Bad Movie, But also Very Bad Reaction
By: Elias Bejjani*

September 13/12

No one sane or actual faithful in the whole world who honestly believes in human rights, democracy, values the humane life and freedom of speech can agree or accept the angry and bloody demonstrations and riots that unfolded in Libya, Egypt and other Muslim countries in response to a film by a U.S. producer that mocks and insults the Muslim's Prophet Muhammad.

The movie, "Innocence of Muslims," was directed and produced by an American real-estate developer who characterized it as a political effort to call attention to "the hypocrisies of Islam", as he alleged. It has been promoted by Terry Jones, the Florida pastor whose burning of Qurans previously sparked deadly riots around the world.

We strongly believe that the film in question was an unwise, stupid, and a merely provocative one. The producer identified a problem as he stated, but in reality he did not do any good to tackle this problem,  on the contrary he made it much worse.

If he really was genuine in his approach of problem solving, he would have utilized the millions of dollars that were spent on the film to help his own people in Israel and in other countries. Definitely declaring a war via a provocative movie on another religion that fosters hatred and widens divisions is not by any means a solution and will never be.

In the same realm this is not the right way for the Libyan people to show their gratitude for the USA who with all its military mighty and economic capabilities helped in freeing them from the butcher and dictator Muammar al-Qadhafi and his family

This savage reaction that took three American innocent lives at the American embassy in Libya is extremely impulsive and does not benefit Libya or its people who after years of oppression are now enjoying freedom because of the American - Western help. The same argument and rule applies to Egypt too.

Definitely this bloody and uncalculated reaction in Libya and Egypt will make the Western world more hesitant in helping the Syrian people to oust al-Assad dictatorship regime. Here and because of this bloody and Stone Age reaction the Syrian people will be forced to suffer more and more without any Western military help to end their misery.

This is not the first such religious based bloody disaster, and definitely it would not be the last unless the actual deeply rooted problem is identified and treated with openness, knowledge and courage. Accordingly, one might ask where the dilemma of such evil and murderous actions and reactions lie? The answer lies totally in the context of education, reality, and tolerance.

The most vital part of the solution lies within the hands and boundaries of the Muslim countries and the Muslims. They MUST understand once and forever that the Western secular, free and democratic countries have different concepts from their own in regards to freedom, democracy, religions, religious rituals and religious figures.

These differences that they are not yet able to accept and live with are governed by laws that ensure and protects them. Those Westerns, officials, journalists, religious figures, citizens etc. who breach these laws are dealt with through the judiciary systems, and not by bloody attacks, Jihad, intimidations, riots or threats.

Another vital reality that MUST be totally assimilated by the Muslim countries and Muslims is that the entire secular countries in the whole world recognize no such Muslim Sharia laws as apostasy and blasphemy that Muslim countries enforce. So the criteria and standards for what is a taboo, holy and righteous, are totally different between the Western world and the Muslim countries.

Accordingly, the right, productive and effective means for Muslim countries and Muslims be individuals or groups to protest any western anti-Islamic policies, acts, movie, books, articles, studies, pictures etc. is through the Western judiciary system and its well known procedures.

Definitely burning Western flags, attacking Western embassies, assassinating Christians or Jews anywhere in the world, burning churches or hijacking airplanes etc. is not the solution or the deterrence for any anti-Islamic rhetoric or acts. On the contrary such acts hurt those who execute them and portrays them as outlaws.

Based on all of the above we strongly condemn the production of the USA movie "Innocence of Muslims", due to the bare fact that it will not achieve anything that is good, but at the same time we condemn more the bloody riots that took innocent lives and which will also foster the hatred and grudges.

In conclusion, the remedy for such ongoing religious fatal and futile confrontations is more openness, more education, more awareness, more tolerance and more living realities not fantasies

Elias Bejjani
Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights activist, journalist and political commentator
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