Both Video and Violence Insult Islam; Insult Is No Excuse for the Violence; Freedom of Speech Is No Excuse for the Sickening Movie

Article excerpt

The tragic events last week in Libya and Egypt are a stark reminder that intolerant people are everywhere.

The heart-breaking murder of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three embassy staff members shocked people around the world. No matter how abhorrent the insulting movie was, there was no justification for the brutal attacks in Libya. The murder of innocent lives flies in the face of the faith these misguided people were purporting to "protect."

The latest unrest in the Middle East has again sparked a discussion about contrasting values here and abroad. We cherish freedom of speech. Some in Libya, Egypt, Yemen and other countries don't understand that the U.S. government has no role in creating derogatory movies, speeches, cartoons or with the burning of Qurans. The right of individual expression is protected by our Constitution.

On the other hand, many non-Muslims cannot comprehend why these offensive materials are so infuriating to Muslims. Freedom of speech is everyone's right, but so is the expectation that all faiths will be respected.

I watched "Muslim Innocence" and was sickened; the 13-minute depiction of our Prophet is full of innuendos and false depiction of historical events. Its makers denigrate the faith of 1.5 billion people.

This movie has no message except to vilify Islam and the Quran, and to paint the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the worst possible manner.

Our forefathers gave us the gift of freedom of speech, but we have to be prudent to use it. Using it to hurt and defame someone's faith was not the vision of those who wrote our Constitution.

At this time in history, when relationships between the U.S. government and many Muslim countries are strained, these acts disparaging Islam are sure to incite masses, be exploited by fanatical groups and lead to loss of lives and property. …