Between Iran and a Hambone
Iran threatens to pursue the maker of the film, the Innocence of Muslims.
"The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran condemns this inappropriate and offensive action," First Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi said. "Certainly it will search for, track, and pursue this guilty person who has insulted 1.5 billion Muslims in the world."
And now Egypt issues an arrest warrant.
If the people at the U.S.A. embassies were nonviolently protesting the militaristic actions of the U.S.A., the terminator drones, the endless war, not only could I understand, but the world would at least identify with the sentiment that the U.S.A. should leave war. But if people are actually protesting this excuse for a movie, a theory Iran went validated well then there is a big and fundamental problem. If they were nonviolently protesting war they would gather empathy from me and the world over. But they're protesting a hambone.
Part of the offensive film shows Desert George and a girl chewing on a hambone which is, albeit despicable if made with the intention of offending, but hardly worthy of violent reaction, especially with the understanding it was made to get that reaction. The movie is bad enough, but if it is the catalyst for violent action then increasingly the reactions to the ridiculousness are much more offensive than the movie itself. In fact such reactions make the movie more interesting and less despicable. Every artist and every human should know it is always much noble to create something, even something despicable, than to react violently to a creation. The reaction to the film, if you could call it a film, only catalyzes more interest in it. The filmmaker apparently lied to his cast and sounds like a real crackpot, but he doesn't matter anymore. How few people would ever watch this movie doesn't matter anymore. It comes down to a question of the principles of the First Amendment. If the film is valid in any way it is for being over the top ridiculous in presenting the theory that certain people react violently unnecessarily and getting certain people to react the very way it suggests.
So I'm sorry to say it, really I am because the movie is unwatchable and I won't watch it no matter how interested the worldwide reaction to it is. I'm sorry if you think anyone cared about this film, but the First Amendment is what the U.S.A., I like to think, is all about. The First Amendment is what enables freedom of religion in the first place and not-so coincidentally the freedom to assemble in protest, as well as the freedom to write about anything or create any art. The First Amendment is what this is argument is all about. So I implore anyone who is unfamiliar with the Five Freedoms of the First Amendment to learn, for they enable humanity and enhance the power of the individual. The measure of the ability for a minority within a group to practice the First Amendment might as well be a measure of how developed we are as a collective. It boils down to elementary First Amendment understanding and Desert George and the hambone has won every time, but you have to understand why that is. It's not because we like crappy movies or insulting the prophet, it's because we desire so much to be able to question our institutions we attempt to allow everything else.
The Five Freedoms of the First Amendment should be protected above all other rights. Firstly it provides the right to question the interpretation of god and worship god however one wants, so long as one does so nonviolently of course. The First Amendment allows contrarians of any perspective to protest for others or for god, as long as they do so nonviolently. And most importantly individuals can question institutions and release information in the press. The Five Freedoms of the First Amendment is the most wonderful arrangement of human rights there is. It is a basic formula to keep one's rights through protest in part, the catch is that everybody gets the rights. If people desire liberty, they have to let the hambone go.
The First Amendment is practically all we have left of American exceptionalism, what with the eleven years of war and corporate exceptionalism having been built up during that time. The First Amendment is the liberation that the whole world needs. Imagine if the whole world had to follow the First Amendment. It would be paradise, a forgiving open paradise where no one could/would hurt someone for speaking or creating.
The First Amendment provides a step by step way to gather support through peaceable assembly. It mandates multicultural acceptance and the ability to gather in peaceful protest (at least in theory, see Occupy Wall Street). It also guarantees the unlimited artistic right, which believe me every religious person has hated at one time or another. Not only does the First Amendment allow any political and religious group to promote their beliefs, but artists can produce anything they want. And often, as painful as it is, sensational art spurs societal progression, an increase in peaceable tolerance, an instigation of questioning subject matter, new thoughts. Sometimes the best art is offensive and sometimes the most offensive art is only made popular at all because of those who take offense.
The Innocence of Muslims is one big Koran Test. The name is in tribute to the extremist reaction most recently displayed by some Muslims who believe a cartoon is worth killing one of Muhammad's creations although any extremist has such views. The Koran Test is like The Aristocrats joke. There is nothing to the joke, there is nothing to the art, there is nothing to the film, but the reaction. The filmmaker created a Koran Test. Anyone who reacted to it violently failed the litmus test of the First Amendment. I'm sorry to all those who have suffered during the prolonged war, especially those recently. If indeed people are reacting to this at all and killing others because of this thing called a movie, humanity has a long way to go.
Is the Koran Test offensive? Maybe every religious person or person who believes they are religious has a point where art calls for violent reaction. Then again, maybe not so much.
"None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." ~Hadith
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