You know that short, skinny little kid with a big mouth you knew when you were growing up? He was constantly talking shit about sports and people’s moms for the sole purpose of generating a reaction, but whenever someone stepped up to punch him in the face, he always weasled his way behind his bigger friends. Well, thanks to the fucking asshole who made Innocence Of Muslims, I now feel like one of those bigger friends.
The Innocence Of Muslims is, without question, the most reprehensible abomination I have ever seen. It’s not entertainment. It’s a poorly veiled excuse to fire unprovoked insults at a religion. Amateurish, sloppy and even poorly edited, the film claims to follow the life of Muhammad, but really, it does nothing more than use a character named Muhammad to rant about false verses, which is obnoxious and hypocritical considering the dialogue of its own actors was overdubbed in post-production. There’s not a single interesting or thought-provoking moment during the entire green screened mess. It’s an intro-to-credits embarrassment, and yet, as fucking idiotic as it may be, it still doesn’t have blood on its hands.
Following the release of The Innocence Of Muslims on YouTube, the film was translated into Arabic and parts of it were broadcast on Egyptian television. Shortly thereafter, riots broke out throughout the Middle East. During one particularly aggressive one in Benghazi, Libya, four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed. Many in the crowd said they were there to protest The Innocence Of Muslims, and consequently, the film has been blamed for all of the civil unrest. The White House called for it to be taken off YouTube, and the alleged filmmaker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, has been forced into hiding.
Given how unfair, stupid and atrocious Nakoula’s movie is, it’s tempting to throw him to the wolves and root for him to get punched in the face like that loud-mouthed eleven-year-old we all knew growing up, but we can’t do that. We have to begrudgingly defend him because his movie didn’t kill anyone. We might like to talk about how powerful a great movie can be, but there’s not a single piece of artwork in the world that’s inflammatory enough to spontaneously turn rational viewers into murderers. There are only offensive and misguided pieces of art that can be manipulated enough to turn already-existing anger into misguided action.
The Innocence Of Muslims was nothing more than a catalyst, an idiotic travesty that served as a convenient call to arms. I hate every single thing about its pestilent and corrosive agenda, but it still has the right to exist. We have to defend its right to exist because once you start banning the most pathetic and offensive works of art, you begin inhibiting the free exchange of ideas. There can never be a line because all of us would place it a different point. It would inch and inch and inch toward censorship until anything even a small group of people found offensive would be banned, and that’s a far worse prospect than stomaching pernicious hogwash like Innocence Of Muslims.
Long live the First Amendment, and fuck this miserable movie.