|Yelling Fire in the World Theatre||9/12/12|
Freedom of Speech and Bodies on the GroundYuroc
We Americans know that our freedom of speech does not extend to yelling "Fire!" in a crowded movie theatre. When the consequences of our free expression kill people, our freedom to express must be curtailed.
A film trailer of "Muhammed" is making the rounds on the Internet. It portrays Muhammed as a Jesus-like gay child molester, a debauched slaver and womanizer, whose followers are depraved thugs who call him "Master." In the Qur'an the word "master" is used 14 times, and always refers to God or to a slave owner, never to Muhammed. The word "Master" is used more often than that in the trailer alone. In the film, Muhammed curiously quotes the Qur'an, a document that did not precede his tenure on Earth. The many "quotes" that appear in the film are not in the Qur'an. Check them out yourself. This film seems intended to appeal to idiots and imbeciles.
Another example: the film has "The Master" saying "Whoever chooses not to follow Islam has only two choices: pay extortion or die." However the word extortion does not appear in the Qur'an. Not even once. The Qur'an does say this, at verse 3:85, "And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers." Not very close.
When California-based filmmaker "Sam Bacile" made this poor-quality defamation of Islam, "The Innocents of Islam," he admittedly intended it to be provocative. He calls Islam a cancer. In his alleged home country of Israel, there is no protection of freedom of speech, because there is no constitution. Perhaps this is why Bacile came to the US to make this inflammatory piece, if indeed he is Israeli, as he claims, but Israel does not claim him. "Sam Bacile" is apparently a pseudonym. Perhaps his middle name is "Im."
Florida-based minister Terry Jones, last seen on the world stage burning Korans to incite Muslims, seized on the film and promoted it. Reportedly, the whole film has been shown only once, to a nearly empty theatre, but the trailer has been translated into Egyptian Arabic, which is now circulating worldwide. Many of the actors' voices change in mid-paragraph, where a dubbed in voice puts in words even more inflammatory than the original script.
The trailer sparked angry attacks by Muslims on U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya, where U.S. ambassador Chris Stephens and three other Americans were killed on 9/11/2012. The conflagration is likely to spread. Perhaps al Qaeda planned it in memory of 9/11/2001, although coordinating the widespread flare-up around the film to coincide with 9/11 so as to mask a preplanned military assault of an American consulate seems challenging for a largely defanged organization.
Right-wing fanatics like Terry Jones would love to provoke the Battle of Armageddon, which would embroil the planet in a final war that would prove to the doubters that Christianity is the only true faith. Not content to let the prophecy unfold on its own, if it ever does, Terry Jones has no compunction about throwing gasoline on embers to create a fire and then fanning it to be sure that it spreads. There are now dead bodies on the ground. How many more will there be? Is this "Christian" pastor working on behalf of the good man who said, "Love your neighbor as yourself"? Perhaps he hates himself.
Terry Jones is not unlike the Taliban. They just prefer different flavors of religion, both of which descend from Abraham. They are all cousins. This is a family affair.
With bodies on the ground, unrest spreading to Yemen, Israel, Iran and Iraq, and unnecessary conflict not an impossible outcome, it must be concluded that Terry Jones and "Sam Becile" are clearly threats to national security. Their form of hate speech needs to be curtailed. We cannot condone free speech that amounts to yelling "Fire!" in the world theatre.
Meanwhile in March, Congress passed HR 347, a bill that limits Americans' ability to protest in public and on government grounds. The bill, passed almost unanimously, makes it a federal offense punishable by up to ten years in prison to "knowingly" protest in the vicinity of the Secret Service, i.e., anywhere the Secret Service "is or will be temporarily visiting." Now that's not the curtailment of hate speech that we need. How can we turn a blind eye to Terry Jones and "Sam Becile" and then threaten anyone who wishes to voice a disagreement with a president? That's not right.
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