12 01:58:08

"Insulting" the Prophet should be categorised as a form of "hate-speech" comparable to racism or Holocaust denial, as forbidden in many European countries, because the sacred image of the Prophet is a constituent element of the Muslim communal identity." Malise Rutheven

GothAnneGeddes Sat 22-Sep-12 02:33:40

Nalaik- I'm Muslim too, but I think comparing insulting the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) to Holocaust denial is in very poor taste.

The solution isn't to forbid, or protect from criticism. What we need to do is make clear that these criticism are rooted in racist, orientalist stereotypes - the Arab as the savage, uncivilised barbarous "other", these stereotypes are poisonous and harmful.

And I so very wish that: 1)Certain individuals in Muslim majority countries wouldn't use such things as an excuse to riot, and
2)The Western media wouldn't just cover the riots, but the peaceful protests too, like the one in Libya, where people were decrying the murder of the U.S ambassador. A bit analysis beyond "oh, the Arab spring's failed", wouldn't go a miss either.

Extrospektiv Sat 22-Sep-12 15:35:42

The BNP and EDL would just break the law and take their sentence. Then you would have the uncivilised spectacle of people being banged up in "free" countries for offending another religion. Fuck that.

I'll be leaving Britain if they ever got their way

Extrospektiv Sat 22-Sep-12 15:35:53

And I'm a fucking moderate Muslim

Extrospektiv Sat 22-Sep-12 15:40:14

Further to the threads on Sarah Catt and judges applying law/personal prejudice, judges should simply refuse to enforce such a law, OR one about imprisoning people for their personal views on the Holocaust, however misguided. I don't give a flying fuck what a "democratically elected" government says, these laws should not be obeyed or enforced any more than Hitler and dictators. The majority silencing the minority is not acceptable "democracy" (otherwise segregation, slavery, anti-gay laws, etc. would all have been ok because 51% or more voted them in against a minority they saw as "other".)

"I was only obeying orders" is not an excuse for thoughtcrime. Europe can't talk to the rest of the world about human rights and civil liberty until it stops all thoughtcrime prosecutions and frees all prisoners of conscience. Until then they are hypocrites.

nailak Sat 22-Sep-12 20:04:42

it wasnt me that said the holocaust denial thing, it was from BBC website, an expert commentator, if you have done open uni intro to religions you would have read her books.

What about the film? its only reason for being seems to be to offend and insult? is there any humour I cant see? Is it ok to make a film that deliberately sets out to get the reaction it did? is it not incitement of some sort?

GothAnneGeddes Sat 22-Sep-12 20:38:26

Nalaik- I don't care what books she's written, on this issue she is wrong and her comparison is crass and offensive.

To your second point, considering that in the Quran, Musa and Haroon (as) were told to speak to Pharaoh, who was evil + wicked, in the best manner, a mere film should surely be countered in a dignified manner. Did the Prophet Muhammed (was) not give "Don't be angry" as his most important piece of advice and repeated that phrase three times in a row?

The film is an ill advised piece of troll-bait, but no excuse for rioting. None and certainly such behaviour has no justification in Islam.

Laws against such films would be difficult to enforce internationally and could possibly be abused to stifle messages the authorities wish to suppress.

nailak Sat 22-Sep-12 23:36:56

I agree with you. If we all ignored it, it would make less impact.

defuse Sat 22-Sep-12 23:40:25


I dont agree wih the rioting but everyone knows that there are more issues going on with the rioting and not just this film.

I do hold my prophet in high regard, to me and millions others, insulting my prophet causes immense revulsion. I strongly want to protect my prophet from criticism and want it forbidden. It is all based on lies and frankly speaking - blatant islamophobia.

I also do not believe that it is ok to criticise and insult my prophet. I dont care if the media etc were critical of muslims in general. They could do all the cartoons in the world slating muslims of today for all i care. but I cannot accept any disrespect of my prophet in the name of free speech. I wont accept those words as anything but venomous racist islamophobia masqueraded as freedom of speech. Before anyone asks, i am not in agreement with the rioting or the loss of innocent life.

alexpolismum Mon 24-Sep-12 08:48:19


I agree with you completely.

I have frequently stated my position as an atheist on MN, and I have had several lively discussions on Islam with some of you. But I think that a direct insult/ slander on a person such as Islam's foremost prophet is unacceptable.

However, this film should not be dignified by such a massive response. It should have remained ignored on Youtube, to be viewed only by the ultra-nationalist types in various countries who have had their senses of humour and logic surgically removed.

It was obviously produced precisely to provoke such a response, so that the makers could turn round and say "See, I was right! Look how dreadful and uncivilised they are!" Therefore the best response is none at all.

I don't think this sort of thing should be banned - I agree with "GothAnneGeddes" that education is the way forward, and more positive images of Arabs or of Muslim countries, less of the "savage mindless Muslim terrorist" sort of stuff that seems to get so much airspace.

edam Mon 24-Sep-12 10:29:28

Thought this was an interesting take on the 'all Muslims are extremists happy to form a violent mob' idea. Love the #Muslimrage comments.

Set aside that, of course, is the Pakistani minister who has offered a £100k reward for anyone who kills the idiot film-maker - but that's apparently designed to stop protesters damaging any more of his family's property...

edam Mon 24-Sep-12 10:30:34

Oh, but equally set aside the set aside with the Libyans who drove the mob that killed the US Ambassador out of Benghazi...

messyisthenewtidy Mon 24-Sep-12 19:37:30

Has anyone seen this video? It's great..

I just do not understand that so many across the muslim world took offense.
It says more about them really.

The film is so insignificant like so much of the rubbish that circulates on the net.
Muslims should concentrate on their "aggiornamento" instead of being constantly childishly offended.
They were conned and played right into it.

Am a lapsed muslim btw. Utterly disgusted.
Muslim is a word I have become very reluctant to use. I now state my ethnic origin.
Thank God I come from a tradition of sufism. My identlty is clearly marked by a cultural, intellectual and artistic heritage but I have no faith whatsoever to pass on to my children.
I don't want them to associate with any muslim education whatsoever. I don't want them to see muslims on the news, there are no role models.

GothAnneGeddes Tue 25-Sep-12 11:19:45

Oh please, laptop. We've recently had a Muslim woman win a Nobel Peace Prize and you say there are no role models?

If you choose to look no further then the end of you nose, that's your choice, but it says more about you, then it does about Muslims.

lljkk Tue 25-Sep-12 11:33:09

Problem is rumour that this the US govt real agenda, what US govt & West truly think, some sort of twisted idea that the US govt helped produce this film as a form of propaganda. I know it's twisted logic, but when inclination to only think of the West as interfering murderous Crusaders is entrenched, then it's easy to embrace the conspiracy theory.

GothAnn, can you be more prosaic than a nobel price?
That does not translate very well to toddlers and young children.

GothAnneGeddes Tue 25-Sep-12 12:18:53

How is a Nobel Peace Prize prosaic? Are you sure that's the word you wanted to use?

You said there were no role models, I pointed out one, if you want more, go and google them yourself, I cannot abide the sort of lapsed Muslim self-pity you're espousing.

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Tue 25-Sep-12 12:27:46

I'm not a Muslim, and I've seen the film. I agree Nailak that it was designed to be insulting and provocative. I can't see anything funny about it. I also agree with laptop that it was a 'trap', and that a large number of Muslims fell into it.

However, I do agree with free speech. Many governments would love to be able to censor the internet and control communication between people. Banning rubbish like this would give governments carte blanche to stop people from finding out things for themselves.

I think the person / people who put this film together got exactly the reaction they were looking for. We can't let them win.

crescentmoon Tue 25-Sep-12 12:39:48

iv not seen the film as i have a blank space in my head where the Prophet's face is supposed to be and i want to keep it that way.

i follow the sufi path in islam, its very non violent and has many orthodox, liberal and secular streams within it alone just like in islam as a whole. but what is distinctive about sufi islam is the very deep love of the prophet (pbuh) that is ingrained within it. to the extent we are often accused by our muslim brothers and sisters of almost worshipping him. when i hear of the insults against him i am deeply pained. it is more than offence, i am pained. more than if i was slandered, or my husband, or my parents.

but i also think the riots are playing into the hands of enemies. so predictable.

crescentmoon Tue 25-Sep-12 12:42:39

iv heard there are other videos just as slanderous about the Prophet (pbuh), what was happening in egypt at the time that man brought up this video in particular. thats the important question. was there an election run off or something? were the egyptian salafists trying to face off against the muslim brotherhood?

Yes prosaic as ordinary.
As a role model as a civil rights activist not as a muslim.Like shirin abadi. The veil makes little difference.
There is no self pity at all. There is a very strong identity independently of superstition.
The ones who who are defensive about Z-series internet garbage are the brainless spineless self pitying mass.

GothAnneGeddes Tue 25-Sep-12 13:48:38

I see! So when Muslims are bad, it's all because they are Muslim and when they are good, it's nothing to do with them being Muslim.

I suppose Mo. Farrah is ordinary too and his success also has nothing to do with his being a Muslim.

I still can't get over you claiming winning a Nobel Peace Prize is "ordinary". Tawakkul Karmen is far from that.

She is not ordinary and neither is Farah.
They are not brandishing islam as the building block of their moral virtue or excellence.
Just humbly acknowledging their HARD WORK.. You know, knowledge, perseverance, lucidity, self criticism, good faith, etc....
These lunatics are just crying wolf

GothAnneGeddes Tue 25-Sep-12 14:09:46

You've stopped making any sense now. You asked for Muslim role models. I gave some examples.

After the ludicrous claim that winning a Nobel Peace Prize was "prosaic" and "ordinary", you've now descended into frothing at the mouth about people "crying wolf".

Very peculiar.

GothAnneGeddes Tue 25-Sep-12 14:12:05

P.S How would you know how they feel Islam influences their life? You were denying their very existence upthread, according to you, there are no Muslim role models.

I am completely frothing at the mouth
Am happy for any belief to influence a life but don't impose it on others.
Neither Mo Farah, nor Tawakel Karman have used their fame to preach. On the contrary.
I am muslim and I refuse that the reaction this stupid internet clip is representative of who I am.
So just marking my place in response to OP.
Massive overreaction from the ignorant manipulated masses. not in my name.

Catkinsthecatinthehat Tue 25-Sep-12 17:08:46

I do hold my prophet in high regard, to me and millions others, insulting my prophet causes immense revulsion. I strongly want to protect my prophet from criticism and want it forbidden.

I also do not believe that it is ok to criticise and insult my prophet...I cannot accept any disrespect of my prophet in the name of free speech.

And this is what terrifies me about Islam. I believe you have the absolute right to proclaim that the prophet is all fluffy bunnies and kittens. But you would like to ban me from publicly disagreeing with you. You - and as you state, millions of others - would like to punish me for saying that the idea he was divinely inspired is nonsense and that certain aspects of his life (child marriage etc) are pretty rotten.

The sort of Islam that we're seeing right now is a threat to enlightened, democratic values - free thought, free speech, freedom of religion and freedom from religion, and secular values.

Yes, the film makers were being deliberately provocative and they've got the reaction they were hoping for. People rioting in Muslim countries which are happy to suppress the practice of other religions and with media which frequently demonise other religious adherents such as Jews, as pigs and child killers. If they thought they could get the same reaction by making a video called "Buddha- what a tosser" I'm sure they would. But they wouldn't get the same reaction from the professionally insulted, would they?

Like it or not disrespecting Mohammed is free speech. To quote Stephen Fry, "You're offended? So bloody what?"

edam Tue 25-Sep-12 17:15:06

It is a real difficulty in relationships between (some) Muslims and everyone else: this demand that non-Muslims refrain from anything that Muslims may consider criticising the prophet. I don't see how any compromise is possible between the principle of free speech, which is the founding principle of Western civilisation, and the dearly-held beliefs of (many) Muslims that criticism of the Prophet is forbidden, not only for them but for others. How do you persuade someone who thinks their religion should bind others?

nailak Tue 25-Sep-12 21:38:13

laptop did you miss the Muslim women on the Olympics? are they not role models?

I dont know about where you are, but in my area we have muslim women as teachers, pharmacists, lollipop ladies, pcso's etc. plenty of role models.

nailak Tue 25-Sep-12 21:42:48

Nonetheless there are those who still chose to go ahead with depriving themselves of food throughout the Games. Many of Morocco’s football team have insisted on fasting even though their muftis have given them permission not to. At their first game against Japan over the weekend they lost 1-0 and were forced to defend themselves against the suggestion that Ramadan might be to blame.

Moroccan forward Noureddin Amrabat was substituted after 70 minutes. “Ramadan has little effect,” he insisted. “I have less power. It’s my religion and for me the only way is that you do Ramadan. It’s not an excuse to play a match. I have my religion and I do 30 days Ramadan”.

Somali 400m runner Zamzam Moahmed Farah would agree. “Ramadan is something we have to perform,” she said. “I’m just as fast and I will run and I don’t think it will affect me as an athlete.”

Thursday night the East London Mosque is holding a large iftar celebration for Muslims and non-Muslims which will be attended by the Palestinian Olympic team and other athletes. Iftar is the evening meal that marks the break of each daily fast and is usually celebrated communally.

Extrospektiv Tue 25-Sep-12 21:43:33

Just tell them they are entitled to their religious views but not to impose them on others, and they will not be permitted to do so.

I notice you support abortion and same-sex marriage edam. You're also left-wing on fiscal policy. What would you say to people who think everyone should not be allowed abortions , everyone should be banned from having gay sex and imprisoned if they do, and benefits are a direct violation of God's command that "he who does not work should not eat" and so the government is illegitimate and they have a right to not pay their taxes so long as benefits exist?

Or to those much smaller numbers of Muslims who believe that as Allah rules the whole world they have an absolute right to kill soldiers, police, MPs of governments of any "kuffar/infidel" ruled country?

I don't see how blocking freedom of speech is any different to any other issue of a religious group demanding everyone everywhere obey their rules. The UK repealed its Blasphemy Act, which forbade certain anti-Christian material and was very rarely used, in 2009 as a result of opinions that it was entirely compatible with principles of non-discrimination and freedom of speech and expression in the Human Rights documents we have signed up to. If the religion which has predominated in Britain for a thousand years and is still officially privileged by our monarchy and House of Lords is no longer allowed to be protected by secular law from attacks, how can Islam or any other faith possibly be exempt?

nailak Tue 25-Sep-12 21:43:55
defuse Tue 25-Sep-12 23:26:48

Catkins , i am not trying to stop you from disagreeing - i simply do not want anyone mocking and throwing insults. If anyone wants to question, then go ahead. If you say that it is untrue that my prophet was divinely inspired - that is your right to say so. If you want to say that you dont agree with the young marriage, that is your right. I have no desire to punish anyone over anything

It is the deliberate insults, the deliberate provocation and the deliberate attack that really causes the distress.

Disrespecting someone's mother is also free speech. It is also a disgusting form of speech, crass, hurtful, immature and unnecessary. In fact, is disrespecting anyone even necessary? One can also put their points of view across without the need to be so inflammatory and rude. It is only good manners!

Hey Nailak, did not mean to ignore your posts but am gmt+8

Absolutely agree about those role models you mention but what the hell with fasting during olympic competition?
You prepare for years for the Olympics and decide to fast and make it very public to "explain" why you did not perform well?
Cowardice and hypocrisy and counter productive.
I'd much prefer they used their brains than their faith to explain that.
Not to mention some of those moroccan footballers are probably first class binge drinkers when not competing.

Plenty of role model in everyday life where I come from but I bulk at the patronizing stance of the very righteous councils of Ulemaa or self proclaimed "Islamist" political parties.
Its very hard to present one self as secular. Most muslims where I've lived equate that to being a "lesser" muslim.

That's what people like me can not understand. And am not surprised the west has no interest going beyond the falsely cohesive image they project of the "Uma".
There is not even the beginning of an attempt at damage control.
They should occupy the media space to promote a more positive image.

So again am saying the defensiveness is just posturing for lack of courage to address a very real problem of ijtihad.

Here is how to act and communicate effectively

Could we not do more of this rather than go nit picking on the internet to find the next stupid thing to wage another self pitying war about?

crescentmoon Wed 26-Sep-12 13:48:16

"So again am saying the defensiveness is just posturing for lack of courage to address a very real problem of ijtihad."

what do you mean by that laptop? just interested

They dont want to use their neurones basically.

crescentmoon Wed 26-Sep-12 13:54:43

what is the very real problem of ijtihad you mean though? it interested me coming from a secular muslims as yourself.

as for the article you posted, il just put it up with a live link

i found it very depressing actually. the trojan horse of islamism? im so glad im a British muslim and not a french muslim, the gulf states buy and invest money in the UK and they arent seen so suspiciously.

crescentmoon Wed 26-Sep-12 13:55:11

ha, i forgot to tick the convert links box as well! wonder what others think.

edam Wed 26-Sep-12 13:58:27

extro, you are sounding a bit stalker-ish. I don't know why you've been hunting around my other posts to build up a profile of me. Very strange.

FWIW you asked what I'd say to people who hold different opinions to me. What on earth do you think I'd say? Other people are entitled to hold different views. That's the point of my post, freedom of speech is a cherished principle and means that people are entitled to voice their opinions.

Ijtihad means you are willing to use your brain, give others freedom to do so, listen to and revive the discourse between reason/science and religion as examined by bridging scholars like the aristotelian ibn rochd.

We are a far cry from that saddly

Edam, yes very uncomfortable stalking.

Crescent 13:54:43 agree.
For once the french seem to be doing the right thing in terms of miority integration.
And challenging muslims to participate in the debate.

crescentmoon Wed 26-Sep-12 14:36:24

what would islam look like today had the door to ijtihad not been closed in the 4th century CE? the Prophet (pbuh) said 'differences of opinion in my ummah are a mercy'. so iv never seen the different schools of thought, different schools of aqeedah, as anything except a good thing.

crescentmoon Wed 26-Sep-12 14:39:10

i think i must be reading a different article to you dear laptop. what are they doing right in terms of minority integration according to that article? challening muslims to participate in what debate? imagine how radical the change would be in deprived northern towns in the UK if the Qatari government decided to invest those millions in economic regeneration here. instead to me it seems like they got abused for it?

defuse Wed 26-Sep-12 20:46:11

Salaam, sorry for going off topic, but does anybody know what happened to the 'muslims are always offended' thread?

Good morning!

Am all for pluralism but I wish most of those schools had not cornered us all into the narrow legalist, normative conception of ijtihad.
Its a vision that stifles free will, spirit of enquiry, critical thinking and thus individual responsibility.

crescentmoon Thu 27-Sep-12 10:57:47

just read about mona eltahawy being released from custody in New York City today. iv not often agreed with her views but im proud of her today.

she's ace! brave and articulate and proud of her heritage.
She knows how to spin it and I wish we had many more like her occupying the air/waves.

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