Innocence of Muslims: Hate Speech at It’s Worst

How the video and the worldwide response were disgraceful and irresponsible

By Eswar Dhinakaran

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” It is precisely under the vein of this quote that I can say that those men and women behind the recent release of a YouTube film, The Innocence of Muslims, are going to be bearing a heavy burden.

First of all, the film itself is probably the lowest quality and lowest budget “film” I have ever seen. The acting in the film is absolutely dreadful. To put it into perspective, here’s a picture. I acted in a school play, playing the part of a Mexican farmer in the 1930s when I was in the 4th grade. Looking back, I can positively say that my acting 8 years ago could win the Academy Awards compared to the actors and actresses in The Innocence of Muslims. The cinematography looks like the actors scrounged around the Spirit Halloween Store for a few hours. The sets looked like they were just in front of a greens screen that was showing the same alternative imagery of deserts again and again. The cinematography suggests that the producers visited Best Buy and found a discounted video camera.

After watching the 14 minute version, since only less than 10 people have actually seen the full feature film, I was bored out of my eyes. In the middle of the film, I was seriously wondering whether writing this article was worth finishing the film. The director must have realized the absolute boredom of the film that he decided to include a 30 second sex scene.

Now let’s get into the actual debate about this film. The racism and anti-Islamic messages that the film portrays has sparked riots and protests across the world. Most people in the world who are against the film, however, are directing their anger not toward the single man behind the film, but all of America. The anger and fury around the world has led to violence especially against American symbols like embassies and diplomatic missions. In that list are McDonalds, KFCs and other fast food restaurants. In Libya, a rocket strike on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi led to the death of four Americans including ambassador, Christopher Stevens. Riots have taken place throughout the Middle East, India, Europe and Canada. Obviously the message in the film is racist and unnecessary but the reaction to it was exaggerated and deadly. Killing innocent men and women and injuring plenty others is not the way to argue against a movie that cynically accuses an entire religion for being violent.