I Am Muslim, Hear Me Roar – II
The “Innocence of Muslims” is such a poorly directed, low-budget film, that even without the sacrilegious content it should be marked as “offensive”. The movie portrays Muslims as violent, barbaric people who go around mindless killing people. Naturally, some Muslims decided to prove them wrong by storming the US embassies and mindlessly killing people. I may just have blown an irony fuse.
The United States of America, despite all its flaws, takes free speech very seriously. A nation, three quarters of whom are Christians, wouldn’t dare ban an anti-Christian film (say, Zombie Jesus or Da Vinci Code) because of a little thing called the “First Amendment”. South Park managed to depict Buddha as a coke-head, and fashion industries printed images of Hindu gods on underwear.
All religions can go suck it, but not Muslims. No, sir! They demand a unique kind of immunity for their religious ideology, something that none of the other lesser mortals get to enjoy. Recently, Imran Khan demanded the Western world to do something about these blasphemous films because insult of Muhammad (PBUH) is to Muslims what a holocaust joke is to Jews. Let’s make a deal Immy: The West should enact laws to block anti-Islamic content, and the Islamic countries should enact holocaust denial laws to avoid offending the Jewish world. I’m sure Iran and Pakistan would be thrilled to comply with this, for the sake of fairness!
One of the many things we falsely believe we’re entitled to is the “right” to not be offended. That your inability to control your emotions is my problem and I need to do something about it. Consequently, every time somebody gets killed over a blasphemous piece of artwork, the violence itself is rarely discussed in the Islamic world. The debate is deliberately shifted from the danger of religious extremism to whether or not the film/cartoon in question was acceptable.
Often, people find it hard to differentiate free speech from hate speech. They think that hate speech is merely “extremely rude speech”. They do not realize that hate speech is that which directly promotes violence and discrimination against a community. Criticizing a community’s culture or ideology does not count as “hate speech”. NigaHiga making a parody of Justin Bieber does not count as hate speech against all Bieber fans worldwide.
The Western nations have done their part to screw it up for everybody by banning stuff like holocaust jokes or abuse of dead soldiers. Though these are sensationally distasteful, a person should not have to go to jail for doing these things. He’s signing up for the social admonishment that should rightfully follow his word vomit, so let that be his jail sentence.
Don’t you suppose we, atheists, have a long list of stuff that gravely offends us? I’m deeply offended by creationists’ anti-scientific propaganda, and constant denigration of Charles Darwin. Nobody’s ever given half a teaspoon of fuck about my feelings. Hmm, maybe it’s just because I’ve never set an embassy on fire, which is obviously a necessary criterion for your sensibilities to be taken seriously.
No, my mistake is that I’ve learned to grow thicker skin. I’ve lived by Voltaire’s immortal rule: “I disgaree with what you say, but I’ll defend to death your right to say it”. And to think I expect my fellow human beings to be able to do the same! Oh, naive ol’ me!
All it takes is a random, talentless creep to make a random disrespectful cartoon/film about a certain religious icon, and a billion people around the world go bonkers. At this point, one should realize that the problem is not the satirist, but the people and their crystalline sensibilities.