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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. john

    And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.

    But none is granted it except those who are patient, and none is granted it except one having a great portion [of good].

    And if there comes to you from Satan an evil suggestion, then seek refuge in Allah . Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Knowing.

    QURAN 41:34-36.

    September 18, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  2. john

    You will surely be tested in your possessions and in yourselves. And you will surely hear from those who were given the Scripture before you and from those who associate others with Allah much abuse. But if you are patient and fear Allah – indeed, that is of the matters [worthy] of determination.

    QURAN 3:186

    The concept of having to face harm from the disbelievers: We must realise that the disbelievers will afflict us with numerous and varied types of harm; Allaah Says (what means): “You will certainly be tested in your possessions and in yourselves. And you will surely hear from those who were given the Scripture before you and from those who associate others with Allaah much abuse. But if you are patient and fear Allaah – indeed, that is of the matters [worthy] of determination.” [Quran 3: 186] Therefore, the harm that they afflict us with is physical, financial and psychological, but what is the cure and way out? Allaah gives us the cure at the conclusion of the verse, namely, perseverance and piety. If we do not have these then we will not be able to stand their afflictions, nor will we be able to confront them.

    September 18, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  3. john

    Indeed, those who disbelieve spend their wealth to avert [people] from the way of Allah . So they will spend it; then it will be for them a regret; then they will be overcome. And those who have disbelieved – unto Hell they will be gathered.
    Quran 8:36
    Verily, those who disbelieve spend their wealth to hinder (men) from the Path of Allah, and so will they continue to spend it; but in the end it will become an anguish for them. Then they will be overcomed. And those who disbelieve will be gathered unto Hell. Quran 8:36

    You like it or not Islam will master them all every ism.

    HOLY QURAN 9:32

    They want to extinguish God's [guiding] light with their utterances: but God will not allow [this to pass], for He has willed to spread His light in all its fullness, however hateful this may be to all who deny the truth.

    M. M. Pickthall

    Fain would they put out the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah disdaineth (aught) save that He shall perfect His light, however much the disbelievers are averse.

    Shakir

    They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah will not consent save to perfect His light, though the unbelievers are averse.

    Yusuf Ali

    Fain would they extinguish Allah's light with their mouths, but Allah will not allow but that His light should be perfected, even though the Unbelievers may detest (it).

    Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar

    They want to extinguish the light of God with their mouths, but God refuses so that He fulfill His light even if the ones who are ungrateful disliked it.

    Wahiduddin Khan

    They want to extinguish Gods light with their mouths, but God seeks only to perfect His light, no matter how those who deny the truth may abhor it.

    T.B.Irving

    They want to blow out God´s light with their mouths while God refuses [everything] except that His light must be perfected, no matter how disbelievers may hate it.

    [Al-Muntakhab]

    With all the feeling in their minds directed toward falsifying the truth, they wish they could quench the very light of Allah by word of mouth, that is by propagating false rumours and uttering error against Him. But Allah is not moved by undue influence; He continues to make His way unrestrained to send His illumination -the Quran- proceeding from Him, until the souls have been lit by divine truth, and enlightenment has prevailed, albeit this be hateful to those who refuse to acknowledge the truth.

    [Progressive Muslims]

    They want to extinguish God's light with their mouths, but God refuses such and lets His light continue, even if the rejecters hate it.

    Abdel Haleem

    They try to extinguish God’s light with their mouths, but God insists on bringing His light to its fullness, even if the disbelievers hate it.

    Abdul Majid Daryabadi

    They seek to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths; and Allah refuseth to do otherwise than perfect His light, although the infidels may detest.

    Ahmed Ali

    They wish to extinguish the light of God by uttering blasphemies; but God will not have it so, for He wills to perfect His light, however the unbelievers be averse.

    Aisha Bewley

    They desire to extinguish Allah´s Light with their mouths. But Allah refuses to do other than perfect His Light, even though the kafirun detest it.

    Ali Ünal

    They seek (with renewed plans and stratagems) to extinguish God’s light (His favor of Islam, as if by the breath issuing) from their mouths. Whereas God refuses but to complete His light, however hateful this may be to the unbelievers.

    Ali Quli Qara'i

    They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah is intent on perfecting His light though the faithless should be averse.

    Amatul Rahman Omar

    They seek to put out the light of Allah with (the breath of) their mouths, but Allah disdains every other thing save that He will perfect His light; however much the disbelievers may consider (it) hard.

    Hamid S. Aziz

    They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah disdains all but that He should perfect His light, however averse to this the disbelievers may be!

    Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali

    They would (like) to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths; and Allah refuses (anything) except to perfect His light, though the disbelievers hate (that)..

    Muhammad Sarwar

    They would like to extinguish the light of God with a blow from their mouths, but even though the unbelievers may dislike it, God has decided to let His light shine forever.

    Muhammad Taqi Usmani

    They wish to blow out the Light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah rejects everything short of making His light perfect, no matter how the disbelievers may hate it.

    Shabbir Ahmed

    They seek to extinguish Allah's Light (the Qur'an) by their utterances (61:8). But Allah will not allow this to pass, for He has Willed to spread His Light in all its fullness even though the rejecters may detest it.

    Syed Vickar Ahamed

    They want to put out Allah’s Light with their mouths (by the lies they say), but Allah will not allow (it); except that His Light should be perfected, even though the disbelievers may hate (it).

    Umm Muhammad (Sahih International)

    They want to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah refuses except to perfect His light, although the disbelievers dislike it.

    Farook Malik

    They desire to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths but Allah seeks to perfect His light even though the disbelievers may dislike it.

    Dr. Munir Munshey

    They desire to snuff out the light of Allah huffing and puffing at it with their mouths _ (by uttering banalities) _ but Allah insists upon bringing His light to perfection, much to the chagrin of the unbelievers.

    Tahir-ul-Qadri Mohammad

    They desire to extinguish the Light of Allah by blowing through their mouths. And Allah rejects (it) but (wills) to manifest His Light to its fullness, even though the disbelievers dislike (it).

    Dr. Kamal Omar

    They intend that they may extinguish the Light of Allah with their mouths (by uttering anti-Al-Kitab statements and mahead of state false propaganda). And Allah puts a barrier (to every undesirable effort) leaving free His intention that He may put to perfection His Light even though the disbelievers felt disinclination.

    Bilal Muhammad

    They try to extinguish God’s light with their mouths, but God will not allow that, but only that His light should be brightened, even though the unbelievers hate it.

    Maududi

    They seek to extinguish the light of Allah by blowing through their mouths; but Allah refuses everything except that He will perfect His light howsoever the unbelievers might abhor it.

    Controversial, deprecated, or status undetermined works

    Bijan Moeinian

    The disbelievers wish to extinguish the Lord’s light [of guidance] with puffs from their mouths but God insists upon perfecting His light, no matter how much it hurts the disbelievers.

    Faridul Haque

    They wish to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will not agree except that He will perfect His light, even if the disbelievers get annoyed.

    Hasan Al-Fatih Qaribullah

    They desire to extinguish the Light of Allah with their mouths; but Allah seeks only to perfect His Light, though the unbelievers hate it.

    Maulana Muhammad Ali

    They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah will allow nothing save the perfection of His light, though the disbelievers are averse.

    Muhammad Ahmed – Samira

    They want that they extinguish/put out God's light with their mouths, and God refuses/hates except that He completes His light, and even if the disbelievers hated (it).

    Sher Ali

    They seek to extinguish the light of ALLAH with their mouths; but ALLAH refuses but to perfect HIS light, though the disbelievers may resent it.

    Yusuf Ali (org.)

    Fain would they extinguish God's light with their mouths, but God will not allow but that His light should be perfected, even though the Unbelievers may detest (it).

    Rashad Khalifa

    They want to put out GOD's light with their mouths, but GOD insists upon perfecting His light, in spite of the disbelievers.

    Hilali & Khan

    They (the disbelievers, the Jews and the Christians) want to extinguish Allahs Light (with which Muhammad SAW has been sent – Islamic Monotheism) with their mouths, but Allah will not allow except that His Light should be perfected even though the Kafiroon (disbelievers) hate (it).

    Non-Muslim and/or Orientalist works

    Arthur John Arberry

    desiring to extinguish with their mouths God's light; and God refuses but to perfect His light, though the unbelievers be averse.

    Edward Henry Palmer

    They desire to put out the light of God with their mouths, but God will not have it but that we should perfect His light, averse although the misbelievers be!

    George Sale

    They seek to extinguish the light of God with their mouths; but God willeth no other than to perfect his light, although the infidels be averse thereto.

    John Medows Rodwell

    Fain would they put out God's light with their mouths: but God only desireth to perfect His light, albeit the Infidels abhor it.

    September 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  4. thinking me

    I am asking this on alot of religious threads as I am curious to see if anyone has a valid answer. No matter what religious text you believe in be it the Bible, Quran, Torah why is it possible for them to be so misconstued? What I would expect to find in a book written by or inspired by the word of an all knowing creator is no matter what your background, inteligence or any other factor by the end of that book, everyone should come away with the same message. Not trying to be insulting, just curious.

    September 17, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Asif

      why these religions of so called peace need to make films on Islam,prophet Muhammad(pbuh)
      Islam does not interfere or potray others from different religions in negative.
      Moses,Jesus are all ancestors of Islam and Islam came after them because the followers of
      Moses and Jesus change the scriptures as according to their comfort but in Islam it had not
      happened yet and never will......Alhamdullilah because Allah protects
      Disbelievers can't see but believers can.....
      You the so called religion of "peace"have visualize,pictured your religion.
      Let the islam and its followers on their own and don't interfere in their matters.
      One thing more as it is said by Islam's scholars that if you see the Quran with your hearts filled with rage against it then
      you will experience the same effect but if you seek knowledge with love,Quran will lead you .......success in both this world and afterlife.

      September 18, 2012 at 3:06 am |
  5. Ali

    What would the reaction be if there was a similiar insulting movie made against jews and promoting the holocaust as justified and glorifying hitler as a prophet .. Is that considered protected by free speech? Was free speech designed to protect purposeful hate speech, blasphemy, towards a people to whom this a seriously sensitive issue (not being muslim its hard to understand how insulting it is)? Not to mention knowing the world wide violence it could entice and bloodshed – lessons already learned from the Quran burnings and Swedish cartoons. I think the creator is a complete imbocile. I think the muslim countries response against america is unfounded, but what do you expect in these nations with these populations of uneducated powerfully religious and extremist people who already have a bad name for America? The creator of the movie is responsible for the deaths as a result of the uprising. And there should be no protection for him because of freedom of speech.

    September 17, 2012 at 8:30 am |
    • Toots

      "What would the reaction be if there was a similiar insulting movie made against jews and promoting the holocaust as justified and glorifying hitler as a prophet "

      Ali, I'm sure that there would be condemnation and protests, but not killing, looting, burning or violence.

      September 17, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  6. Shamaila Ali

    Please ppl read THE QURAN. try to understand the message in Quran. Don't hate anyone on the base of false information provided by some ignorant. peace. i as muslim woman respect jews christions hindus and their respective believes. and every muslim should do. those who don't are the ignorant. they themselves don't know the real ISLAM.

    September 16, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • ABentley3

      you might but your religious brothers don't, so just because your a peaceful muslim, there are still muslims who wrongly killed peaceful and innocent americans out there. So you should be blogging to them, because they deserve to be spit on

      September 16, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Cmurph103

      @ABently3 yes the violence
      Was deplorable but do not forget their are violent extremists in all religions. For example extremist christians caused the holocaust, extremist hindu's attack Pakistan occasionally, extremist Jews attack Arabs sometimes in Israel and elsewhere, there are extremists in every religion and every belief. I am not saying what happened was right, far from it, violence is deplorable regardless. What I am saying is that do not think Muslims are the only ones and that all
      Muslims are alike, they are as widely different and any religion. Oh and about the whole "if there are some who disapprove then they should stand up" I would like to point out that some do but they are overshadowed by the extremists, just like in the Holocaust. Hind sight is 20/20 but in the present there is no certainty.

      September 17, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • Toots

      "What would the reaction be if there was a similiar insulting movie made against jews and promoting the holocaust as justified and glorifying hitler as a prophet "

      Ali, I'm sure that there would be condemnation and protests, but not killing, looting, burning or violence.

      September 17, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Toots

      Like the new and old testament, quran is also filled with contradictory literature. Anyone can use any verse in any of these books to come up with their own reason to justify whatever it is one wants. Point is to move beyond religion, and leave matter of faith to personal choice.

      September 17, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
  7. Shamaila Ali

    In islam marriage under the age of 18 is void/illegal/unlawful. so it is not possible that THE MAN who preached the law HIMSELF breached it .So when MUHAMMAD(S.A.W) got married to Hazart Ayesha (R.A) SHE was 18 or above and for sure was an adult to make choices at her own. she wasn't forced to got married to MUHAMMAD(S.A.W).It was her own choice.

    September 16, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Toots

      All accounts of Ayesha's age at marriage according to hadith (Bokhari and Muslim) point to 9 years. Tabari is the only hadith that alludes indirectly to Ayesha's age being 18. Even Ayesha's own account says she was a child plyaing with her friends on a swing when she was cleaned up for the ceremony.

      September 17, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  8. Big Iron

    http://www.prophetofdoom.net/Prophet_of_Doom_17_Good_Muslims_Kill.Islam . If the trailer of this film had been up since August, why wait until 9/11 to raise hell? When will the news people and government people drop this totally false pretense and call a spade a spade.

    September 16, 2012 at 9:47 am |
  9. Fatiha Mouloud

    The profet mohamed and the islam are NOTIONS that BELONG TO UNIVERSAL KNOWLEDGE. So it is a matter of freedom of speech, granted to everybody, in the whole world to say whatever they want about this NOTION.
    For us muslims it is hard to see outsiders make fun of something sacred for us. But I think we should ignore these films and cartoons and treat them as simple films and cartoons. If we get angry and kill westerners any time we get angry,we will confirm the idea Westerners have about us: that we are intolerant and cruel and that our religion is the cause for barbarism.
    We have to prove our religion is a religion of tolerance and peace, by living in peace with other nations who think and live differently from us.
    Media will never help with images and info about peaceful and nice Muslims, but will always broadcast info that can bring them Audience. So we should control in muslim countries the people who want to show a violent, intolerant and cruel of islam.

    September 16, 2012 at 6:12 am |
    • Toots

      "For us muslims it is hard to see outsiders make fun of something sacred for us. But I think we should ignore these films and cartoons and treat them as simple films and cartoons."

      Bingo!

      September 17, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
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  11. Tauter Ash

    I am assuming that Omid Safi's comment about the occupation being spoken of here, refers's to the false belief that Israel is occupying the land unlawfully. All nations that surround this tiny country have at one time or another and several times together as allies, attacked Israel without warning. Bottom line: All we hear from Islamics is how Islam is a religion of peace, but their actions are far different than their speech. All we see of them is violence, cruelty to their women, and the desire to kill Westerners even at the expense of their own people. It is a sad commentary on the Arab psyche that they hate their enemies more than they love their children.

    September 16, 2012 at 3:30 am |
    • Cmurph103

      I would like to point out that media tends to only post the bad news, this generates fear which makes people stick around to read more and increases the companies ratings. So in order to get a full picture you need to do independent study and u will find that there are many good muslims

      September 17, 2012 at 9:03 am |
  12. DavidinLa

    One of reasons that America stands out as the most free society on Earth is that unlike Canada, Europe, and a host of other countries there are no laws against hate speech...and we are better for it. In some other western countries a preacher can be put in jail for preaching the tenants of their faith, a political activist can be prosecuted for promoting traditional values over gay marriage, a historian can be punished for suggesting some facts surrounding the hohlocaust need to be revisited. The solution to hate speech is free speech...so that we can debate the issue and show the fools for what they are.

    September 16, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • Vicky Bevis

      What Western countries are you refering to where a preacher, historian or political activist can be violating the law of their country by preaching, advocating or giving another historical perspective on the Holocaust?

      September 17, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  13. emma

    Omid Safi, religious studies professor at the University of North Carolina, needs to be deported if he does not understand freedom of speech: it is not negotiable. If he doesn't like the 'occupying country' then send him back to his own. I'll believe these people believe in their religious tenets and their cultural demands when they stop living in the freedom of the west and go back to the countries that forcibly impose those tenets and practices on them. Easy to criticize the US when you are living there and have the freedom to do it but don't expect me to take what you say seriously: you are a hypocrite.

    September 15, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • kashif

      What if Omid Safi is a born American muslim. Where will you send him then.

      So for you, freedom if speach is non-negotiable but freedom of life and to live if liberty is negotiable.

      September 15, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Cmurph103

      U do realize ur being hypocritical right? Ur saying that a man should b DEPORTED, because he thinks differently from you and speaks up about it. That is completely contrary to free speech, so what u want is what ur advocating against, free speech but only when it agrees with u.

      September 17, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Toots

      Yes Kashif, freedom of speech is non negotiable. People have the freedom to ignore views that do not settle with their persoanl beliefs. People do not have a freedom of violence.

      September 17, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    September 15, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Geek Girl

      ...but not diapers

      September 15, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  15. Mom

    If you kids can't play nicely with your imaginary superheroes, I am going to have to put them ALL up on the shelf!

    September 15, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Geek Girl

      But mommy, I haven't burned down enough embassies yet!

      September 15, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  16. Amy

    As ridiculous and tasteless as this video may be, it is not forbidden in the West to criticize or joke about any religious figures. The West cannot accept Islamic demands of censure – in the West.

    Besides, the same people who are so easily offended by an amateurish film clip [that they respond by violence and murder] seem to have no issue with the explicitly anti-semitic movies, soaps, books, propaganda and pop songs that appear daily in the Middle East media.

    In other words, images of cartoonish Jews with bloody teeth after having supposedly eaten gentile babies are apparently OK in Egypt – but not a badly made Western video illustrating their favorite prophet as a warlord (which he also was).

    September 15, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  17. juan

    It is pathetic that such a stupid film from a stupid individual gets so much attention. The political and religious "leaders" of the arab world should have dismissed it as plain stupid and not worthy of even a millisecond attention, instead of fanning the flames of their uneductaed followers. And the intellectaul, political and religious leaders of USA should also start cracking on hate speech, instead of protecting it under the fuzzy umbrella of freedom of speech. The degree of civilization of a country is also measured by the respect and tolerance and wisdom displayed by its citizens: as a matter of fact some more civilized European countries do have laws against speech that encourage hatred. Absolute freedom of everything is a pipe dream, and the USA have gone overboard, and are not the ultimate model to follow.

    September 15, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Geek Girl

      Juan, freedom is a pipe-dream because people like you make it so. People like you would trade freedom to appease intolerant zealots (and we all know how well that worked out for Neville Chamberlain)

      Benjamin Franklin said it much better than I can:
      "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

      September 15, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • saggyroy

      The bible is full of hate speech as is the quran. Let's have a good old fashioned book burning !

      September 15, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
  18. Jemille

    Jemille Smith M.D.

    As a member of the community Muslims of the Americas, I am outraged at the horrendous portrayal of our most beloved Holy Last Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) in the movie "Innocence of Muslims". We cannot stress the importance of what he means to our lives for every aspect of who we are is patterned after his blessed example. Incorporated into this is as well the blessed example of the second to last messenger his holiness Jesus (blessings be upon him). The sole purpose of this movie and all other such hateful portrayals of this blessed soul is to accomplish the mission of the most wretched Satan and divide humanity by propagating hate. Their eventual hopeful outcome is that all the major religions in the world will collide and destroy the fabric of humanity. They try to show that Islam itself is hateful by spreading hate and lies. this is extremely illogical if one cares to really think about it. All their efforts really prove is that people are passionate about what they believe in and this can be said for things that aren't religious especially in United States where all citizens are proud and passionate to be Americans. As such we cannot allow things of this nature to be propagated and must stand as a united front against it at all cost!! All Muslims, Christians, Jews, and other faiths represented here in America must unequivocally denounce this film and anything of a related nature.

    September 15, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Geek Girl

      I think that the reaction of Muslims says more about the religion than the film itself (which, from what I hear was crude and badly written)

      September 15, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Keeping It Real

      Jemille,

      The violent reaction simply proved the point of the movie.

      The movie did not kill anyone - no arrows, bullets or poison gas emanated from the screen. Yes, it was taunting; but reacting to taunting with KILLING and MAYHEM is abominable and, no matter what you say, it totally deflates any claims of Islam being the religion of peace. If your religion cannot or will not control its adherents someone else will have to.

      September 15, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Vondutch

      Jemille,

      You are an idiot. And your 'prophet' was an illiterate pedofile.

      September 15, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Under the heading "anything of a related nature" I'm happy to contribute as requested by denouncing all religions! They are all baths!t crazy cults and their members are all delusional. You are welcome!

      September 15, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • kls817

      you are truly a hypocrite. Your people blaspheme others religions all the time and persecute those who believer differently than you.
      You want to know who really defiles Mohammed. It's muslims. Such a bloodthirsty and hateful bunch of cretins must be led by a very bad prophet.

      September 15, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Ken

      In spite of this film being offensive, what people must realize is that there is a fair amount of hatred that already exists, and the violence among a few idiot Muslims is serving to create a lot more of it. So they are doing a lot of harm here to their people. While we know that most Muslims are non violent, people tend to generalize a lot, and events such as this will inspire a lot more ill feelings.

      It also appears to me that the faith of these people cannot be very strong if it cannot even stand such absurd criticism by such a oaf. To outsiders such as myself, anyone who becomes angry at this sure as heck have a fragile belief system if it is rocked to the core so easily.

      September 15, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Sabrina Desiree J

      The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is a CHRISTIAN society, not a muslim socety. This country was founded on religious freedom... for CHRISTIANS OF DIFFERENT SECTS. I am always surprised when people label someone else's OPINION, if it differs from their opinion, as 'hate speech'. Before one can HATE someone or a belief one has to RESPECT that person or belief. You can 'hate' the movie in question because it is 'poorly done' or 'not entertaining', but you cannot hate it because it expresses an opinion about mohammed... he was a pedophile, a frustrated husband of a very successful business woman and he made up a religion so he could have his way with young women and girls... 66 virgins, indeed! Islam is exactly like scientology, a fake religion 'worshipping' a FALSE god. If you don't like the USA as a CHRISTIAN country get the he ck out and go back to your 4th world country.

      September 15, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Alert

      Dr. Jemille Smith M.D.

      While you are outraged at the short video/film (the messenger), messages from Qur'an, which 'explains all things' are 'clear':

      Qur’an 9:29—Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

      Qur’an 9:111—Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah's way, so they slay and are slain.

      Qur’an 9:123—O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil).

      Qur’an 48:29—Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves.

      Ofcourse, you cannot express 'outrage' at the messages of oppression, terror, death and destruction, from Quran. The sword of Islamic Blasphemy', forbids you, Dr. Jemille Smith, M.D. So, why not just shoot the messenger, the video/film?

      September 16, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  19. Alexander Scott

    All though it pains me I'll have to defend this whack job's freedom of speech just a I do for Bill Maher and Martin Scorses's right to make shows and movies that challenge religious beliefs and doctrines along with the artist that puts a crucifix in urine or covers a picture of the Virgin Mary in feces. I would hope that the government or IRS doesn't try to intimidate movie makers or comedians to "discourage" and censor their rights.

    September 15, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  20. colhere

    It's ironic, though it's a film that's intent is to hurt and ridicule (which is not really right), the reaction by those affected is as barbaric as the film depicts. The continuance of this sort of protest merely serves to legitimize the film.

    September 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Keeping It Real

      Yes, colhere. These barbarians are just tooooo stupid to realize it; and it is so tragic that people had to die because of it. This is not just a couple of troglodytes - hundreds and hundreds planned and stormed that embassy, and thousands upon thousands are having violent temper tantrums elsewhere. Great PR for your peaceful "Allah", folks!

      September 15, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • Geek Girl

      It is really ironic. I find the craven reaction of our politicians to be even more troubling. Instead of standing up for freedom of expression and the values of an open society, they are trying to apologize to the Muslim world and discussing the "limits of free speech".
      Islam is an ideology like all religions and political philosophies and it should be judged from that perspective. Some ideologies are abhorrent like Nazism and Communism, some are silly like Scientology (my apologies Tom), and some are even halfway sensible (church of the flying spaghetti monster) but it should always, always, always be acceptable to criticize, mock, and even insult them.
      Lastly, I don't give a damn about sensitivities regarding imaginary beings or people who have heard from or spoken to imaginary beings (and why do they all have beards???). But....if anyone criticizes Gandalf, I will send Elrond after him and burn his embassy if he has one.

      September 15, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Sabrina Desiree J

      As far as I am concerned, the movie has the right to exist 'as is' and the moviemakers should not have to FEAR for their lives, but they DO, don't they? Why is that? Because ISLAM is EV IL, and anyone who follows islam is a member of the devi l's minions.... the devil has them EXACTLY where he wants them. I pity their lost souls.

      September 15, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Cmurph103

      Your ignorance and intolerance shows that you are no better than those who attacked our embassies. Your violent reaction to their violence is not justified, the only justifiable violence is self defense and attacking an enemy for attacking you is not self defense, it is revenge.

      September 17, 2012 at 12:17 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.