Anti-Islam film, part of US campaign to demonize Muslims, Moro rights group says

Sep. 30, 2012

Protesters believe that the US government is not doing enough to remove or ban the film from the internet. 

Davao Today

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — “We blame the US government for its campaign against terrorism that deliberately tags Muslims as terrorists,” Bai Ali Indayla, spokesperson of Moro human rights group Kawagib

Indayla’s statement came after the controversial 14-minute low-budget film, Innocence of Muslims, stirred the Muslim community worldwide.  In a protest last week in Cotabato City, hundreds condemned what they call a “US design” to demonize anew Muslims as terrorists via the said film.  In the past weeks, hundreds also burned US and Israeli flags in Marawi town, Lanao del Sur while many have protested before the American embassy in Manila.

Protesters believe that the US government is not doing enough to remove or ban the film from the internet.

The administration of US President Barack Obama has asked Google to remove the video.  But the latter refused because the video, it said, does not violate their content standards.  Google is an American multinational corporation providing internet-related products and services.

The film portrayed Islam’s Prophet Muhammad as a bastard, a philanderer and a plagiarist.  It also depicted Muhammad as a killer of non-Muslims, calling the latter “infidels.”  It was uploaded in the video-sharing website, YouTube.

The film has sparked protests around the globe, mostly from Muslim-dominated countries.  Violence also erupted because of it, which reportedly led to the deaths of not less than 50 people, including US ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.

Here in the Philippines, the Supreme Court (SC) already issued a Temporary Restraining Order against the public showing of the film as it infringes on religious rights.  This was in response to the petition filed by leaders of different Muslim communities under the group Bangsamoro Nation.  The SC did not, however, rule if the country should ask YouTube to block the movie.

But the SC rule didn’t stop lawyer Harry Roque, a professor of the University of the Philippines, to show it in his constitutional law class.  In his blog, Roque said, the viewing was not public and just part of his class’s lesson on freedom of expression, academic freedom and other freedoms stipulated in the Constitution.

Roque called the film “trash” and said that he has confidence on the intelligence of Muslims in the country.

Actor and Islam-covert Robin Padilla, in a television interview said, “Napanood ko, natawa nga ako. Pero, kailangang mag-protesta. (I already saw it.  I was amused.  But we must protest against it.)

The said film, produced by Egyptian-born Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, was uploaded on YouTube this September.  As of Saturday, it already hit 15 million views with a thread of almost 300,000 comments.

On Thursday, Nakoula was jailed and is facing up to three years in prison.  He reportedly lied to federal probation officials on his role in the making of the Innocence of Muslims film.  (John Rizle L. Saligumba/

comments powered by Disqus