Enraged by effete portrayal of Islam’s prophet, mobs assail U.S. embassies in MideastTop Highlights, Breaking News Thursday, September 13th, 2012
The U.S. embassy in Yemen has been attacked since this story was first filed. It is believed anger about The Innocence of Muslims’ portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad sparked the attack. Shots have been fired, according to reports from the scene. MSNBC is reporting initial indications that there are injuries on each side.
President Obama’s administration has promised to bring the killers of U.S. diplomats in Libya to justice. The administration is investigating the possibility that attack was not, as was first believed, part of a spontaneous mob angry over an anti-Islam film. Some signs point to an organized attack by an extremist group that may have been planned for 9/11 as retribution for the killing of leader of that group, according to reports and an analysis by Rachel Maddow on her MSNBC show.
REVIEW of INTERNATIONAL REACTION
BY THOM SENZEE
The Innocence of Muslims, a low-budget, low-quality film with some gay themes and undertones, is being blamed by some as the impetus for the deaths of four people at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya Wednesday, Sept. 12. Among the dead was the U.S. ambassador to Libya.
The film is of highly questionable origins. Even the cast and crew are reported to have released a statement saying that they were deceived by producers about everything from what the movie was about, to their claims that the lines they delivered during filming were decoy dialogues, which were dubbed with far more incendiary dialogue in post production. A review of one of the film’s trailers on YouTube reveals ubiquitous instances of what appear to be dubbing over actors’ lines.
The Los Angeles Times (LAT) reports that cast and crew members were told the film’s title would be “Desert Warrior” and that it was being produced as a drama. By contrast, the production comes across as a campy satire with an NC-17 edge and a penchant for making Islam’s founder, Muhammad, claimed as the Muslim religion’s prophet, look bafoonish, gay and encouraging of pedophilia.
LAT quotes an email from an unnamed source – a crew member from the production of The Innocence of Muslims as writing, “The original actors said one word, and then the producer and editing team (whom I don’t know) dubbed.”
Several news outlets are reporting that a statement distancing the actors and crew from the production, did come from its purported authors. The statement reads, in part:
“We are 100% not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose…. We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred,” the statement read.
Around the globe, reactions were mostly sympathetic to the deaths of the four Americans killed at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. But in the Middle East, sympathy and duplicity defined the tone of some countries’ official reactions.
An undiluted expression of condolence came from one of the closest U.S. allies in the Arab world, the State of Kuwait, by way of a diplomatic cable sent to President Barack Obama by the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, expressing “deep condolences over the attack. Affirming Kuwait’s condemnation of such a heinous terrorist crime.”
As reported by The Kuwait Times, the Amir’s cable continued ” … these acts has (sic) nothing to do with Islamic values and international norms.” Similar cables were sent by the other members of the Kuwaiti royal family, who hold offices with titles ranging from deputy amir to prime minister.
Neither was Afghanistan’s response dual-edged. In fact, little if any sympathy was expressed for the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens. Instead, the Afghan president was resolute in his abhorrence of the attack – the low-budget YouTube attack on the dignity of the deified Muhammad, that is. There appears to have been no mention of sorrow for the brutal deaths of Ambassador Stevens and three members of the U.S. diplomatic mission to Libya. The statement from President Hamid Karzai’s office:
“The office of the president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan strongly and resolutely denounces this desecrating act and declares its serious abhorrence in the face of such an insult. Prophet Mohammed … was the greatest prophet of Islam, a prophet sent to guide mankind, a pacifist and a promoter of truth and honesty in the universe. In fact, insult to the greatest Prophet of Islam means insult to high values of 1.5 billion Muslims across the world. This offensive act has stoked interfaith enmity and confrontation and badly impacted the peaceful coexistence between human beings.”
The big two-sided sympathy statement came from Egypt. Egypt’s sympathy card (which addressed only the storming of the U.S. embassy in Cairo prior to the Benghazi killings):
Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Kandil:
“What happened at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo is regrettable and rejected by all Egyptian people and cannot be justified, especially if we consider that the people who produced this low film have no relation to the U.S. government. We ask the American government to take a firm position toward this filmmakers within the framework of international charters that criminalize acts that stir strife on the basis of race, color or religion.”
The ruling Muslim Brotherhood party has called for “peaceful protests” about the The Innocence of Muslims throughout Egypt Friday.
Of note, none of the statements LGBT Weekly found from conservative Islamic governments harped specifically about the “gayness” of Muhammad as he is portrayed in the film.
CBS News reports that American flags were set ablaze by Palestinians, though the number of people participating in the demonstration was relatively small. The familiar cadence “Death to America” was reportedly chanted by a few dozen protesters in Gaza.
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