Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Anti-Muslim Video Cited In Attacks On U.S. Embassies In Egypt and Libya

The U.S. embassy in Egypt and the U.S. consulate in Libya were attacked yesterday, by demonstrators citing the movie "Innocence of Muslims" as the reason. Reuters reports that U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens and 3 staff members were killed in a rocket attack on their car as they were being driven from the consulate building to a safer location..  The New York Times reports these details on the video:
The mobs were set off by Egyptian media reports about a 14-minute trailer for the video, called “Innocence of Muslims,” that was released on the Web. The trailer opens with scenes of Egyptian security forces standing idle as Muslims pillage and burn the homes of Egyptian Christians. Then it cuts to cartoonish scenes depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a child of uncertain parentage, a buffoon, a womanizer, a homosexual, a child molester and a greedy, bloodthirsty thug.
The trailer was uploaded to YouTube by Sam Bacile, whom The Wall Street Journal Web site identified as a 52-year old Israeli-American real estate developer in California. He told the Web site he had raised $5 million from 100 Jewish donors to make the film. “Islam is a cancer,” Mr. Bacile was quoted as saying.
The video gained international attention when a Florida pastor began promoting it along with his own proclamation of Sept. 11 as “International Judge Muhammad Day.”
In a statement on Tuesday, the pastor, Terry Jones of Gainesville, Fla., called the film “an American production, not designed to attack Muslims but to show the destructive ideology of Islam” and said it “further reveals in a satirical fashion the life of Muhammad.”
In a statement (full text) issued yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in part:
I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on our mission in Benghazi today.... Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.