The “Innocence of Muslims” video

A few notes on the video that has sparked ongoing mayhem in West Asia.

* The production values are very poor – it seems to me that no film professionals were used in the making of this film.


A few notes on the video that has sparked ongoing mayhem in West Asia.

* The production values are very poor – it seems to me that no film professionals were used in the making of this film.

* The people that were recruited by the casting call were obviously not told the truth. Any anglophone watching the video can see clearly that the actors are saying “George” when the voiceover says “Muhammad” and that all of the elements attacking Islam were tacked on after the fact by some malicious editor. And, again, this editing was done in a way that was so poor that many DIY youtubers could have done a vastly better job.

* Unfortunately, after the Danish cartoon controversy years ago, the response to this video is completely predictable. This is unfortunate in many ways. One of these ways is that the predictability of the reaction gives anyone with a scanner, a camera, a pen, a voice recorder, and an internet connection – ie., billions of people – an easy way of creating massive carnage in one part of the world. It’s the ultimate spoiler’s veto. And if it’s so easy to do, some people are going to do it.

* Since the response was so predictable, and the person known as Sam Bacile did this all so obviously to generate this response, the question is who was really behind it and why, and who would benefit from it? Al Jazeera put together a document with what little is known, and there’s some connection to a group called Media for Christ.

* To me, this looks like an evil version of the kind of thing the Yes Men do – a cheap media operation designed to have a disproportionate impact. So, what impact, and why now? A week after Canada’s Stephen Harper withdrew personnel from the Iranian Embassy, a couple of months before the US election, my speculation is that the people behind it are those in the US (and elsewhere) who want additional war in West Asia, especially Iran, and that the objective is to inflame the target countries into responses that would provide pretexts. Along this line, I think what happened in Libya and Afghanistan was probably a surprise to those who did the operation… although it looks like the sought after reaction from Iran is starting.

Author: Justin Podur

Ecology. Environmental Science. Political Science. Anti-imperialism. Political fiction. Teach at York U's FES. Author. Writer at ZNet, TeleSUR, AlterNet, Ricochet, and the Independent Media Institute.