Aprovocative US movie on Islam triggered acts of violence in Libya and Egypt, leading to the murder of the American ambassador to Libya along with three of his staff.
The perpetrators of the attack certainly knew the ambassador and the other victims had no role in the making of the movie, which, according to news reports, intended to depict Islam in a negative manner, a goal that the killers of the US diplomats are also serving.
One of the main missions of the murdered diplomats was to build a bridge between Libya and the US, between two parts of the world and two cultures. Their undertaking seems to have been lost on extremist elements who, wittingly or unwittingly, vindicated the goals of the producer of the movie “Innocence of Muslims”.
There were conflicting reports on the identity and nationality of the producer, identified by an Associated Press report early Wednesday as Israeli Sam Bacile, with the agency later in the day shedding doubts on its earlier report. Regardless of the identity and the nationality, the producer certainly wished to sow hatred towards Muslims, just as it happens Israel, where one-fifth of the population — the indigenous Palestinians of which a majority Muslim — is facing discrimination.
In the earlier AP report, the alleged moviemaker described Islam as a cancer and said he wanted his film to be a provocative political statement condemning the religion. He said the two-hour $5 million movie received financing from more than 100 Jewish donors who share his belief that the movie will help Israel “by exposing Islam’s flaws to the world”, according to the report.
Clearly stated, and regardless of the identity and nationality, the intentions are to denigrate Islam, the faith of more than 1.5 billion people, or around one quarter of the world’s population, most of them living peacefully with followers of other faiths. The movie certainly targets these people in a manner that aims to disrupt their relations with others who might view them in a negative light.
Unfortunately such job sometimes is made easier by a very small minority of Muslims who advocate violence or the use of force to impose their views on others — others here being not only non-Muslims, but also Muslims who do not agree with them, meaning the vast majority of the followers of the faith.
This vast majority is victim of this small minority exactly as it is victim of this movie, produced to provoke, harm and cause rifts.
Muslims all over the world, who live in more than 200 countries and territories, should remember that their faith is that of peace and tolerance, that the Prophet and the caliphs instructed their armies not to kill innocent people, not even to cut trees or destroy houses.
They and others have to remember that this religion offered protection to messengers and ambassadors, as well as to all those living under the protection of any Muslim state, in times of war and peace.
In Islam and for Muslims, nothing justifies violence and spilling blood of innocent people.
Nothing justifies Wednesday’s crime in Benghazi, and nothing and nobody should exonerate the filmmaker whose sinister objectives are very clear.