A Muslim American’s Perspective on the Riots in Response to the Film “The Innocence of Muslims”
reposted from Salem News
When Penury and a Lack of Education in Quantity…
Siraj Davis for Salem-News.com
I thank God the people here have shown more respect for religion by not making such films criticizing Jesus or burning bibles as in Florida.
Palestinians protest against The Innocence of Muslims. Officials confirmed ‘Sam Bacile’ was an alias used by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula- just remember that is what they want us to know at this point. Photograph: EPA
(EAST JERUSALEM, Occupied Palestine) – When penury and a lack of education in quantity and quality, are amalgamated with the circumstances of a war torn region, such acts of indiscriminate violence, a desire to reach out at the closer and weaker constituents of those perceived as oppressors occurs. It is a human phenomena that one can even see in US history and around the world in different contexts and times.
It does not make this indiscriminate violence right nor justify it, yet it does present a warning sign to witnesses that something is seriously wrong with the relationships between antagonists and protagonists. Something wrong that has been lingering for a long time yet ignored or assuaged by pundits and chauvinists.
I hope those protesting will remember that it does nothing good to harm people not directly involved with the making of an anti-Islamic film. It is diametric to Islam’s principles. I saw this film and admit it had grave and sick portrayals of religious figures held in reverence today. A film in which if characters were switched to Jesus or Dr. King Jr. or others revered in western history, we may have seen the same reaction in our lower income communities in America. Such occurences have been true in our own history before. I would also like to add that the protests are counterproductive as they paint a distorted image of the people here, an image some in America would love to use as ammunition against the people here. It also violates the tenets or principles of western thought whereas freedom of speech and to pursue happiness is paramount to humanity and for all of us to communicate and respect each other, we must acknowledge and respect each others’ values.
Nevertheless. I must aver,
I thank God though that those protesting did not reach out and harm all Americans like the indiscriminate violence of the LA riots. I thank God the people here have shown more respect for religion by not making such films criticizing Jesus or burning bibles as in Florida. I thank God I have not seen people here forcing its citizens to wear a hijab or abbiya or niqab (except some countries here but not the majority) or forcing them to take off their crucifixes or religious attire like in Georgia or New York. Why? It allows the moral highground to be retained and shows more humanity of the people of this region.
As demogogues and pundits take advantage of these protests by attacking President Obama and claiming his restraint in using military force here allowed this. While western media focuses on mixing the violent AND non-violent protests into one group. Never mind the fact that non-violent protest is a freedom of speech even in America. Despite some media tying these small groups of protesters in a skewed manner of logic to terrorism or Islamic fundamentalism or as a representation of all the people here. Despite the fact that the rights of many Muslims across the world are seemingly extinguished with media silence or apologetic comments. Despite the fact that more criticism and scrutiny has been placed on the protests as opposed to the stupidity and intentions of the film maker. Despite the fact that this region has not invaded western countries but in fact the opposite is a reality. Despite the fact we are struggling to survive here while being stigmatized as terrorists…
May we remember we must go back to struggling in poverty and without adequate education while simultaneously crying on occasions because we have lost our loved ones to war, or can not see our loved ones because of immigration restraints or refugee dispossessions, or must fear a bomb from idiots on both sides of the War on Terror either strapped to a human or dropped from above by planes or predator drones and thus killing innocent people not involved in the conflict, or find a way to channel our anger over the false imprisonments of Muslims in western countries charged with crimes they did not do in preemptive prosecution chicanery, or look at our lands we once called home taken by force and a fabricated history never to peer upon its virtue again, or shake our heads in sadness over how power struggles and vacuums have developed between Shia/Sunni in consequence to western intervention and removal of figureheads who do not agree with western foreign policy, or continue to witness the lands here pillaged and stripped of its natural resources like an Africa or Latin America while the children live in continuous depredation.
If you feel none of these pains, then you are removed from the reality of the majority of people in these countries or you have no intellectual respect or ability. Worse, you have no conscience.
If the media attention of the death of a single Arab in Palestine or Afghanistan or Iraq would receive as much attention as the death of a US diplomat has recently, perhaps we may become closer to the truth of what is going on this region rather than excuse every witnessed social phenomena of a tragic manner as an extension of the rhetoric from the War on Terror. Such witch hunts never explain these events accurately nor resolve them. They only bring shame and more animosity for the future.
Moreover, it proves true a wise adage from the past that the majority rule not because they are right, but because they are the strongest.
I have always sided with the weak and oppressed. Regardless of their skin color, religion, or socioeconomic status. The people! IF I have offended you, it is the least of what I may do to respect truth and justice.
I am sorry you cannot see reality from my own eyes. I suggest living amongst the fish as if in a sea, then you might start making sense to the people here rather than exclusively to charlatans and opportunists so willing to cadge with blandishments, your own predispositions or pride in exchange for an opportunity for a visa, job, or money.
Founder and president of Collective Consciousness Human Rights Organization
Clemson University Student Human Rights organization and beyond
Amnesty International Organizer
Asian Student Association Co-founder
American Families United Constituent
US/World History teacher Modern American School
ESL English and TOEFL/IELTS instructor
Dedicated human rights activist