Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Innocence of Muslims

When the world was torched with fire as a result of a movie called “Innocence of Muslims,” I paid only scant attention to it.  I first came to know about it a few hours after the US Diplomat in Libya was killed in Benghazi, along with his three staffers.  The Breaking News stated that those four were killed during violent demonstration against the movie.

Somewhat curious, I searched the net looking for the movie, and managed to have a look at the short trailer.  Having watched the trailer, and seeing that all news channels were focusing on the massive and often violent demonstrations especially in the Muslim countries, I thought that this reaction, though massive, will be a short one.

True enough, about three weeks later, it was no longer news.  By the time I write this piece, about two months after the death of the American Diplomat, which purportedly caused by the movie but was later proven to be false, practically no one talks about it anymore.

That the movie elicited such a massive reaction by the Muslims is not surprising.  The cheaply made movie has insulted the Prophet Muhammad.  You can insult the Muslims, but not their Prophet.  We have seen it many times before. 

That the reaction would be brief is also not surprising.  We have seen it many times before as well.

Since it is no longer news, why writing about it?  You may ask.  Because there is something sinister, which I am afraid to be quite true, about us as the Muslims.  We the Muslims are rather "innocent," if you know what I mean.

Now, the first thing that comes to mind when the word “innocence” is used is that it means “not guilty.”  Of course it makes no sense to employ that meaning to this movie.  The second and more subtle meaning is therefore intended.  Innocence also means “naïve” or plain “stupid.”  Employing this meaning, then the movie can be retitled “Stupidity of Muslims.”

The film is essentially saying that the Muslims are not only naïve, but plain stupid.  They have idolized a horrible man like Muhammad the Prophet (God forbid) to be their model.  No wonder the Muslims were so angry.  Not only that the maker of the movie has insulted their Prophet, he has called the Muslims stupid and naïve as well.  Yet, I am very certain that the majority among the Muslims who have demonstrated did not even watch the movie, which does not appear to exist in the first place.  There was only a 13 minute or so trailer. 

Whatever the case may be, we have reacted in a very predictable fashion: innocently, one might say.  The maker of the movie appears to have a sinister theory to test, and he has practically proven it.

When the movie was made, it seems that the title was different.  The actors who had been duped into acting were under the impression that they were acting in a movie called the “Desert Warrior.”  When the movie came to the public, it has been dubbed differently.  Insulting references to the Prophet were inserted, which were not in the script when the actors were playing their roles.  No wonder many of the actors came forward to claim their “innocent.”

The movie maker who at first went with the false name of Sam Bacile, claiming himself a Jew, turned out to be a conman by the name of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55 year old Coptic Christian living in California.  He was sent to a one year jail a few weeks after the debacle, but not for making the “Innocence of Muslims.”  He was jailed for breaking his parole, having earlier served his time in prison for financial fraud.

Nakoula is probably laughing in the prison now, having seen how successful his “experiment” had been.  He may not have intended his movie to be a sort of experimentation, but he worked hard to bring it to the public, despite having so little fund to do it.  When he finally managed to get the attention of the world, thanks no less to unsuspecting Muslims who helped made him notorious, Nakoula must have felt great satisfaction in the process.

Whatever motives he may have had, it is clear that he knew the kind of reaction such a movie would elicit.  We have seen it many times already, and so must have he.  When the US Diplomat and his three staffers were killed, the mass media quickly pointed out that it was the reaction to the movie.  Such is the perception of the people on Muslims.  The Muslims are easily agitated, emotional and cannot think straight.  All you need to do to make them go crazy is to insult their Prophet.  And you can do it in the most stupid way, such as making a very stupid movie.

It is also for this reason that when another conman, by the name of Walid Shoebat, a self-styled ex-Islamic extremist turned Conservative Christian, claimed that the movie is actually made by Islamic terrorists with the purpose to agitate and provoke violent reaction from the Muslims, his view got the hearing from the media.  No doubt many believed him, until it was proven that his theory was baloney.

What all this signifies is that we the Muslims are quite “innocent.”  We are not innocent in the sense of “not guilty,” but in the sense that we are quite “naïve.”  Had we watched the movie with an objective view, we would come to the conclusion that it was made by a desperado who did not worth our attention.  No one of note would have paid attention to such silly movie had we just ignored it.

But there is also a bright side in all this.  It shows that we love our Prophet.  We can still keep our cool if the joke is on us, but all hell would break loose if the joke is on our Prophet.  In that sense, it is not all that bad to be "innocent," is it?

Whether or not Nakoula has purposely attempted to show that the Muslims are stupid, his "innocent" approach has brought the other subtle "innocence" side of the Muslims.  You see, "innocence" also means "pure" in some unsophisticated way.  What this episode suggests is that the Muslims' love to their Prophet is pure, irrespective whether they really follow his teachings or otherwise.  In one brief period, all observant and non-observant Muslims were united in showing their anger to those who have insulted their Prophet.  

This kind of approach is always counter productive.  We have seen it many times already.  Every time the Prophet is insulted, the Muslims would strongly protest in unison.  Even those Muslims who have paid little attention to Islam in their daily lives rise to the occasion.  In that sense, we can say that Nakoula's approach shows only his "innocent," read naive and plain stupid, in dealing with the matter.

The not so "innocence" way is the subtle approach by the Orientalists.  Hiding behind scientific and scholarly works, these people have, to a large extent, succeeded in desanctifying Islamic Scripture and secularized Islamic Law.  They have gained many adherents among the "innocence" Muslims who thought that they are sophisticated.

For that reason, I am not concerned with the "innocence" work such as the movie "Innocence of Muslims."  Because it is too sickening, even the non-Muslims are embarrassed with it, as signified by the response made by Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State.  My concern is the subtle works made by the Orientalists.  Through their white magic, many Muslims have "innocently" fallen into their traps, as we have seen in al Mu'awwidhatayn.


  1. Nincompoopla a.k.a Sam Bacile is a piece of shit. That is all.

  2. I think the missing tribe refers to Gog Magog not malay