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September 12th, 2012
03:11 PM ET

Reaction to anti-Islam film fuels debate on free speech versus hate speech

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - The deaths of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans amid protests against a film that denigrates Islam has sparked global discussion and debate  about whether there is a line between free speech and hate speech and, if so, where it lies.

“They don’t regard perceived insults to the Prophet Mohammed or the Quran as being protected by free speech, they regard it as a capital offense,” says Peter Bergen, CNN’s national security analyst, referring to protesters in Libya and Egypt, where the U.S. Embassy was attacked, who were angered by the film.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the movie was made by a real estate developer who wanted to portray Islam as a hateful religion.  The attack on the U.S. personnel in Benghazi, Libya, was orchestrated by extremists who used the protests as a diversion, U.S. sources told CNN Wednesday.

“In some of these cases, the people releasing these films or cartoons are trying to make a statement about free speech, which is fair enough,” says Bergen, referring to the film and other provocative recent depictions of Mohammed, Islam’s founding prophet.

"But in some cases they are deliberately trying to provoke," Bergen says. "The film that is at issue is certainly very provocative, the way it treats the Prophet Mohammed, and people who release these things are being very irresponsible."

Read: Why Muslims are sensitive on Mohammed

Newt Gingrich told CNN Wednesday that the United States should seize on the violence spurred by the film “to teach the Muslim world about freedom,” specifically about freedom of speech.

His remarks, echoed by other conservatives on Wednesday, signaled something of a divide in reaction to developments in Libya and Egypt between the political right, which stressed freedom of speech, and the left, which added condemnation of those behind the anti-Muslim film.

"The horrific attacks in Libya & Egypt are a stark contrast to our American ideals of free speech, civil disagreement," wrote Todd Rokita, a Republican U.S. congressman who is from Indiana, on Twitter.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Gingrich, the former presidential candidate and speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, said that after the attacks, “We had an opportunity to stand up and say, ‘You know, it is true - some people in the United States might make a film that is totally whacked out.’”

“Sooner or later, we in the modern world have to say to those who are living in a different way, ‘Look, we stand for freedom,’” he said.

Gingrich criticized statements from the U.S. government that he said went too far in condemning and apologizing for the anti-Muslim film.

In a statement on Tuesday morning - before the violence - the U.S. Embassy in Egypt wrote that it "condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions."

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"Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy," the statement continued. "We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others."

Some U.S. officials spoke to the tension between U.S. support for free speech and what some have described as the film’s “hate speech,” in reacting to the attacks.

"The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement.

"Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation,” she said. “But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind."

Some other political and religious leaders also cited the tension between free speech and what they said was hate speech. "I support #freespeech AND believe this film is hateful," tweeted Eboo Patel, an American Muslim leader based in Chicago. "I stand up for #Islam AND condemn violence of extremist Muslims #fb #responsibility."

Others joined in venting disapproval of both the film and the attacks. "For the record, you can condemn violence in response to hate speech, and you can also condemn hate speech," wrote Jeff Fecke on Twitter. "You don't have to support either."

Some American Muslims said Wednesday that while they support the right of free speech, they believe that the U.S. applies its values selectively in the Muslim world, especially when it comes to military and intelligence operations.

“Freedom of speech falls alongside other freedoms to live and be free from bombs falling on people’s heads and to be free from occupations,” says Omid Safi, religious studies professor at the University of North Carolina, referring to American military and intelligence operations in parts of the Muslim world.

“I will take free speech comments seriously when others take people’s freedom of life and dignity and to be free from occupation just as seriously,” he said.

What do you think? Share your thoughts on the discussion around free speech and hate speech and we'll fold good ones into this post.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Islam • Violence

soundoff (1,088 Responses)
  1. BRC

    I think it further highlights a misconception that people keep running into. In a free society we are obligated to respect other individuals, not organizations. My beliefs don't matter, I should respect that there are Jews, and Muslims, and Christians, and a thousand other flavors each thinking and feeling what is true to them. I should respect their rights to hold those beliefs by making sure I don't interfere with them practicing their religion, or deliberately rubbing my disagreements in their face (though if they say something to me I disagree with I have every right to refute their statement). BUT, I have ZERO obligation to respect the organization that is their religion. Saying that Islam breeds backwards cultures and violent actions does not insult individual Muslims, it insults the religion of Islam, and frankly there is nothing wrong with doing so. They same can be said about saying the Christianity is a protection racket that builds dogmatic closed minded followers who will willfully turn from fact in favor of faith. Again, I'm insulting a religion, not a person. Welcome to freedom.

    Of course none of that technically applies outside of our country, because not everyone has the same freedoms. But no matter where the violence occurred, it was unreasonable and stupid. Don't like what someone has to say about your religion? Don't listen. To react with violence is to make their accusations accurate. People matter, religions don't.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Questioning the beliefs of another person is never an insult and it is not something anyone should be afraid to do. Parody is a right of free speech and it is invaluable as a means of questioning ones beliefs.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • ScottCA

      The claims made by Religion deserve no speacial shelter from examination and question. These claims should be examined like any other claim regarding anything.
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FlGGKZJ1E8&w=640&h=390]

      September 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • BRC

      @ScottCA,
      True, but if the world had a sense of humor it would be a very different place.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  2. Halibut

    Hiroshima was a little bit too far too.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  3. marie

    could you imagine if we tolerated murder and mayhem every time the perps said it was because of an insulting film/ picture/ or cartoon? and we could attack the embassy of the country where the filmaker or distributor was from? we need to stop apologizing for our right or any other citizen of the world to make bad art...and by the way...did the US govt make this film? ....I think not. The apologetic stance taken by our leaders is perceived as weakness and we are trounced because of that perception.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Lisa

      Marie,

      Well stated. Part of being an educated, informed person is being able to disagree with idots and stupid people. How would we be able to define stupidityand ignorance if we did not allow people to express it? Get over it, people. Don't watch the film. Don't give them attention. If you disagree, then you disagree.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  4. Sam yaza

    but regrades i might actually go see this or wait for it to be on adult swim

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntgzoE7rU9A&w=640&h=390]

    September 12, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Sam yaza

      i'm already a fan of a game were you play the second coming of Christ reincarnated Jesus and you not only destroy the church you can choose to sided with me♥ and kill god and Satan

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YL4cFzbrb9M&w=640&h=390]

      September 12, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Sam yaza

      come to think of it didn't christian protest this games release so much the entire gaming company was banned in the united states,.. hypocrite the lot of them they only want free speech form them selves and not for others

      September 12, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • ScottCA

      The difference between Christians and Muslims is when a Christian sees his neighbor mowing the lawn on a Sunday, the Christian doesn't think "that man must die!".

      But this is mostly because we hold Christianity in check with secular legal systems, if we let it grow wild again, we would be back to torturing and burning people at the stake for blasphemy in no time.

      Religion Poisons Everything!

      September 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Sam yaza

      damn it im a F4ck!n war hero, a brave rebel fighting against tyranny, like the fathers of this county "I" inspired

      September 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Sam yaza

      i agree Scott the only thing keeping those Christians at bay is our laws; then again its funny how many Christians are heretics; abiding by the laws of man not their god; the same laws that up hold pagan values like secularism. if they were really Christians they should be killing ever non christian in this nation; like they were doing in the 1700 to the native (animist) Americans; before the atheist and pagans of America stood up to stop them; and they changed there method to reeducation of the natives; but still under their new mission system 2/3 of native children from age 2-5 was died in the missions; and yet they still say there pro-life when they kill more animals and plants then any other being.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      ScottCA, there are some neighborhoods here in the States where if they see you mowing the lawn on what they perceive to be their Sabbath, they will invite their friends and family over and hold a "prayer circle" around your house condemning you for your actions and damning you to perdition for having the audacity to profane their holy day (even if it is not yours). Look at the one community dominated by 7th Day Adventists that tried to force the USPS to not deliver mail in their area on Saturday, but instead do it on Sunday, because they hold Saturday to be sacred.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      Scott ///The difference between Christians and Muslims is when a Christian sees his neighbor mowing the lawn on a Sunday, the Christian doesn't think "that man must die!".//

      Tiny problem with this analogy. It doesn't apply. Islam doesn't have a 'holy day of the week'. Friday is 'special' but not in the 'do no work' special kind of way.

      And Muslims don't do this.

      ///But this is mostly because we hold Christianity in check with secular legal systems, if we let it grow wild again, we would be back to torturing and burning people at the stake for blasphemy in no time. ///

      Exactly. Which is why we must remain militant with regards to separation of Church and State.

      Our secular laws keep up in check. But it doesn't – as this and other forums show – Stop the threats being made. The only difference between this, and the people who phoned in death threats to the billboard owners in NC over the American Atheist billboards is our secular country, and our far more stable police force and the like. You can't deny that, without the fear of such, If they knew they wouldn't be caught, that a few of those who threatened could easily have done the deeds they threatened, here, in the US.

      We, in the US, have had generations of stability that those in the middle east have not. We have 200+ years of a separation of religious leadership from civil leadership. They have not. But for these things, they are not that different from us. 'It can't happen here!!!' .... No, it could. Think about the lynchings in the 60s. not so very different.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Antonio

      all yesterday showed was that in a perfect world all religion would be ban and the teaching of spirituality would be our only foundtaions. Wow that my heavy preaching for this morning lol

      September 16, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  5. French

    Hate speech is in the eye of the beholder. What one may feel is hate speech another may feel is a freedom of expression. Mr. Bergen fails to recognize that to some burning the American flag is an attempt to provoke but ruled to be free speech by our courts.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  6. Sam yaza

    Israel is a cancer, but Monotheism is the greatest cancer of all, its killing this planet. it teaches utilitarianism and suppresses animism.

    but let me break this speech with some thing every one cares about

    Music
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V62b3W6MuxE&w=640&h=390]

    September 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  7. Jeff S

    Freedom of speech is about protecting unpopular speech. Popular speech doesn't need protecting.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • independent jim

      when did ...hate thy neighbor.... become a christian value .. when did bear false witness .. become part of the evangelical movement

      September 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Ann

      Right you are Jeff! So obvious. It's sad that people in this country have to be reminded of the obvious.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  8. A Muslim View

    Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, won't be happy with the killing of the innocent people who have been killed. This is absolutely a wrong reaction.
    The people who have made and released the film have a special agenda, search about them and you will discover their aims. Muslims shall be smarter and shall not give them a chance to fulfill their bad aims
    .

    September 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Why are you afraid that peace won't be upon him if you stop doing that "PBUH" stuff ? Doesn't your god know who he's passing out peace to ? Or do you mean " a piece be upon him ? Maybe he ran out of his 72 ?

      September 12, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Rice

      Oh, he wouldn't be happy? He was a murderer, rapist and slave trader himself. So why shouldn't he be happy?

      September 12, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  9. VeryTrue

    In case some of you who don't know, this film is made by a JEW. Research it. The same religion trying to get the US into a war with Iran.

    The Jews provoke everybody, turn them into enemies, let them kill each other while they watch. Unfortunately, American people buy every propaganda the jews spit out.

    September 12, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • WOW

      You mad bro? You sure seem like it, hating on the Jews like you are.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • VeryTrue

      well, how many Americans have died because of the jews?

      September 12, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • can

      Wow,thats pretty ignorant. Try reading a book once in a while dude.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • WOW

      How many died at the hands of the atheistic Rus sians? Have no clue even where you would try to go with a comment question like that.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • TheRock

      As ur name sounds, u are very true my friend, 100% true, they are pushing it hard before the elections to engage US into another combat mission. People here are really stupid.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Lisa

      It is exactly these kind of comments that spew hate and discontent. Just like you cannot blame Muslims for the violence of a few, you cannot blame all Jews for what you percieve are the ills of the world. We are all repsonsible for the good and the bad of this world. Blaming others solves nothing. Supporting freedom and peace will solve everything. Your ignorance is showing and even though I think you are idiot, (my opinion) I support your right to express hateful slurs. Of course, that does not mean that I cannot comment back to you. You are a moron, hateful human being and you are no better than the rioters in Lbya.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • coexist

      I think it's pretty clear the makers of this anti-Islam film did so with the intention of attacking, provoking and insulting Muslims. And that is completely contrary to freedom of religion which is also an underpinning of the US. Now while you CAN do that here, under freedom of speech, you cannot do so WITHOUT CONSEQUENCES. In this case, the film resulted in outrage and protests internationally and I believe the film makers should be held legally accountable for that. I think it's pretty clear that was their intent, and it affects US foreign policy and the safety of US citizens abroad, which is really incredibly irresponsible. If they had shouted 'fire' in a crowded elevator and people had been stampeded to death, they would have had to face consequences. In my opinion, this is more or less the same sort of situation. Here in the US, you have freedom of speech, but in this case, the film makers were freely speaking in an attempt to persecute Muslims because of their religious beliefs. That has no place here, because we also believe in freedom of religion. That is not what we are about, and I believe the majority of US citizens would agree with me on this one.

      That being said, I also believe that jihad and violence do not have any place in a religious belief – PERIOD. I believe people in the US are confusing the violence that is epidemic in certain middle-eastern cultures as being a part of the Islamic religion which is think is an error. I think we have to differentiate between Muslims and violent extremists who happen to be Muslim. And I think most Muslims would probably agree with my on that one too.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • CW

      Whoa! How dare a Jew do anything!

      September 13, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  10. us_1776

    Free Speech does not give anyone the right to slander people.

    .

    September 12, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Slandering someone does not give a person the right to attack or kill the person who committed slander.
      You can take them to court and seek repayment for damages.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • can

      You are very right, but blogs like this are really good at provoking the trolls that hide behind their computers. Some of you Americans or wherever you are from need to quit hating on the jews for all your problems.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  11. ScottCA

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries&w=640&h=390]

    September 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Working link for the video
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNDZb0KtJDk&w=640&h=390]

      September 12, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  12. ScottCA

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries&w=640&h=390]

    September 12, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • ScottCA

      The working link for the video
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KayBys8gaJY&w=640&h=390]

      September 12, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  13. ScottCA

    This is just what religious ignorance breeds, this is not surprising at all. When you have grown adults worshiping things that there is no evidence of existing, you end up with human suffering.

    Christianity is just held in better check by rational and logical laws. Many died to place Christianity in check and control it in the west. That allowed us to inter the age of enlightenment.

    Faith requires one to believe in something even in the absence of evidence and in the presence of evidence to the contrary. This suppression of the minds ability to logically reason leads to belief in untruths that send ripples of distortion into every area of examination and study. This in turn leads to political and social decisions based in misinformation. The end result is the suffering of people.

    Examples are 9/11 hijackings, The holding back of stem cell research that could save countless human lives, Aids being spread due to religious opposition to the use of condoms, Christians legally fighting this year to teach over 1 million young girls in America that they must always be obedient to men, the eroding of child protection laws in America by Christians, for so called faith based healing alternatives that place children's health and safety at risk, burning of witches, the crusades, The Nazi belief that the Aryans were god’s chosen to rule the world, etc… But who cares about evidence in the real world when we have our imaginations and delusions about gods with no evidence of them existing.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • ScottCA

      The null hypothesis is that there is no god. Since there is no evidence to support the existence of god, the null hypothesis holds as the logical position. To depart from this position without evidence is to delve into fantasy and insanity.
      Just as it is insanity to believe in the 6ft tall green monster in my closet without evidence of its existence, so is it insanity to believe in god without evidence.

      September 12, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • WOW

      So Scottie, nice little rant BUT what are you going to do with your atheist self when they come get you? What side are you going to declare your alliance to? You sure don't have God to turn to being an atheist So it looks like you are going to let them kill you and drag you through the streets and then if you are lucky enough to be buried let the worms eat you? I have said this before and I will say it again, there some times comes a time that you must make a choice and you better be sure which choice you choose because once you are dead you can no longer decide for yourself.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Well WOW, if they come for Scott, they will need to come for me as well. And if they come for Scott and me, they will have to come for numerous others on here. And if they come for all of us on here, they will have to come for millions and millions more.

      Do not get your hpes up that we will go quietly into that good night. You should expect a bloodbath. We all know too well what religious nuttery is capable of.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Wow first off I will support Secular legal systems to prevent any religion from ceasing power and enforcing their insane rules. Secondly trying to hide behind a non-existent god will not aid you in anyway. Thirdly if someone did come to try and end my life, I would have the sense to know there is no god who will step in to help, So I better be prepared to defend my own life against religious idiots if necessary. I have chosen sanity, logic, and reason. you would be surprised what logic can accomplish. See that computer in front of you as you type that was created by logic and reason. What has religion produced? Oh that's right nothing, and it predicts nothing in the natural world whatsoever, and just spreads insanity and killing.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • WOW

      Thanks you made my point. You would not go quietly and there would be bloodshed for your atheistic belief that there is no deities. Yes atheism is the a belief! You can twist it all you want but you are willing to stand up for your belief just as ANY other religious group would do. The only difference is you are fighting for your freedom to believe there are no deities. See atheist like to change the definition of atheism to fit what ever argument they are in but atheism is the belief that there are no deities. I want to thank you again for proving my point.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • BobG

      Hey ScootCA, do you love your mother? (if you don't pick someone you do love), ok then, PROVE IT! Can't can you? I guess you don't then.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Wrenn_NYC

      Sorry BobG but that's and EASY one.

      I can esily prove that I love my mother (or Scott loves his mother). I do things for her, she does things for me, WE both make each other happier. I can feel it, she can feel it I can see it, she can see it. I can tell her, she can tell me.

      See... as Tim Minchin has said, and I paraphrase " 'love' without that back and forth, is stalking."

      You, on the other hand, stalk your imaginary god.

      September 12, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • kenny

      WOW you have the perfect name, as in WOW i can't believe how ig nor ant and stu pid you are...

      September 12, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • BobG

      Hey Wrenny, I'm not religious at all and in fact agree that religion (as distinct from spirituality) is at the bottom of much trouble in the world. You prove nothing. I do many things for many folks including the homeless and unfortunate but I don't LOVE them. Science and Logic (I'm an engineer btw and use the scientific method at my work daily) are the offspring of philosophy and limited by such. Not enough space here to educate you Wrenny ,,,, all the best!

      September 12, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • kenny

      Wrenn_NYC you nailed BOBG to the ground and took a duump in his face... lol ... you got owned BOBG... OWNED...

      September 12, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • BobG

      Hey Wrenny, I'm not religious at all and in fact agree that religion (as distinct from spirituality) is at the bottom of much trouble in the world. You prove nothing. I do many things for many folks including the homeless and unfortunate and they are often happy about my help but I don't LOVE them in the sense that I LOVE my mother. Science and Logic (I'm an engineer btw and use the scientific method at my work daily) are the offspring of philosophy and limited by such. Not enough space here to educate you Wrenny ,,,, all the best!

      September 12, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • BobG

      Well thanks Kenny

      September 12, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • getmeinhere

      BobG, if you are so adept at science and logic you should know that nothing can be proven. Any "proof" relies on a priori assumptions. The most common of those assumptions is that you and I exist, and that the true world around us is more or less how we experience it. None of this can be proven, and therefore nothing that rests upon these assumptions can be proven. You can't prove that poster exists or that his mother exists or that he loves her. You can show evidence that they exists or that his love for her exists.

      The same applies to god. The idea of "proving" god exists if laughable. You can at best display evidence that he exists. But, unfortunately, the only evidence of his existence is "we can't explain this, so it must be god's work." Even if you sum up that evidence and are convinced it means god exists it says nothing about who or what god is. It certainly does not prove that one group's image of god must be the correct one.

      September 13, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  14. Halibut

    I am inclined to agree with "peace" on this one.

    The U.S. is a hypocrit. We burst in and kill people whenever we please.

    Our biggest export is WAR.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  15. Sam

    I'm glad to see Anti-Muslim films come out. Maybe it will run these psycho Muslims out of America and back to their murdering loving Koran and back to their countries. Muslims hear just live on our Welfare system and hang out at Mosque praying.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • nojinx

      If they take the Christians with them, it's win-win.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • WhatNow

      Sam..No, it's people like you who are the real problem; judgmental, opinionated and intolerant of anyone who doesn't believe as you believe. Extremism is an illness that we can't seem to cure.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  16. Portland tony

    Wonder what would happen to someone who made a movie similar to the one in question about Jesus and tried to show it in the Bible belt.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Give Peace a Chance

      Exactly.

      September 12, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Ben Done

      I believe many christians would called "the last tempation of christ" blasphemy. Harold and Kumar's last movie had a drug taking Jesus with naked babes.

      I don't remember anyone being killed in response.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Huebert

      I live in the Bible Belt, and I honestly doubt that anything, other than threatening phone calls and letters, would occur.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • IndianaGreg

      "Wonder what would happen to someone who made a movie similar to the one in question about Jesus and tried to show it in the Bible belt."

      The Hollywood Left would embrace it. It would be called "Insightful and Thought Provoking". The Weinstein's wouldn't throw their wealth behind it making sure it was given wide distribution. Barbara Streisand and Jane Fonda would volunteer to have cameo appearances in it. Entire College Courses would be built around the movies teachings.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  17. Jack 3

    Islam is a evil force thats agenda is laid out from the koran. the Clerics and Imams follow and preach it to the extreme. They control this religion. In no way will they water it down to make it compatible with other human beliefs. they are right , you are wrong and if you get them mad in any way you must die or be oppressed. the nice muslims you know on the streets have no say or control. they are brainwashed sheep that will sit back and be indifferent to the extreme attcks on others. this religion is geared to take over and theors nothing you ccan do about it but shoot back.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Portland tony

      Appears you could replace the word Muslim with Evangelical in your comment without changing the effect some religions have on everyday folks!

      September 12, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Yank

      Silly Americans, you'd think they'll learn from the europeans but I guess not. Morons.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  18. Give Peace a Chance

    I think we all need to just slow down and realize we all have our differnces. We insulted these people and they have every right to be upset. I think they may have gone a little bit too far, but we are in their country after all.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Jack 3

      you're smoking too much pot.

      September 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
    • Give Peace a Chance

      Typical, an isult rather than dialogue. I think we need to reach out to these people and let them see how loving and accepting Christians really really are.

      September 12, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • MuslimDude

      They went a little too far? They KILLED innocent people! I don't like hateful comments against Islam, but I don't storm someones house and kill people. That is just WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. If your faith is not stronger than the outward symbols of that faith, then there is something terribly wrong. Protest – yes, but killing of innocent people is not what Islam stands for.

      September 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • Jack 3

      Not an insult, it's like wake up and quit being such a pacifist. there's nothing you can do to appease this religion. Unfortunatly, they only understand power.

      September 12, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Rynomite

      Being upset or offended about something you don't like is fine. Violence is ridiculous.

      Western society, while still giving lip-service to religion, has evolved past the point where (for most people anyways) a satire or insult about jebus, the pope, or any other religious or political figure is reason enough to drawn down and start shooting.

      Sadly, much of the Middle-East is operating at a 16th century mentality (and that may be generous). The scary thing is the technology they have access to isn't 16th century.

      In a way, I'd be happy if Israel and the rest of the ME just decided to nuke each other out of existence, and then we go in after about 10 years and recover the oil. Sad thing is, the fundies here would push us into any such war because they think we need Israel for their silly rapture.

      September 12, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • Give Peace a Chance

      @MuslimDude

      Violence only breeds more violence. What about turn the other cheek? We must win their hearts, not kill them.

      @Jack 3

      Wake up call? Don't you see what the U.S is doing in the world? WE kill people every day! Babies, and moms and innocents. Imperial crap.

      September 12, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • lamp2

      Yes, we are located in their country, BUT, the consulate is considered to be on American ground and therefore, it seems that war was declared on the US with the actions of the Lybian people,extremist or not. Did the Ambassador and the other 3 people killed insult the people there??? A BIG FAT NO !!!! Besides, have you heard of freedom of speech? It insults me when they burn the US flag.Should I go over there and kill them for that. They stupidly think they have a reason to be upset,over a video, but how does that relate to killing innocent people,like on 9-11-01? And you stated "they went a little bit too far", What would you consider Way too far? Isn't murder of innocents more than "a little bit too far"? You are a pathetic American, if you in fact are, and if you are muslim..Well you are just a terrorist. I refuse to be PC and bow to muhammad, or allah or terrorism. I too am a devout Christian. Read the Old Testament.

      September 12, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Give Peace a Chance

      @Rynomite

      The U.S. is a violence loving, war mongering machine that seeks only to line the pockets of the rich with the blood of the innocent.

      September 12, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Give Peace a Chance

      @lamp2

      Should you go over and kill them for burning the flag? Of course not that is a silly question. Two wrongs don't make a right. Take the high ground and understand the difference between the extremists and the average folks. This is political and should be handles as such. If we went to war every time the U.S. killed an innocent we would be at war all the time.

      Oh, we are at war all them time. God bless the U.S.A.

      September 12, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Rynomite

      "The U.S. is a violence loving, war mongering machine that seeks only to line the pockets of the rich with the blood of the innocent."

      Well right. But that's controlled war for the purposes of money. That's a tangible objective that makes sense. Blasting someone for mocking your version of a sky fairy is kooky.

      September 12, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • ScottCA

      Killing someone just because you are insulted is called being a sociopath. I am insulted by people who wear droopy pants down around their knees like imbeciles who can't dress themselves, but this does not give me the right to attack or kill them.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • lmc2011

      You think they went a little bit too far????? Did you see the picture of Chris Stevens being dragged through the streets??? No I"m sure you didn't because CNN is desperately trying to cover Obama on this one. What happened was an act of war on the US, on 9/11 no less!!!! Wake up folks because Obama is destroying this country and our position in the world.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • momzna

      @Give Peace a Chance,
      "a little bit too far" is when US President orders daily 1000-bomber raids or a nuclear strike. Although, truth be told, those were the things that straightened up some people 70 years ago.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • David

      Your first mistake is thinking it's their country. Inside those embassy walls in Sovereign United States Territory. Just like the French Embassy in DC is sovereign French territory. We have no authority on it, as they had no authority on ours. When they crossed the wall with hostile intent they attacked the United States and they should have been repelled with all force necesssary.

      September 12, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  19. hawaiiguest

    Ugh why am I somewhat agreeing with the right? Screw respecting the religion. I'll show respect to the people if they do so for me, but I will never respect a belief I see as delusional, inherently divisive, and more often detrimental.
    To put it clearly

    WHY CAN'T ODIN BE REAL? Then there'd at least be a good reason to fight!

    September 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • YesWeCan

      Jesus promised the end of all wicked people.
      Odin promised the end of all ice giants.

      I don't see many ice giants around.

      September 13, 2012 at 10:15 am |
  20. Colin

    This is probably the one and only time in my life I would agree with the right wing Christians. I despise Islam and what it does to the freedoms of the people, especially the female population subject to it.

    September 12, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • William Demuth

      But we do not have to choose between the lesser of three evils.

      The Big Three have caused enough misery for humanity that parsing the details is like trying to decide if Manson, Jack the Ripper or Jeffery Dahmer were better human beings.

      They are all manifestations of the same ignorance. They are perpetuated by cultures that prefer to indoctrinate rather than educate.

      In a world where within a generation or two, small groups of men will be able to alter or even end the lives of millions of people, we can not afford to waste time on political correctness.

      One groups imaginary Sky Fairy is no more or less benign than the others are. They are ALL lies, and they ALL must go, or our race probably wont survive much longer.

      Colin, the key is to have them kill each other NOW, before they can develop the technologies to kill all of us.

      September 12, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • old ben

      Be careful, Colin. Next thing you know, you'll be reading where a right wingnut will have written: "Colin is founded on Christianity" (with references back to your post). lol

      September 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • old ben

      I should say with "loose refs back to your post".

      September 12, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.