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article imageReview: Innocence of Muslims Special

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By Steve Hayes     Sep 17, 2012 in Arts
Imagine an alternative universe, one which has the diametric opposite of the Oscars. In that universe, the makers of the "Innocence of Muslims" would steal the show and walk away with all the awards.
The Innocence of Muslims is in a class of its own. There are many poor films, but the so called trailer that appears on YouTube is a travesty of even the worst of them.
It is aesthetically crude, in the extreme. The acting is atrocious. The dialogue seems to be intended as an illustration of how not to dub audio. There is no narrative; no plot; nothing one could describe as character development, unless one generously thinks of the greying of a beard as significant. And all this supposedly cost $5 million. One can only, in awe, wonder how the money was spent. A group of children, fooling around with a cheap video camera, could have done better.
I will not belabour the point. You can watch it for yourself. It will not take long, for you will see how poor this film is by watching any few seconds. You will have no need to endure the whole fourteen minutes.
And yet, this so called film has caught the attention of billions across the globe. But that last assertion is not quite true. The Innocence of Muslims sat on YouTube for weeks without anyone taking any notice. It was just another example of poor film-making. All that changed when it was dubbed into Arabic and posted on YouTube. Strange to relate, the Arabic version is now "private".
Nevertheless, it was the translation into Arabic that made the film (in)famous. This was followed by Sheikh Khaled Abdalla, who British journalist, Sarah Carr, described as part of a school of particularly shrill religious demagogues who turn every possible event into an attack on Islam, showing a clip of the film on the Egyptian television channel, Al Nas.
The notion that anyone could take the Innocence of Muslims seriously defies credulity. There is nothing in this so called film that a rational person could take seriously for even a moment. It is so poor, one struggles to comprehend how anyone could even consider it to be satire, let alone a critique of a major world religion. Nevertheless, poor as it is, it behoves all of us who are committed to the values of the Enlightenment, to human rights, to freedom of expression to defend the right of even the makers of this film to express their views. For, should we deny freedom of speech to even one person, we inevitably diminish all humanity.
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More about Islam, Review, Film, freedom of expression, Human Rights
 
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