The recent riots over the latest controversial movie the “innocence of Muslims” is disturbing. The riots that have spread in the Islamic world, stretching from Pakistan to North Africa, are an agitation against the movie and the bad taste in which it shows the prophet. The outrage that the controversial movie has sparked in the Islamic world has led to over a hundred deaths all over the world.
Five movie theatres in Pakistani border cities of Peshawar and its commercial capital Karachi were burned by protestors. About 20 people are dead and more than a hundred injured in Pakistan due to these protests. While Pakistan declared a national holiday recently, calling it a “Day of Love for the Prophet Muhammad,” Bangladesh was closed (on nationwide strike) for a day, this Sunday 23 September, to normalise the situation.
There have been several protests in North Africa as well. Embassies were attacked, and people protested in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, Benghazi, Libya and Khartoum, Sudan. Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon Australia, Bahrain and the United Kingdom also witnessed furore among the masses, over the movie.
The United States military base in Afghanistan was also attacked: protestors burned cars and threw rocks at the base.
The movie takes a poor and unethical dig at the religion, which portrays Prophet Mohammad as a paedophile, a homosexual and a pederast in a very shoddy and unsophisticated manner. The explicit sexual content in the movie is enough to disgust any viewer.
The topic is definitely sensitive, especially considering that there have been continual clashes between Christianity and Islam, right from the Crusades to the on-going war on terror, which involves religious fundamentalism and intolerance. The “global war on terror” unleashed by the United States since 2001 to combat terrorism across the world saw visible changes in the attitudes of people and nations towards each other on the basis of faith. In turn, many have been the victims of really harsh and unjust treatment or even suspicions, at the least, simply for being or even appearing like Muslims, as if that in itself is a crime.
The movie, filmed in the backyard of the director, is not even worth all the attention it has received.
Ideally, one would like to think that people would take the high road and ignore such silly, baseless attempts to provoke disturbances and mayhem.
But, with all that the innocent Muslims of the world have had to face for their religion, their tolerance levels are not that high anymore.