Quantcast

«

»

Sep 17 2012

Butler: Arrest Anti-Muslim Filmmaker

Anthea Butler, who teaches religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania, apparently thinks the limits of the First Amendment should be determined by the violent reactions of Muslim totalitarians in other countries. She is demanding the arrest of Sam Bacile, who made the anti-Muslim film that might have prompted the deadly attacks on our embassies in Libya and Egypt.

So why did I tweet that Bacile should be in jail? The “free speech” in Bacile’s film is not about expressing a personal opinion about Islam. It denigrates the religion by depicting the faith’s founder in several ludicrous and historically inaccurate scenes to incite and inflame viewers. Even the film’s actors say they were duped.

Bacile’s movie is not the first to denigrate a religious figure, nor will it be the last. The Last Temptation of Christ was protested vigorously. The difference is that Bacile indirectly and inadvertently inflamed people half a world away, resulting in the deaths of U.S. Embassy personnel.

I have no doubt that the movie is ridiculous, bigoted and dishonest. I just don’t care, at least when it comes to the legal question. By Butler’s reasoning, Salman Rushdie should have been arrested for writing The Satanic Verses, which also prompted violent attacks around the world. She is essentially arguing that the limits of free speech in this country are determined by whether violent lunatics in other countries are sufficiently upset about it.

Not just no, but fuck no. Bacile and Terry Jones should be criticized for their stupidity and bigotry; they should not be arrested. Do not confuse moral culpability with legal accountability. PZ responds to a similar argument from R. Joseph Hoffman and he’s absolutely right.

257 comments

1 ping

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Brett McCoy

    Absolutely agree. Arresting someone for what they have written or shown in a movie will be a very bad precendent and completely goes against the First Amendment. I don’t even condone limiting the free speech of Fred Phelps and his goons. I don’t like what they do or what they say, but nothing they have done is illegal. Stupid yes, and needs to be vilified and criticized and laughed at, but not something that warrants any kind of legal action.

  2. 2
    trucreep

    “Not just no, but fuck no.”

    Well said!!!

  3. 3
    Raging Bee

    Arrested? No. Have their worthless crap taken off the air, just as we want Rush Limbaugh taken off the air? Hell yes!

  4. 4
    Chiroptera

    I notice the Dr. Butler doesn’t even paraphrase what she thinks the relevant law that was broke, let alone cite the exact statute.

    She comes off as being similar to those right wing nuts who think that people can be arrested on a whim of the powers that be.

  5. 5
    busterggi

    Butler needs to shut up or someone may just search her work for criticizing a religion and push for her arrest.

  6. 6
    Alverant

    Doesn’t free speech already have limits? For example you can’t incite a riot or say things to illicit violence. Likewise you can’t site freedom of speech to justify slander/libel. If the movie was inaccurate and designed to push someone’s buttons to the point of violence, then I’m not so sure how the notion of free speech really fits into the film.

    As for “Satanic Verses” it’s not really a valid comparison since the book had a different intent. Maybe a better comparison would be the man who falsely accused a mentally underdeveloped christian girl of burning pages out of the Koran in order to drive other christians out. He knew he was lying but is that free speech also?

    How do you apply free speech when not only you know you’re being dishonest but you also intend to provoke a violent response that will target innocent people?

  7. 7
    danielkast

    If there is anyone who values free speech, it is a tenured professor!

    If this is true, why do you spend 400+ words painstakingly demonstrating how little value you place on free speech?

  8. 8
    cptdoom

    Of course he was arrested for actual legitimate reasons – like his almost-certain probation violations when making the film. And if it is true that he actually defrauded his cast, they will likely have a civil tort and should sue. That’s how you deal with people like Bacile in a free society.

  9. 9
    daved

    I’m bothered by her idiotic claim that Sam Bacile (whose first name should definitely be changed to “Im”) “inadvertently” inflamed people half a world away. This was not inadvertent. It was deliberate.

  10. 10
    d cwilson

    Bacile actually is on his way to jail, not because his so-called film inflamed rioters or denigrated religion, but because posting it online violated the terms of his parole for bank fraud.

  11. 11
    mommiest

    A couple of days ago, I heard a bunch of otherwise rational-sounding people call for the use of hate crime law to arrest Bacile. I see no difference between calling a film a “hate crime” and calling it “blasphemy.”

    We don’t need that crap in this country. We don’t need it anywhere.

  12. 12
    matty1

    I think Gretchen explains this well and with pictures too.

  13. 13
    Chiroptera

    Alverant, #6: If the movie was inaccurate and designed to push someone’s buttons to the point of violence, then I’m not so sure how the notion of free speech really fits into the film.

    The point, or at least one of them, is that Dr. Butler is calling for the arrest of the film makers right now. But there is no law on the books that they broke; there is no law under which they may be charged.

    Should there be a law? Personally, I agree that this is close enough to incitement that there should. However, those who understand the law better than I have stated that such a law would be violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution according to Supreme Court precedent.

    So, the short answer to your question is: this movie is pretty much within US legal guidelines.

    -

    I’m still curious, though, about legal liability if the allegations are true that they overdubbed the actors’ lines without the actors knowing anything about it, and did so with the deliberate intent to provoke a violent response from Muslims.

  14. 14
    karmacat

    The NY Times has a good editorial about how the protests are really not about the video but are politically motivated. Leaders in these countries are trying to consolidate their power. They want people to focus on the video instead of problems in the country and to use the United States as a distraction to domestic problems

  15. 15
    Ed Brayton

    Raging Bee wrote:

    Arrested? No. Have their worthless crap taken off the air, just as we want Rush Limbaugh taken off the air? Hell yes!

    It isn’t on the air. It’s on Youtube. And if it wasn’t there, they could put it on their own website if they wanted to.

  16. 16
    Alverant

    #13 such a law would be violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution according to Supreme Court precedent

    Do you know when such a precedent was made and who made it? Being a precedent doesn’t make it immune to criticism or from being a mistake.

    Consider this, a preacher does a fire-n-brimstone sermon about the evils of “teh gay” and how they all want to rape children and other such garbage. After the sermon some of the attendees go outside and see a man they know (or think) is gay and beat him to death. At the trail the men say they were so emotionally charged by the sermon that they lost control? Does the preacher bare any responsibility for what happened? Does the situation change if it’s discovered the victim lived next to the preacher and they were having a dispute over the fence dividing their properties?

  17. 17
    Raging Bee

    Alverant: According to what I’ve read in previous posts here, this trailer is, technically, not “inciting to riot,” because no one in it actually explicitly calls on anyone to commit any violent or disorderly acts. So it may violate the spirit of the law, but it doesn’t violate the letter, so apparently it’s legally okay. (Calling it “treason” is a stretch too, though it clearly does aid and abet enemies of the US.)

    There is still the possibility of civil suits though, both by relatives of the murdered Americans, and by the actors, who can plausibly claim defamation and fraud — especially if they can prove they were subject to ostracism or threats in response to things they didn’t really say.

    What’s also reprehensible is that YouTube refuses to take the trailer down, even though it clearly violates their terms.

  18. 18
    Raging Bee

    And if it wasn’t there, they could put it on their own website if they wanted to.

    And their ISP could take that down too.

  19. 19
    Ben P

    Doesn’t free speech already have limits? For example you can’t incite a riot or say things to illicit violence.

    Suppressing free speech requires a clear and present danger that the speech will incite “imminent lawless action.” That’s not here.

    Here’s the different.

    If I make a movie that says “Mohammed is a pedofile,” I know it will make lots of Muslims mad and some of them might even riot or protest, but I don’t know where or when and I don’t know anything about what will occur.

    That is not a clear and present danger of imminent lawless action.

    On the other hand, if I stand in front of a crowd of devout muslims and tell them “the people in that building *right over there* made a movie saying Mohammed is a pedofile, you need to go burn their building down and kill them all.

    Assuming the crowd is suitably fired up, that would probably be a danger of imminent lawless action, and the police could reasonably justified in breaking up the demonstration/speech.

  20. 20
    Ed Brayton

    Alverant wrote:

    Doesn’t free speech already have limits? For example you can’t incite a riot or say things to illicit violence. Likewise you can’t site freedom of speech to justify slander/libel. If the movie was inaccurate and designed to push someone’s buttons to the point of violence, then I’m not so sure how the notion of free speech really fits into the film.

    Inciting a riot means telling a crowd to commit violence, not saying something that might get other people so angry that they try to commit violence against you. It simply doesn’t apply here. Yes, you CAN say things that result in violence; bear in mind that this standard could easily have been used to silence civil rights activists after racists reacted violently to their protests. You just cannot set the limits of free speech on the basis of whether someone hearing the speech might be so angry that they react violently; if you do so, you are encouraging violence.

    The charge of inaccuracy is also a red herring. If you say “person X had sex with a 9 year old girl,” you can, under very narrow circumstances, be sued for libel or slander (and remember, that’s civil, not criminal, so you cannot get arrested for it; the victims may have a cause to sue you). But if you say “Muslims are barbarians who kill people who disagree with them” or “Muhammad had sex with a 9 year old girl” those things are arguably true (the first claim is obviously overly broad, but it is no more legally actionable then someone saying “Christians hate gay people”).

    As for “Satanic Verses” it’s not really a valid comparison since the book had a different intent.

    And how are you going to determine someone’s intent? Read their minds? What if they explicitly say “we are not trying to provoke a violent response” while saying the very same thing? If skirting that standard is that trivial, it isn’t of much use.

    Maybe a better comparison would be the man who falsely accused a mentally underdeveloped christian girl of burning pages out of the Koran in order to drive other christians out. He knew he was lying but is that free speech also?

    No, that is criminal under an entirely different law. In this country, we would prosecute that as filing a false police report or trying to frame an innocent person. That is not analogous at all.

  21. 21
    Raging Bee

    karmakat: you’re right about all that — but that doesn’t make the filmmakers any less responsible for the role they knowingly played, with malice aforethought, in those political and sectarian conflicts. Giving someone an excuse to commit murder doesn’t make you a murderer — it just makes you an accessory to murder.

  22. 22
    daved

    If I make a movie that says “Mohammed is a pedofile,” I know it will make lots of Muslims mad

    Is that because Muslims hate spelling mistakes?

  23. 23
    Ed Brayton

    Alverant wrote:

    Consider this, a preacher does a fire-n-brimstone sermon about the evils of “teh gay” and how they all want to rape children and other such garbage. After the sermon some of the attendees go outside and see a man they know (or think) is gay and beat him to death. At the trail the men say they were so emotionally charged by the sermon that they lost control?

    You’re missing a very critical distinction. Inciting a riot means telling a crowd to go do something violent; it quite emphatically is not the same as saying things that make other people react violently against you (or other people they think, rightly or wrongly, might support you). A far more accurate analogy would be if a gay person gave a talk to a group of gay people and told them that Christians want to throw them in jail or be stoned to death and that crowd then attacks a priest walking by the event.

  24. 24
    slc1

    Re Ed Brayton @ #20

    The charge of inaccuracy is also a red herring. If you say “person X had sex with a 9 year old girl,” you can, under very narrow circumstances, be sued for libel or slander

    One has to note that the law of libel and slander does not apply to the deceased. As I understand it, such laws in most jurisdictions take the position that deceased persons can’t be libeled or slandered (I have a vague recollection that the law in Louisiana may be different in this regard). AFAIK, Mohammed has been dead for more then 1000 years so it would appear that he has no cause of action.

  25. 25
    Bronze Dog

    I find a lot of the pro-censorship arguments more insulting than anything I can imagine in the film, and in a far more insidious way because it feigns respect. They seem to treat the rioters as if they were wild beasts, incapable of self-restraint.

    If a person jumps into a lion cage, we don’t blame the lion if it attacks him. Muslims, however, aren’t lions. They’re humans. They’re sapient beings capable of higher levels of cognition and moral reasoning than lions. That means they’re responsible for their actions and reactions. Treating them like wild beasts sets a double-standard on civilized behavior while simultaneously providing support for racist ideas that they’re inherently less capable of rational thought or moral action.

    I’m reminded of a pro-burka propaganda poster showing a covered lollipop versus an uncovered one attracting flies. The hidden message it sends is that women are responsible for rape because men are mindless sex fiends who are incapable of resisting an uncovered ankle, and thus not responsible for their actions. Sadly, we’ve got a lot of people with similar attitudes in the US. It’s much the same insult.

    If someone was calling for the outright censorship of an anti-atheist movie, citing a fear of riots, I’d be more insulted by the censor who took it upon himself to say what I can and can’t handle.

  26. 26
    Chiroptera

    Being a precedent doesn’t make it immune to criticism or from being a mistake.

    There are several things in the US Constitution that I think are worse mistakes.

    However, as I often point out to people, we are stuck with the Constitution that we have, not the Constitution that we would like.

  27. 27
    Raging Bee

    Suppressing free speech requires a clear and present danger that the speech will incite “imminent lawless action.” That’s not here.

    Yes, it bloody well is: the filmmakers knew in advance that certain material would have a very clear chance of resulting in violent reaction; and they tailored the words in the trailer to cause as much emotional reaction — and as little thoughtful response — as possible. They knew in advance that a certain region was in social turmoil, and that a lot of that turmoil consists of resentment of America, and resentment over they very kind of insults they knowingly dubbed into their work.

    And how are you going to determine someone’s intent?

    In the case of “Innocence of Muslims,” the malicious intent is as obvious as the color of the sky — even without considering how the actors were systematically deceived as to the nature of the work being done. Seriously, do you really think it’s impossible to distinguish between honest criticism and malicious manipulation? We do it every time a Republican opens his mouth, so why are you suddenly complaining now?

  28. 28
    heddle

    If there is anyone who values free speech, it is a tenured professor!

    Huh? We (tenured professors) are safe in our cocoons. It seems to me that untenured professors would, by necessity, place a higher premium on free speech.

  29. 29
    lofgren

    Giving someone an excuse to commit murder doesn’t make you a murderer — it just makes you an accessory to murder.

    Yeah, it’s like how when a woman wears a short skirt she is clearly an accessory to her own rape. Because obviously she was giving the rapist an excuse.

  30. 30
    Michael Heath

    Chiroptera writes:

    Should there be a law? Personally, I agree that this is close enough to incitement that there should. However, those who understand the law better than I have stated that such a law would be violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution according to Supreme Court precedent.

    Don’t forget the availability of civil courts to mitigate slanders and libels rather than criminal law. Not for Mohammed – he’s dead, but contemporaneous Muslims which can prove libel and/or slander, and harm.

  31. 31
    Chiroptera

    Ed Brayton, #20: And how are you going to determine someone’s intent? Read their minds?

    How do the police and prosecutors determine whether a shooting death was an accident or the shooter actually intended to kill the victim? Maybe there can be enough actual evidence of intent that a jury can be swayed beyond reasonable doubt.

    I mean, jeez, if it were impossible to prove intent, then every single trial would result in acquittal when the defendent claimed that they didn’t mean to do what they did.

  32. 32
    Michael Heath

    Alverant writes:

    Consider this, a preacher does a fire-n-brimstone sermon about the evils of “teh gay” and how they all want to rape children and other such garbage. After the sermon some of the attendees go outside and see a man they know (or think) is gay and beat him to death. At the trail the men say they were so emotionally charged by the sermon that they lost control? Does the preacher bare any responsibility for what happened? Does the situation change if it’s discovered the victim lived next to the preacher and they were having a dispute over the fence dividing their properties?

    Those close to the family could sue the preacher and the murderers in civil court, and would most likely win their suit against both.

  33. 33
    Michael Heath

    Raging Bee writes:

    What’s also reprehensible is that YouTube refuses to take the trailer down, even though it clearly violates their terms.

    How did you conclude that? Google claims the exact opposite after the White House requested they review this video to reconcile it’s content.

  34. 34
    slc1

    Re Bronze Dog @ #25

    If a person jumps into a lion cage, we don’t blame the lion if it attacks him.

    Not to be pedantic here but as a matter of fact, if not intent, the lion is held responsible and is shot, or otherwise euthanized after the incident.

  35. 35
    Raging Bee

    I find a lot of the pro-censorship arguments more insulting than anything I can imagine in the film, and in a far more insidious way because it feigns respect. They seem to treat the rioters as if they were wild beasts, incapable of self-restraint.

    People caught up in mobs ARE incapable of self-restraint. If you find that well-known fact insulting, tough shit. It’s a real danger, and sometimes people have a moral duty (if not a legal one) to recognize that fact, and modify their words a little to reduce the likelihood of violence when we know it’s a strong possibility.

  36. 36
    slc1

    Re Michael Heath @ #33

    Considering that Youtube will delete a video at the first complaint that it might be pornographic, I am unimpressed with their self-righteousness over the video in question.

  37. 37
    Gretchen

    People caught up in mobs ARE incapable of self-restraint.

    No, they’re not. But even if they were, how are the makers of this movie responsible for the existence of mobs? If they’re not, then maybe you should identify who is, and talk about punishing that person.

    Just as with the Danish cartoons, the cartoonists and editors of the Jyllands Posten were accused of arousing rioting instead of the imams going around flourishing the cartoons and telling people to rioting. You know, the actual inciters.

  38. 38
    Randomfactor

    Arrested? Hell no.

    Publicly identified? Hell yes.

  39. 39
    Chiroptera

    Bronze Dog, #25: I find a lot of the pro-censorship arguments more insulting than anything I can imagine in the film, and in a far more insidious way because it feigns respect. They seem to treat the rioters as if they were wild beasts, incapable of self-restraint.

    There are already laws that make it an offense to incite a crowd to violence. Do they also treat the crowd as if they were incapable of self-restraint? If not, then what is the difference? I don’t see how the fact that the current laws are more narrowly drawn make any difference on how the crowd is “treated.”

    If there isn’t a difference in how the crowd is “treated,” then are you also against the current laws that already exist?

  40. 40
    Gretchen

    There are already laws that make it an offense to incite a crowd to violence. Do they also treat the crowd as if they were incapable of self-restraint? If not, then what is the difference?

    Well, the law prohibits directly encouraging an already-existing angry crowd of people to commit violent acts.

    The law does not prohibit making speech that some people, somewhere, at some point, might find offensive enough that they decide to form a crowd and go commit violent acts.

    It seems pretty damn obvious to me, anyway…

  41. 41
    Gregory in Seattle

    Most of our other fundamental rights are being curtailed because of our nation’s abject fear of Islamic terrorists: travel, search warrants, assembly, press, political dissent. What’s one more freedom going down the memory hole?

  42. 42
    Raging Bee

    I posted a comment and it vanished without a trace. Was it because I had a link in it? If so, I’d appreciate it being hustled out of moderation. Thanks.

  43. 43
    Trebuchet

    Arrested? Hell no.

    Publicly identified? Hell yes.

    He’s been both. The former for violation of his parole on a fraud conviction, the latter as this guy:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakoula_Basseley_Nakoula

  44. 44
    lofgren

    I just got Rickrolled.

    Please point me towards whomever I am now allowed to kill as a result of this offensive video, so that I can do so and the bastard who posted it will be sent to prison.

  45. 45
    Raging Bee

    What’s one more freedom going down the memory hole?

    We’re not giving up any freedoms here. Notice how no one is calling for any action against the makers of “Islam: the Untold Story”? Notice how we’re only talking about ONE COUNT IT ONE very extreme example out of a much larger number of movies, books, articles, TV shows, blog posts, etc., that are explicitly critical of Islam?

  46. 46
    Gretchen

    Notice how no one is calling for any action against the makers of “Islam: the Untold Story”?

    Uh, did you happen to read the post you’re commenting on, Raging Bee?

  47. 47
    lofgren

    Notice how we’re only talking about ONE COUNT IT ONE very extreme example out of a much larger number of movies, books, articles, TV shows, blog posts, etc., that are explicitly critical of Islam?

    But you are doing so based on the reaction of Muslim fundamentalists.

    If people had reacted like that to Islam: The Untold Story, would you be calling for the makers of that to be arrested as well?

    There is no doubt that The Innocence of Muslims is intended to incite and offend. Intentionally inciting and offending is not the same thing as intentionally killing the ambassador to Libya.

    What would be a just punishment for creating an offensive video?

    What if something that I deem entertaining, you deem offensive? There are a lot of videos out there that I find hilarious that many Christians find blasphemous. If I find something funny and you find it blasphemous, do I get arrested just because you are willing to kill and I am not?

  48. 48
    Alverant

    And how are you going to determine someone’s intent? Read their minds?
    People usually say what their intent is. Plus there’s a pattern of past behavior, psychoanalyzing, physical evidence, etc. We determine someone’s intent all the time. I have to agree with Raging Bee, the intent was obvious. The people who made the film did it with the intent of causing muslims to riot so they could point to them and say, “Look at those barbarians! Islam is an enemy to freedom!” There’s a big difference between this and the Dutch cartoons. For one thing, the Dutch cartoons was the first big incident of violence over how Mo has been protrayed in recent memory. The artists didn’t know people would have reacted that way nor did they want people to act that way. Not so with this film.

  49. 49
    Gretchen

    My apologies; I got confused about the name of the movie.

    Regardless, as lofgren says, that’s a reaction-based standard. You cannot retroactively decide that speech should be illegal, based on the angry reaction it receives. That’s a particularly insidious form of heckler’s veto, because it has the effect of making people afraid to say anything that others might find offensive since they can’t predict with absolute certainty what will have that effect. If you want to silence the Salman Rushdies of the world, punishing the Sam Baciles of the world based on how people behaved after their speech was made is an excellent way of doing so.

  50. 50
    Raging Bee

    But you are doing so based on the reaction of Muslim fundamentalists.

    No, I’m doing it based on said reaction in conjunction with certain verifiable facts unique to this one particular work. Facts that have been explicitly mentioned and discussed here and elsewhere. Why are you ignoring what’s been said here?

  51. 51
    Alverant

    @Gretchen #40
    Well, the law prohibits directly encouraging an already-existing angry crowd of people to commit violent acts.

    The law does not prohibit making speech that some people, somewhere, at some point, might find offensive enough that they decide to form a crowd and go commit violent acts.

    It could be argued that the people were already angry and ready to riot when provoked and the film makers knew it and dilbertly provoked them. This wasn’t a “some people somewhere at some point” situation, the film-makers had a specific target to antagonize immediately.

  52. 52
    Gretchen

    There’s a big difference between this and the Dutch cartoons. For one thing, the Dutch cartoons was the first big incident of violence over how Mo has been protrayed in recent memory. The artists didn’t know people would have reacted that way nor did they want people to act that way.

    Danish, not Dutch. I was living in Denmark at the time. And yes, the artists did have at least some reason to anticipate violent reaction– the whole reason for asking them to depict Muhammad for publication in the first place was because a children’s book author wanted to write one about Muhammad’s life and couldn’t find someone to illustrate it. All of the people he asked turned him down, because they were too afraid.

  53. 53
    Raging Bee

    Regardless, as lofgren says, that’s a reaction-based standard.

    No more so than when we all suggested — with absolutely ZERO dissent, IIRC — that Ruch Limbaugh be taken off the air because of his demeaning, vindictive, bullying, and totally substance-free verbal abuse of Sandra Fluke and other women.

    You cannot retroactively decide that speech should be illegal, based on the angry reaction it receives.

    First, we do that all the time: proof of slander, libel, defamation, incitement to riot, etc., is gained partially through the reaction the words in question receive. And second, I’m not talking about making speech illegal, I’m talking about private agencies like YouTube taking certain speech down out of decency — the kind of decision publishers and other private media make every day.

  54. 54
    No One

    I wonder of those who demonstrated and rioted, how many had actually seen the “movie” or having seen it understood enough English to understand what they where talking about. The “movie” is just a convenience to motivate the mobs for political expediency. If it wasn’t this stupid thing it would have been another.

  55. 55
    Raging Bee

    The artists didn’t know people would have reacted that way nor did they want people to act that way.

    IIRC, the controversial Mohammed cartoons were originally drawn for an obscure right-wing Christian publication, which didn’t expect (or get) any Muslim readers. So the artists had no reason to suspect a significant number of Muslims would even see their work, let alone flip out over it.

    And when Jillands Posten reprinted the cartoons (in an article about depictions of Mohammed), they had no reason to expect a violent reaction either, since their readership were not known for such reactions before. It was only when the Saudi state-owned media reprinted them (with extra crap added by one of their own imams for good measure) as part of a deliberate campaign to incite hate (and distract attention from a certain embarrassing failure at home) that violent reaction began to become the norm.

  56. 56
    kraut

    The knee jerk reaction I have to read here are astonishing in their contempt for free speech. When the cartoons where published in newspapers, and the reaction was against mostly European embassies, I read with approval an overwhelming defense of free speech.
    That same defense just seems to not count anymore when suddenly American Embassies are mainly (but not solely) targeted.

    I see the same kneejerk response that happened after 9/11, when comparing the British responses to the IRA attacks in England and Northern Ireland and the: “Home Land Security” response of dismantling democratic freedoms in the US.

    Apparently the democratic freedoms in the US are just a good weather phenom, when things start to hurt – including free expression, what this film is all about, no matter how crappy – freedoms are gladly sacrificed.

    And by the way – it becomes more certain that the attacks against the Embassy in Libya had nothing to do with a riot, that this was a planned attack by likely Al Qaeda.

    As to the rest of the violent protests: they mostly destroy property in their own countriew and a few idiot protesters get shot – absolutely not my problem.

  57. 57
    karmacat

    Raging Bee says:
    “you’re right about all that — but that doesn’t make the filmmakers any less responsible for the role they knowingly played, with malice aforethought, in those political and sectarian conflicts. Giving someone an excuse to commit murder doesn’t make you a murderer — it just makes you an accessory to murder.”

    My point is that the video is not what incites rioting. It is how the leaders of a movement incite people. The intention of the video makers was to insult Islam not to incite riots. If you just looked on the surface, you would say it is the video causing riots. But the rioting is caused by other deeper problems. If it is not this video causing riots, it would be something else.

  58. 58
    kraut

    “It denigrates the religion by depicting the faith’s founder in several ludicrous and historically inaccurate scenes to incite and inflame viewers”

    And what exactly is wrong with that idea?
    All you can do afterwards is to state the “facts” – whatever they are in more t5han a 1000 year old religion, where the figure of the founder is already doubtful.
    I have the right to polemics, even the right to insult, I do not have the right to slander a living person.
    But I am free to say that if Jesus existed he was most likely a homosexual, based on the relationship with his apostles.

    “Case in point: Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called Jones on Wednesday to ask him to stop promoting Bacile’s film.”

    And that is the point exactly were the military dictated what democratic freedoms are. Good night America.

  59. 59
    lofgren

    No more so than when we all suggested — with absolutely ZERO dissent, IIRC — that Ruch Limbaugh be taken off the air because of his demeaning, vindictive, bullying, and totally substance-free verbal abuse of Sandra Fluke and other women.

    Well that was obviously an oversight on my part, so I’ll go ahead and register my dissent right here.

    Anyway, there is at least one major difference between these two cases: Rush Limbaugh uses public airwaves. That means he responsible to the people for his content. If his rant had appeared on YouTube or Facebook, I’m pretty sure nobody here save possibly yourself would argue that he should be arrested. In fact Ed specifically mocked that position in remarkably similar post.

    And second, I’m not talking about making speech illegal, I’m talking about private agencies like YouTube taking certain speech down out of decency — the kind of decision publishers and other private media make every day.

    I completely agree that private entities such as YouTube should be allowed to set their own terms of use. If a video-sharing site wishes to use stricter decency standards, then that is their right. At least, I assume that you are arguing that private agencies should hae the right to set their own standards, since requiring specific standards from such agencies would most definitely be censorship.

    No, I’m doing it based on said reaction in conjunction with certain verifiable facts unique to this one particular work.

    The “fact” that you keep harping on is that the creator knew that his work might be received poorly by some Muslims, a fact that was also true of Salman Rushdie and is very, very true of George Carlin. It is not acceptable to make deliberately insulting or offending people illegal, nor to encourage YouTube to ban all videos that somebody find insulting, whether that person is willing to kill over it or not. That is the death of free speech.

  60. 60
    kraut

    “Giving someone an excuse to commit murder doesn’t make you a murderer — it just makes you an accessory to murder.””

    The same response: wearing a reveling dress is not an excuse to have yourself raped, it just makes you an accessory to rape.

    The stupid burns brightly in the bee.

  61. 61
    kraut

    Listening to all those arseholes here suddenly defending censorship because of the idiocies in the countries of the usual suspects just blows my mind.
    Do I not recall the often phrased: blaming the Victim? and what do the collected morons do here? Exactly blaming the victim, blaming the US constitution and the defense of free speech for the responsibility for the attacks. The term hypocrisy does not com even close to define such arsehattery.

  62. 62
    Taz

    Does anyone really think religious fanatics can’t find a reason to riot?

    Yeah, let’s hand them a victory so they’ll be calmer next time someone offends them.

  63. 63
    Nemo

    I actually watched the “trailer” (all that seems to exist) last night. Truly a crime against filmmaking. The most interesting bit was the dubbing — as we’ve heard, the parts that explicitly refer to Muhammad all seem to have been dubbed in after the fact. Only, to my ear, it seemed like they were actually dubbed in with the original actors’ voices. So, were they really duped, as they’ve said? I wonder.

    Off the point, I know.

  64. 64
    eric

    Raging Bee

    Yes, it bloody well is: the filmmakers knew in advance that certain material would have a very clear chance of resulting in violent reaction;

    So if I knew who you were and where you lived, and said: “Bee, your posts make me so angry I will punch a random stranger in the face if you post to Ed’s blog again,” then your speech should be restricted, right? That’s basically what you’re arguing.

    After all, you would know that your speech “would have a very clear chance of resulting in violent reaction.” And as per your post @55, you now have “every reason to expect a violent reaction.” So according to you, my future fist in someone’s face would be partially your fault. You posting to Ed’s blog would make you an accessory to assault.

    See how stupid that is? You cannot restrict speech based on the fact that someone, somewhere, will object to your content in a violent manner. Even if the speaker knows it. That way lies insanity. You have to limit the restriction to when the speaker is actively and actually encouraging illegal behavior. If Ed says “eric, do it man. Punch someone in the face next time Bee posts. I dare you. Do it. Doooo iiiiittt,” then Ed’s speech is arguably illegal. He is encouraging me to commit assault. But your speech does not become illegal merely because I will behave in a predictably violent manner in response to it. The same goes for Bacile’s speech.

  65. 65
    iknklast

    “If someone was calling for the outright censorship of an anti-atheist movie, citing a fear of riots, I’d be more insulted by the censor who took it upon himself to say what I can and can’t handle.”

    This. So important. We are responsible for our actions; making a film that is historically inaccurate is not a crime, otherwise everyone in Hollywood would be in jail. Making a film that offends someone is not a crime, otherwise everyone in Hollywood would be in jail. Making a film that has poor production values is not a crime, otherwise a substantial portion (maybe everyone) in Hollywood would be in jail.

    Where do we draw the free speech line? This is NOT shouting fire in a crowded theatre; this is insulting overly sensitive people who then go out and kill other people who did not hurt them.

    An analogous situation would be if evolutionary scientists had rioted over Ben Stein’s ridiculous film, Expelled. Didn’t happen. The film showed in theatres around the country, it is still shown in church basements, and last time I checked, Richard Dawkins hadn’t killed anyone over it, nor called for his “faithful followers” to kill anyone over it.

    If we simply determine what films can be made based on what might offend a Muslim somewhere across the world, we are caving in, because they can control our activities and our words. This is wrong. Just because they can’t take it doesn’t mean we can’t say it.

  66. 66
    CJO

    the creator knew that his work might be received poorly by some Muslims, a fact that was also true of Salman Rushdie

    Rushdie really didn’t. He was quite surprised; and the simple fact is that nobody who reacted violently or who endeavored to take action on the fatwa had actually read the book. It takes a superficial reading (every situation and every character’s words are intended as demonstrations of the author’s beliefs) and a determination to be offended in order to react the way some Muslims did to The Satanic Verses. Now some of that superficial reading might arise from cultural differences. But in the event the fatwa against Rushdie was very much an act of opportunism by the Ayatollah and the offense generated was much less in proportion to the intended artistic effect than is the case with the current situation (in which, of course, no strictly artistic effect was intended at all).

    Tangential to the discussion, but to a large degree the infamy of TSV has obscured the fact that there’s nothing especially offensive to Islam in it, if we allow the modern Western literary convention that utterances made by characters in a work of narrative fiction need not be considered representative of either the author’s own views or the themes of the work at large.

  67. 67
    Chiroptera

    kraut, #61: Do I not recall the often phrased: blaming the Victim? and what do the collected morons do here? Exactly blaming the victim, blaming the US constitution and the defense of free speech for the responsibility for the attacks.

    Blaming the victim? The victims were the people who were killed in violence in the Middle East. Who is blaming them for anything?

    Are you referring to the film makers? Of what are they the victims?

    If this film had come to our attention without any riots, most of us would rightly be castigating the film makers as bigoted hate mongers. When it came out that they had intended to provoke a violent reaction, then most of us would be condemning them as among the worst sort of evil we find on the Islamophobic Rightwing. But there were actually riots, so suddenly they become victims?

    It is perfectly possible to both condemn the riots in the Middle East and demand that those responsible to be held accountable and brought to justice
    AND
    to also hold the makers of the film accountable for being the vile hatefilled bigots that they are.

  68. 68
    Nick Gotts

    I see a lot of fucking idiots claiming we don’t know damn well that the kind of violence that has occurred was exactly what the makers of the video wanted. See here and here for information on who is behind it, and how it came to be available to Islamist fanatics to stir up the riots. They and the religious right extremists behind The Innocence of Muslims are symbiotic, but lackwits like Brayton can’t see it.

    Bacile and Terry Jones should be criticized for their stupidity and bigotry – Ed Brayton

    “Bacile” doesn’t exist, you ignorant dolt – at least take the trouble to learn a few of the basic facts. And Terry Jones isn’t half as stupid as you: the violence was not an unforeseen side-effect – it was the whole point of the exercise. Jesus wept.

  69. 69
    kraut

    “Are you referring to the film makers? Of what are they the victims?”

    Jesus fuckin chrtist, can’t you read?

    “Exactly blaming the victim, blaming the US constitution and the defense of free speech for the responsibility for the attacks. The term hypocrisy does not com even close to define such arsehattery.”

    That is what I wrote. Since when is fucking denigrating a religion so much a fucking concern for atheists? Because it can cause a violent reaction?
    Maybe we should all shut up and let the religious arseholes win – because that is their goal, to show us by violent reaction that they can intimidate, and judging by those vile censor approving reactions by quit a few here, it works.

    Talk about appeasement much, anybody.

    I am truly disgusted by the sudden support of anti free speech sentiments here.
    Maybe go right ahead you idiots, and demand PZ to apologize for his cracker attack.

  70. 70
    kraut

    . And Terry Jones isn’t half as stupid as you: the violence was not an unforeseen side-effect – it was the whole point of the exercise. Jesus wept.

    What the fuck are you absolute moron talking about? Did they ask the viewers of the film in any way to go out and kill muslims? Because that is what some of the protestors demand.
    Did they ask to burn down a mosque? Because the protestors now burn down embassies?
    All they did is ridicule and distorted facts. Since when is that against free speech, arsehole, and since when is that an argument for violent response or in an argument to apologize for free speech, motherfucker?

    I don’t give a shit if jesus weeps, all he deserves is a swift kick in the arse as well. Too bad I am 2000 years late.

  71. 71
    Chiroptera

    kraut, #69: Since when is fucking denigrating a religion so much a fucking concern for atheists?

    We aren’t talking about denigrating a religion. We are actually talking about the deliberate attempt to provoke a violent reaction. You may feel that this particular incidence should be protected expression — and that’s fine — but simply labeling it as “denigration of religion” is either disingenuous or a sign that you can’t read.

  72. 72
    Chiroptera

    kraut, #70 What the fuck are you absolute moron talking about?

    From one of the links that were provided:

    As a consultant for the film named Steve Klein said: “We went into this knowing this was probably going to happen.”

    That certainly seems to support the statement

    …the violence was not an unforeseen side-effect – it was the whole point of the exercise.

  73. 73
    Chiroptera

    Oops. I meant to quote more of the article. Such as

    … the trailer was created with the intention of both destabilizing post-Mubarak Egypt and roiling the US presidential election.

    The article as a whole does make it appear that the violence was not only anticipated but the intended effect.

  74. 74
    kraut

    Let me say that I have not watched the trailer, as I don’t want to spend five minutes with some shit when I rather respond to the question of free speech or not.
    What I have read about the movie – including in the german news paper “Der Spiegel” it is a an insult to the religion of islam, but it does not incite to violence nor does it incite to even burn the fucking quaran.

    Even if the producer had the intention to insult, any denigration to the quaran that was done by american troops in afghanistan – liking pissing on the pages – was quite worse an insult.
    Even if this rather harmless insult – I could come up with worse at the drop of the hat – was expected to have the reaction, the blame to react lies with the religious fools.

    The only reason I can discern what lead to the violence is the fact that the instigators – and those are the bloody idiots in egypt, tunesia, libya etc. – know exactly that the US is unlikely to curtail free speech to bow to the nonsensical demands of some proto terrorist, and this predictable reaction was used to further incite the big unwashed masses, of whom in my estimation less than 1% actually saw that trailer.

    Any and all excuse would have been used to get some anti western sentiment going, that is simply necessary to keep the mullahs in control of the religious idiots.
    It happened to be a stupid movie this time that was published on the web, it could have been some insulting comment by some hapless politician.
    We as a society have to have as our priority the protection of a semblance of democracy (however eroded it is already by internal measures)including free speech, and not to bow the demands of those who want to create a world wide caliphate.

    The critique of this movie should never ever have been about support for censorship – this is so wrongheaded as to pull a godwin and compare that to the appeasement of the Fuehrer.

  75. 75
    John Pieret

    “Bacile” doesn’t exist, you ignorant dolt – at least take the trouble to learn a few of the basic facts. And Terry Jones isn’t half as stupid as you: the violence was not an unforeseen side-effect – it was the whole point of the exercise.

    Still keeping it classy, eh Nick? And when exactly did media reports become gospel … especially when it comes to a bunch of people whose veracity is already in question? Jesus wept, indeed.

    Now, if it can be shown by evidence (not news “reports,” rumor and hearsay) that someone deliberately sent this video to people who they knew would immediately direct violence against a particular group, then (if we have any law against it), a prosecution might pass constitutional muster. As I told you over at PZ’s place, under our Constitution, government cannot punish inflammatory speech unless that speech is directed to inciting, and is likely to incite, imminent lawless action.

    And spare me your advice that we change our Constitution. The last thing we want to do, given our political situation, is give our own Taliban a chance to decide what free speech is.

  76. 76
    kraut

    “Now, if it can be shown by evidence (not news “reports,” rumor and hearsay) that someone deliberately sent this video to people who they knew would immediately direct violence against a particular group, then (if we have any law against it), a prosecution might pass constitutional muster.”

    Do you really say that a movie that in essence distorts the truth about a religion and makes erroneous? claims of a likely never having existed religious leader 1600 years dead, without any actual incitement to violence against the group in question in picture or word could be construed as “hate crime”?, or that there could be an actual case for prosecution under any other pretense?

    If this is the case. then piss on the constitution. It is not worth the paper. You might as well invite Putin to be your next president.
    If the intent counts and not the actual content, then me might as well prosecute all muslims in america for treason and sedition right now because the intent of muslims – according to some mouthy mullahs – is to take over the governance world wide.

    The amount of stupid posted here even by some who seem to be more reasonable is amazing and disturbing.
    Just throw the fucking constitution into the fire together with the quaran and the bible – they are all equally worthless according to some posters.

  77. 77
    Raging Bee

    It is how the leaders of a movement incite people.

    …with ammunition knowingly provided by the filmmakers.

  78. 78
    kraut

    “Now, if it can be shown by evidence (not news “reports,” rumor and hearsay) that someone deliberately sent this video to people who they knew would immediately direct violence against a particular group, then (if we have any law against it), a prosecution might pass constitutional muster.”

    The idiocy of that comment becomes more obvious if one argues that the intent of the perpetrator was to murder the victim, but due to the misfiring of the gun he was prevented from actually firing it. Nevertheless, his intend was to kill so away to the death chamber with him.

    Am I really posting here on a site dedicated to rational thought, or did that go out of the window by the reaction of some religious idiots to an equally idiotic movie trailer?

    Again, I am amazed by the sizable fraction of the pro or waffling censorship faction.
    I had thought within this skeptical community reason would stand a better chance than what I had to read here. I guess when Americans are threatened, reason goes out of the window as the first casualty, together with the truth.

  79. 79
    kraut

    “It is how the leaders of a movement incite people.

    …with ammunition knowingly provided by the filmmakers”

    your arguments are still as shitty as before. “The girl wore a very enticing dress, so I had to rape her, your honour.”

  80. 80
    neilt

    So…to Raging Bee, Chiroptera, Nick Gotts, or the reason for the post, Anthea Butler….

    In your world, what exactly should happen to the filmmakers and their film? And who should decide these issues when they come up?

    How far down the rabbit hole of self-censorship or societal censorship should we go? Maybe a big boycott of youtube every time some mob or nutbag kills someone based on the words in a video? More power to the flagging system, one complaint of any kind kills the video?

    Do you have any solutions or ideas on how to reduce the harm that you seem to think words can do, or is it up to the perpetually “offended” to set all limits?

    Do you really not see that giving in to their terroristic threats is far more dehumanising and dangerous than any attack anyone could possibly make on their religion, and can only make the problem worse and weaken our own freedom to resist such tyranny?

    In my opinion, you well-meaning nincompoops are far more dangerous to freedom (and secularism)than idiot christian fundies or mobs of murderous muslim thugs could ever be. And they love you for it.

  81. 81
    kraut

    “How should American leaders respond? What should they say and do, for example, when a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s newly elected ruling party, demands a formal apology from the United States government and urges that the “madmen” behind the Muhammad video be prosecuted, in violation of the First Amendment? If the U.S. follows the example of Europe over the last two decades, it will bend over backward to avoid further offense. And that would be a grave mistake—for the West no less than for those Muslims struggling to build a brighter future”

    “The Muslim men and women (and yes, there are plenty of women) who support—whether actively or passively—the idea that blasphemers deserve to suffer punishment are not a fringe group. On the contrary, they represent the mainstream of contemporary Islam. Of course, there are many Muslims and ex-Muslims, in Libya, Egypt, and elsewhere, who unambiguously condemn not only the murders and riots, as well as the idea that dissenters from this mainstream should be punished. But they are marginalized and all too often indirectly held responsible for the very provocation. In the age of globalization and mass immigration, such intolerance has crossed borders and become the defining characteristic of Islam.”
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/09/16/ayaan-hirsi-ali-on-the-islamists-final-stand.html

    Oh and yes, she is a right winger etc. etc. But what I read by her makes a lot more sense than the apologists for muslim violence I had to follow here.
    And yes, every one here who doubts that free speech is threatened and more important than the sensibilities of organized religiously outraged shills: IS AN APOLOGIST FOR ISLAMIC VIOLENCE.

  82. 82
    democommie

    John Pieret & Kraut:

    Thanks for the concern trolling, boyz. Kraut, you live in Canada, yes? In Canada where you HAVE laws against hate speech, IIRC? So why the fuck do you stay there? Is it because you don’t know how to live elsewhere?

    Pieret:

    WTF? can you even read? The news about the film being made by someone NOT named Sam Bacile has been out there for about three or four days.

  83. 83
    democommie

    Ms. Hirsi Ali appears to be a person who will tell whatever fucking lie it takes to get what she wants.

    “And yes, every one here who doubts that free speech is threatened and more important than the sensibilities of organized religiously outraged shills: IS AN APOLOGIST FOR ISLAMIC VIOLENCE.”

    Fuck you, you demented piece of shit.

  84. 84
    Chiroptera

    In your world, what exactly should happen to the filmmakers and their film?

    At the very least people should be saying, “Jesus! What fucking hateful bigots! I’m going to show my friends this hateful awful bigoted film to let them know that it really is important which political factions wins the next elections.”

    -

    And who should decide these issues when they come up?

    I think people are capable of recognizing unreasoning hatred and bigotry when they see it. (Whether they choose to see it, on the other hand….)

    -

    How far down the rabbit hole of self-censorship or societal censorship should we go?

    I don’t think you understand the meanings of the words. “Censorship” refers to preventing something from being published to begin with; what people here have been talking about is how should people be held responsible for what they have published.

    This may seem like a technical point, but you also refer to “self-censorship,” which would refer to the film makers themselves not publishing their video to begin with, I’m not sure what your question here really is.

    -

    Maybe a big boycott of youtube every time some mob or nutbag kills someone based on the words in a video?

    Whose calling for a boycott of youtube? No one on this thread.

    At most people have just asked youtube to check whether this video is in violation of their terms of use.

    My understanding is that Youtube has decided that the video is within their terms, and most people here seem to accept that.

    If I’m wrong and Youtube has removed the video, well, Youtube removes videos all the time, so nothing particularly nefarious there.

    -

    Do you have any solutions or ideas on how to reduce the harm that you seem to think words can do, or is it up to the perpetually “offended” to set all limits?

    We are not discussing mere “offense.” We are discussing the allegations that the film makers deliberately acted to provoke violence in order to take political advantage of the public reaction.

    One way to limit the damage from such a thing is to prosecute this kind of deliberate incitement provocation; in the US that is not possible under our Constitution, and even if it were, it may not be advisable to set up the legal framework in which this might happen.

    Another way, which should be done in any case, is to point out that these people viscious bigoted thugs who are much more a threat to Americans’ liberties than anything that is happening in Cairo.

    -

    Do you really not see that giving in to their terroristic threats is far more dehumanising and dangerous than any attack anyone could possibly make on their religion, and can only make the problem worse and weaken our own freedom to resist such tyranny?

    First of all, if the film makers did indeed deliberately provoke violence for their own political uses, then they are really no better than terrorists.

    Secondly, whether the allegations of deliberate provocation are true or not, these people are part of a political faction whose video is part of a propaganda effort to promote policies that are more of a threat to our freedoms than extremists on the other side of the world.

    No one is giving in threats across the world. What we are doing is pointing out that these particular thugs are all by themselves, with or without riots on the other side of the world, a threat to our security and freedom, and discussing what might be the best way to deal with this particular tactic.

    -

    …you well-meaning nincompoops….

    Ooh! You really suckered me!

    Your questions seem at first reading to be good questions, and perhaps an interesting conversation might come out of them. Now rereading them I can see that you really wrote what you thought was a smack-down, not an attempt at discussion.

    Well played, sir, well played.

  85. 85
    Chiroptera

    HTML failure. Here is what my comment looks like when it isn’t all blue:In your world, what exactly should happen to the filmmakers and their film?

    At the very least people should be saying, “Jesus! What fucking hateful bigots! I’m going to show my friends this hateful awful bigoted film to let them know that it really is important which political factions wins the next elections.”

    -

    And who should decide these issues when they come up?

    I think people are capable of recognizing unreasoning hatred and bigotry when they see it. (Whether they choose to see it, on the other hand….)

    -

    How far down the rabbit hole of self-censorship or societal censorship should we go?

    I don’t think you understand the meanings of the words. “Censorship” refers to preventing something from being published to begin with; what people here have been talking about is how should people be held responsible for what they have published.

    This may seem like a technical point, but you also refer to “self-censorship,” which would refer to the film makers themselves not publishing their video to begin with, I’m not sure what your question here really is.

    -

    Maybe a big boycott of youtube every time some mob or nutbag kills someone based on the words in a video?

    Whose calling for a boycott of youtube? No one on this thread.

    At most people have just asked youtube to check whether this video is in violation of their terms of use.

    My understanding is that Youtube has decided that the video is within their terms, and most people here seem to accept that.

    If I’m wrong and Youtube has removed the video, well, Youtube removes videos all the time, so nothing particularly nefarious there.

    -

    Do you have any solutions or ideas on how to reduce the harm that you seem to think words can do, or is it up to the perpetually “offended” to set all limits?

    We are not discussing mere “offense.” We are discussing the allegations that the film makers deliberately acted to provoke violence in order to take political advantage of the public reaction.

    One way to limit the damage from such a thing is to prosecute this kind of deliberate incitement provocation; in the US that is not possible under our Constitution, and even if it were, it may not be advisable to set up the legal framework in which this might happen.

    Another way, which should be done in any case, is to point out that these people viscious bigoted thugs who are much more a threat to Americans’ liberties than anything that is happening in Cairo.

    -

    Do you really not see that giving in to their terroristic threats is far more dehumanising and dangerous than any attack anyone could possibly make on their religion, and can only make the problem worse and weaken our own freedom to resist such tyranny?

    First of all, if the film makers did indeed deliberately provoke violence for their own political uses, then they are really no better than terrorists.

    Secondly, whether the allegations of deliberate provocation are true or not, these people are part of a political faction whose video is part of a propaganda effort to promote policies that are more of a threat to our freedoms than extremists on the other side of the world.

    No one is giving in threats across the world. What we are doing is pointing out that these particular thugs are all by themselves, with or without riots on the other side of the world, a threat to our security and freedom, and discussing what might be the best way to deal with this particular tactic.

    -

    …you well-meaning nincompoops….

    Ooh! You really suckered me!

    Your questions seem at first reading to be good questions, and perhaps an interesting conversation might come out of them. Now rereading them I can see that you really wrote what you thought was a smack-down, not an attempt at discussion.

    Well played, sir, well played.

  86. 86
    John Pieret

    kraut @ 76

    Do you really say that a movie that in essence distorts the truth about a religion and makes erroneous? claims of a likely never having existed religious leader 1600 years dead, without any actual incitement to violence against the group in question in picture or word could be construed as “hate crime”?

    No. This has nothing to do with “hate crimes.” But you can try going back and read what I did say again.

    or that there could be an actual case for prosecution under any other pretense?

    I forgot before to give the link to an explanation of Brandenburg v. Ohio, the leading SCOTUS case. It is a specific kind of crime: where speech is directed to inciting, and is likely to incite, imminent lawless action. I don’t know if what the filmmakers did could possible be squeezed into what is permissible under the First Amendment (no one has enough facts about what really happened) but the claim that they deliberately distributed the video to people they believed would take violent action greatly increases the possibility.

    I have now been called a “fucking idiot” over at PZ’s place by Nick Gotts, who wants to lock up the filmmakers, and accused of ‘obvious idiocy’ by kraut, who thinks that, under no possible circumstances could any action be taken against them. I’m not sure if that means I’m doing something right or whether I should agree with kraut that this thread had nothing to do with rational thought.

  87. 87
    criticaldragon1177

    Ed Brayton,

    I think people have to remember that people are only really responsible for their own actions. No matter how offensive something maybe to someone, it doesn’t relieve them of responsibility. As much as I don’t like the people who made the innocence of Muslims, and they’re bigotry, they can’t be held legally held accountable for this. I also agree with you on the need to condemn their bigotry and stupidity. However, Butler should also think about this, wouldn’t arresting Sam Bacile, for his stupid bigoted film, only help to convince his supporters that he was right, even more than they already were? Couldn’t they than say, “see they can’t counter his message, so the only way they can defeat him is to silence him?”

  88. 88
    Chiroptera

    Oops. I accidentally put the following on another, older thread (lots of fail tonight!):

    And let’s make no mistake:

    even if the film makers didn’t intend to provoke extremist violence, they are still not First Amendment Martyrs.

    At the very best, they are vicious lying thugs whose vicious fascist goals must be denounced even as we protect their rights, because both are required to protect our own liberties.

  89. 89
    John Pieret

    @ democommie

    WTF? can you even read? The news about the film being made by someone NOT named Sam Bacile has been out there for about three or four days.

    Ah, yes … the news! Because we all know that is so reliable! And anyone who may not be up to date on the news is an ignorant dolt and stupider than Terry Jones. It doesn’t matter, of course, that Ed was responding to Anthea Butler’s call to arrest *Bacile*. And how does it matter much who is behind the pseudonym? He, she or it, as Ed says, should be criticized for their stupidity.

    A point you should consider yourself.

  90. 90
    kraut

    “Thanks for the concern trolling, boyz. Kraut, you live in Canada, yes? In Canada where you HAVE laws against hate speech, IIRC? So why the fuck do you stay there? Is it because you don’t know how to live elsewhere?”

    No, because apart from those laws I prefer the health care system that canada has, think their foreign poly is less agressive than that of the US, has a better banking system protecting the customer and offer a lifestyle overall not being matched by other countries – not my opinion only, but assassments by others http://www.businessinsider.com/oecd-better-life-index-2011-5?op=1

    I do not support those laws with the exception of this paragraph:

    Advocating genocide

    318. (1) Every one who advocates or promotes genocide is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

    Definition of “genocide”

    (2) In this section, “genocide” means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy in whole or in part any identifiable group, namely,

    (a) killing members of the group; or

    (b) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction.
    as to the defense:

    3) No person shall be convicted of an offence under subsection (2)

    (a) if he establishes that the statements communicated were true;

    (b) if, in good faith, the person expressed or attempted to establish by an argument an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text;

    (c) if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds he believed them to be true;

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/06/15/f-hate-crimes.html

    According to your theories:
    I have no right to speak out
    1. against those who support censorship
    1.a especially not when one assumes (your assumption, not mine)they are citizens of the US
    2.In general nobody has a right except a US citizen to criticize the US government for any policies whatsoever
    3.Nobody has the right to criticize any US citizen on a website hosted by another US citizen.

    You Sir, are nothing but an arsehole.

  91. 91
    kraut

    “and accused of ‘obvious idiocy’ by kraut, who thinks that, under no possible circumstances could any action be taken against them.”

    Don’t take the idiocy too seriously. I acknowledge you not being an idiot, I just am convinced that a movie that might be viscous in its attack on the so called “prophet” but does not call to eliminate or harm muslims (different to what the protesters are doing now) should not be called hateful. If we set the bar that low, any criticism or parody of any religion would be called hateful sooner or later.
    I bet some fundamentalists are just waiting for that to occur.

  92. 92
    dingojack

    Lofgren (#59) – “The “fact” that you keep harping on is that the creator knew that his work might be received poorly by some Muslims, a fact that was also true of Salman Rushdie…”

    Actually the maker of this film (if we can call it that) apparently expressly indicated that was his purpose, he intended to create a riot and hide behind free speech, a fact indicated also by his overdubbing contentious lines into the mouths of actors*.
    Salman Rushdie, in contemporaneous interviews (with the publishing of The Satanic Verses), in later interviews and interviews with people who knew him at the time and later, indicate that Salman Rushdie had no idea that this would cause offense or the trouble it would cause.
    Apples and oranges.
    Dingo
    —–
    * Hell – the US can ‘disappear’ Julian Assange for publishing government documents that ‘put people’s lives in danger’ [no examples have been shown of this], but put real people’s lives in danger [diplomatic staff and actors] well that’s just ‘freedom of speech’.

  93. 93
    tacotaco

    Blaming a filmmaker for causing a riot is like blaming a provocatively dressed woman for causing herself to be raped.

  94. 94
    kraut

    “indicate that Salman Rushdie had no idea that this would cause offense or the trouble it would cause.”

    Just because Rushdie says so, he living in a country that previously had shown ample samples of religious intolerance makes it so? SDeriously? Rushdie is a story teller, telling not quit the truth comes naturally.

    As I said – your intent does not matter if the weapon you have chosen is unfit for the purpose.
    And that movie is such a dull weapon that the muslims in toto must be not just arseholes, but unmitigated and totally insane arseholes to get insulted by this crap.
    Man, any Christian watching the last Temptation of Christ had more reason to feel really insulted that it indicates simply that after all Christian fundamentalists are after all more civilized than that rabble in the street of Cairo and Kabul, Tripoli and anywhere else muslims are the majority.

    You know – fuck them all and all those here who think that movie in any way could be the real reason for those hoodlums to protest and burn property and scream for the “prosecution” of the nutters who made that movie.
    No, the muslim street and their moronic mullahs were looking for a fucking excuse, and they are so scull fucked that I cannot but laugh at their idiocies, hoping in the wake of their protest to burn down their own fucking cities.

  95. 95
    kraut

    “Blaming a filmmaker for causing a riot is like blaming a provocatively dressed woman for causing herself to be raped”

    hey, don’t steal my fucking lines.

  96. 96
    kraut

    “Hell – the US can ‘disappear’ Julian Assange for publishing government documents that ‘put people’s lives in danger’ [no examples have been shown of this], but put real people’s lives in danger [diplomatic staff and actors] well that’s just ‘freedom of speech’.”

    You know what – go and fuck a ‘roo.

  97. 97
    dingojack

    Kraut – According to the Reporters without Borders Press Freedom Index 2011, Canada ranks as having a ‘good situation’ (the highest rating), as does:
    Andorra
    Austria
    Belgium
    Cape Verde
    Costa Rica
    Denmark
    Estonia
    Finland
    Germany
    Iceland
    Ireland
    Jamaica
    Luxembourg
    Namibia
    Netherlands
    New Zealand
    Norway
    Sweden
    Switzerland

    So you’re spoiled for choice really*. :)
    Dingo
    —–
    * I’d recommend New Zealand or Switzerland (Freedom House rating ‘free’; Wall St. Journal/ Heritage Foundation economic freedom rating ‘free’; Reporters without Borders press freedom rating ‘good situation’; Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index ‘full democracy’). Full marks in all lists.
    In contrast:
    Canada (‘free’; ‘mostly free’; ‘free’; ‘full democracy’)
    US/ UK (‘free’; ‘mostly free’; ‘satisfactory’; ‘full democracy’)
    Australia (‘free’; ‘free’; ‘satisfactory’; ‘full democracy’)

  98. 98
    kraut

    I’d recommend New Zealand or Switzerland

    Switzerland is under the thrall of the banking dwarfs, if you think germans are squareheads – you haven’t encountered any swiss yet. Switzerland is a country that robbed europe of most of its land and piled it up – called the alps. What a fucked up country.

    And New Zealand? one step too far and you are into the pacific or whatever they call that down there. Not a real country I think, more sheep than humans, and the sheep without voting rights..

    I prefer Canada, lots of space, comparatively few folks, half decent politic and lots of space..I think mentioned that, a waether that can stay the same month at a time or change within minutes, cold that makes your dick freeze hard when trying to pee outside and summers with mosquitoes then size of horses.
    Besides lots of space we also have a pretty good health care and an economy that has bee chugging along after the big crash in 81 since 1989 quite smoothly – with minor hick ups, chartered banks that cannot adventure too far into the bullshit zone and have not needed any government bailout..

    Naa, give me Canada ay time, after all, I choose to live here.

    thanks for the diversion and keep going to fuck that ‘roo.

  99. 99
    dingojack

    For those ‘ooh, this is blaming the victim’ posters:
    a) Who were the victims? And is anyone blaming them? *
    b) No it’s no analogous to the ‘dressing like a slut’ speech.
    It’s like a doctor who has knowingly and deliberately injected someone with disinhibitory drugs saying when the cops turn up: ‘well I didn’t rape anyone, people are responsible for their own actions. You can’t arrest me for the crimes of another’.
    If the filmmaker had knowledge that a crime was likely to be committed because of his actions, he would be an accessory before the fact, (possibly charges of ‘criminal negligence’ or ‘reckless endangerment’ could be considered). **
    Dingo
    —–
    * as pointed out above
    ** And before you go all ‘protected speech’ consider this:
    Suppose you organise a peaceful protest, but someone gets killed or injured during the protest because the area you told the protesters to assemble is a minefield (and you knew it) you could be prosecuted not for assembling, but for recklessly endangering other people’s lives.

  100. 100
    dingojack

    Well you’re the one who introduced the ‘argumentum ad slbum‘, I was simply giving other lists to consider.
    You’ll also notice which country came in at #1 on the list you posted, guess I’ll have send you a Kanga to root. ;P
    Dingo
    —–
    Canada. Land area: 9,984,670 sq km. Population density: 3.4353 per sq km.
    Australia. Land area: 7,741,220 sq km. Population density: 2.8439 per sq km.
    It’s those extra 2,243,450 sq km that all the difference, despite being more squishy. :)

  101. 101
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @12.matty1 : “I think Gretchen explains this well and with pictures too.”

    Agreed – and cheers for that.

    *****

    Mr “Bacile” turns out to be (as noted) a fiction invented to further inflame the situation by directing some of the hate at teh Jooz! Turns out to be a small group of politico-ideological nuts or so it would appear.

    The film (unwatched by almost all who are so murderously offended by it it seems almost certain) is terrible, the response was, oh conservatively, about a million times worse.

    Muslims – are they actually responsible for their own actions and capable of behaving reasonably or not?

    If the answer as some here seem to suggest is no? If insulting *their* death cult means that *you* are personally responsible for causing all the carnage
    that *they* then inflict in all *their* uncontrolled madness then what are the implications of that?

    If Muslims are incapable of controlling themselves and behaving reasonably then aren’t they a bit like rabid dogs, dangerous and in need of destruction or at very least severe constraints preventing them from harming other more reasonable, rational peoples?

    Or are Muslims like the rest of us, capable of making their own decisions – and facing the consequences of those decisions – and as such responsible directly for their own actions?

    If so, then the reaction is the Islamist rioters fault, the fault of the Libyan murderers and arsonists alone. They are human, they have brains, they made choices and choose poorly. They then should be face the consquences of their chosen actions – not the film-makers.

    The Muslims are NOT the victims here.

    The film makers may have been – heck, definitely *were* being assholes and stirring the Muzzies up. Like poking a stick at the angry monkey to get it to fling shit or tapping the glass to get a snake to strike.

    But you don’t get to murder assholes just for being assholes.

    Let alone people who aren’t assholes being murdered for being vaguely, tenuously, connected by being of the same nationality as the assholes.

    If someone on the street calls your mother a rude name – and you proceed to murder their whole family (who had nothing to do with uttering the remark – just as the US diplomats had nothing to do with making the movie / trailer) then you are in the wrong and will be going to jail. Exact same thing applies here.

    It isn’t good enough to say, oh, its okay to be angry because they had their “prophet” insulted or because of colonialism and history – or to point and wave fists at teh Joooz! again – A person and groups of people are responsible for their own behaviour and own choices. Aren’t they?

    If not, what does that imply?

    If so, well let’s not be confused about where to place the blame. Not on the filmmakers. But on the Muslim killers and rioters who can’t just ignore an insult and treat it with the disdain it may deserve. On the Muslim killers and rioters who think they and they alone get to decide what is and isn’t possible to say.

    But do feel free to disagree with me; I may not like what you say but will defend to my death your right to say so anyhow.

    And you can think I’m all sorts of horrid and untrue things because I’ve said this here but I hope you’ll all agree that does NOT give you an excuse to behead me in furious homicide ‘k?

  102. 102
    paulg

    I’m shocked. I could never come to the conclusion that many of you have. Perhaps because the “perpetrator” is a bigoted Christian and you came into the story already biased against a vile person? The idea that he’s guilty of anything but inflicting a bad movie on civilization is laughable. And the response to all such movies is “Don’t fucking watch it!” Were each of those protestors simply browsing the internet at home and come across it, resulting in a mob? No. Want to blame someone? Blame the Islamic leaders for using it to inflame anti-American sentiment. If this same vile moron came out with a movie calling gays pedophiles, you’d shake your head in disgust BECAUSE IT’S DONE SO FUCKING OFTEN. And the difference in reaction is because gays don’t kill people? I’ll have to bring that up at the next meeting.

    Here’s something in the realm of possibility. What if an atheist made a small video also mocking Muhammad as a pedophile, in order to make the point that ancient holy books have no place dictating morals in the 21st century, and that what was OK back then is not OK now? And if you say that’s too mild an example, I’ll go one further and say the atheist got in front of the camera, pointed his finger and said “As an atheist-American, I believe your religion is an abomination, you worship a false god, and your prophet was an immoral snake!” Such an atheist, reading the blogs that he invariably does, knows for a fact that should certain segments of the population see his video it would enrage them, perhaps to the point of violence. If you still say the author should be punished, I’m sad for you.

    I won’t shy away from the idea that a mob may have a hard time controlling itself. Many are acting as if this mob was standing around and suddenly all at once on their smartphones saw this video and became enraged. Give me a fucking break. One should not have to walk on eggshells around a rabid dog. The rabid dog should be put down if it attacks. I’d vote to spend more money on security for our embassies to protect our people, but forget apologizing for rabid dogs.

  103. 103
    paulg

    @101 Promise, I had my rabid dog analogy in there before I saw yours :P

  104. 104
    dingojack

    Stevo = “The film makers may have been – heck, definitely *were* being assholes …” “But you don’t get to murder assholes just for being assholes”.

    You can, of course, point out where anybody on this thread even vaguely suggested the filmmaker should be killed? Right?

    Dingo

  105. 105
    dingojack

    More like letting your rabid dog, dangerous bull, really angry swarm of bees outta your yard. By your reckoning of course you’re not responsible for it, you didn’t bite/ gore or sting anyone, so no fault, right?
    Dingo

  106. 106
    paulg

    @104 I may be putting words into his mouth, but I believe he was lumping “anyone” into that second “assholes”. Even if it was all Americans who advocated and endorsed that video (which of course is not the case) they still wouldn’t be justified in killing anyone over it.

  107. 107
    tacotaco

    I’m amazed at the number of posters on here who are apparently in favor of blasphemy laws.

  108. 108
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @ ^ Dingojack : I wasn’t talking about the people on this thread – I was talking there about the Muslims who’e been rioting in response including ones filmed in Sydney giving their toddlers “Behead those who insult Islam!” placards to hold.

    Also as I noted over on Taslima’s blog :

    To paraphrase from the least popular Star Trek movie (V) featuring the original series crew :

    “What does God Allah want with a starship rioting mobs of thugs anyway?”

    Seriously, if Allah is so powerful, can he not defend himself? If Mohammad in some imagined paradise crammed with raisins is so seriously offended at this mockery then can’t he send down lightning in person striking the people responsible accurately and not rely on all these angry hate-filled idiots who go around killing and attacking people who had nothing to do with the making, displaying or promoting of this seriously unimpressive video?

    These rioting, murdering arsonist Muslims must be really insecure and lacking in faith when it comes to their “Allah’s” ability to deal out whatever imaginary hellish torments they feel are due for bad internet trailer making.

  109. 109
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @106. paulg : Yep.

    Anyone an be an asshole and many people are at times. Some more so than others of course.

  110. 110
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @107. tacotaco :

    I’m amazed at the number of posters on here who are apparently in favor of blasphemy laws.

    Me too.

    Plus at the number of sympatheisers with extremist fundamentalist misogynist homophobic Islam on a supposedly progressive, feminist atheist blog too.

  111. 111
    paulg

    @105 I’m sorry, but your analogy is simply flawed. It is most definitely not the film maker’s dog, or bull, or beehive.

  112. 112
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    For clarity my # 108 was responding to Dingojack’s #104.

    Didn’t expect so many comments happening here so quickly during the USA’s night.

    @105.dingojack :

    More like letting your rabid dog, dangerous bull, really angry swarm of bees outta your yard. By your reckoning of course you’re not responsible for it, you didn’t bite/ gore or sting anyone, so no fault, right?

    So you are saying there that Muslims are no more responsible for their actions than rabid dogs, dangerous bulls and really angry swarms of bees then are you?

    Note here too that such dangerous feral animals at large are usually euthanaised on safety grounds if they pose an serious threat to the public. Fair enough.

    Oh & the person to “blame” is person who hasn’t had them properly caged and contained and prevented from getting out and harming others. Must remember that – Muslims need more secure and properly supervised containing and /or destruction.

    Muslims aren’t responsible for their own actions and cannot be considered normal ethical adult actors. Hey, that’s Dingojack’s assessment of them there, not necessarily mine.

  113. 113
    Nick Gotts

    I have now been called a “fucking idiot” over at PZ’s place by Nick Gotts, who wants to lock up the filmmakers – John Pieret

    I want them locked up if and only if they can be justly convicted of an offense for which imprisonment is the penalty, liar. This may be the case for Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who may well have violated his parole conditions, which apparently included not using the internet or aliases without prior permission. What I do want is intelligent discussion of whether free speech should or should not include the unrestricted right to deliberately provoke violence against third parties; and a recognition of what the film-makers are – Christofascist scumbags who are in effective alliance with their Islamist counterparts. They are not “stupid” as Brayton says, and the death and destruction is exactly what they wanted.

    The idea that he’s guilty of anything but inflicting a bad movie on civilization is laughable. – paulg

    Another idiot unable to see the bleedin’ obvious.

    Plus at the number of sympatheisers with extremist fundamentalist misogynist homophobic Islam on a supposedly progressive, feminist atheist blog too. – StevoR

    You’re a lying genocidal scumbag. No-one at all has expressed the slightest sympathy for the Islamist shitbags who stirred up the riots, or for Islam.

    If so, well let’s not be confused about where to place the blame. Not on the filmmakers. But on the Muslim killers and rioters who can’t just ignore an insult and treat it with the disdain it may deserve. – StevoR

    You’re also a moron: both are clearly to blame, and are clearly in effective alliance.

  114. 114
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @102. paulg : hear, hear! Well said.

  115. 115
    Nick Gotts

    Every one who advocates or promotes genocide is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years. – kraut

    Hey, StevoR, better stay out of Canada!

  116. 116
    Nick Gotts

    Blaming a filmmaker for causing a riot is like blaming a provocatively dressed woman for causing herself to be raped. – tacotaco

    Yet another idiot or liar – probably both. Women do not dress “provocatively” in order to be raped. It is quite clear to anyone who hasn’t got their head firmly implanted up their fundament that causing riots was the whole point of making this video.

  117. 117
    tacotaco

    “She was asking for it…”

  118. 118
    Christoph Burschka

    “Blaming a filmmaker for causing a riot is like blaming a provocatively dressed woman for causing herself to be raped”

    The filmmaker is not a victim. Four people who had nothing to do with him except their nationality were the victims.

    He has no legal culpability and shouldn’t, but since he knew and wanted what was going to happen, he shares blame. The reason actions like these are legal is not because they are okay, but because outlawing them endangers society more than they do.

  119. 119
    Nick Gotts

    However, Butler should also think about this, wouldn’t arresting Sam Bacile, for his stupid bigoted film, only help to convince his supporters that he was right, even more than they already were? – criticaldragon1177

    Stone me, another ignorant dolt who hasn’t even grasped that there is no such person as “Sam Bacile”. It’s worth recalling that “Sam Bacile” claimed to be an Israeli Jew, and that the film had been backed by 100 Jewish donors. In fact, the Israeli authorities say no such person exists, “Sam Bacile” seems to be the alias of the Egyptian-American copy Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (note the middle name, which Nakoula tried to conceal from a journalist), and we do not yet know of any Israelis or Jews involved in the film – but those actually responsible were quite willing to feed Arab and Muslim antisemitism with this lie.

  120. 120
    Nick Gotts

    copy->Copt@119

  121. 121
    Nick Gotts

    Yes tacotaco, I am unsurprised that you are quite willing to repeat misogynist lies in an effort to defend your position.

  122. 122
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @113. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) :

    They are not “stupid” as Brayton says, and the death and destruction is exactly what they wanted.

    So , how “smart” does that make the people who’ve fallen for their trap and done exactly what those trailer-makers wanted?

    o-one at all has expressed the slightest sympathy for the Islamist shitbags who stirred up the riots, or for Islam.

    Really? Ya coulda fooled me then. Seems to be exactly what you are doing here.

    You going to unequivocally denounce the Islamists conduct and call their hateful religion what is its then, KG, er.. Nick Gotts?

    Going to hold the Islamists accountable for their own actions and the murders and terrorism they committ are you?

    Or are you going to continue to whine that “Oh we’ shouldn’t provoooooke dem poor widdle Muzzies? Dose sweet, nice innocwent liddle teowwists?” (Paraphrased slightly for emphasis but basically what ya seem to be sayin’)

    Your choice, mate.

    You’re a lying genocidal scumbag. No-one at all has expressed the slightest sympathy for the Islamist shitbags who stirred up the riots, or for Islam.

    Nope – and see above. Do you know how you sound to reasonable people Nick Gotts?

    You’re calling me “genocidal”, “lying” and a “scumbag” eh?

    Well, what have I said here that is factually wrong?

    How many people do you think I’ve murdered or called for the murders of lately? I’ll tell you : None. Zero, zip, nada, nil, niente, none.

    As opposed to the group you are being an apologist for which are putting signs saying “Behead those who insult Islam’ in the hands of their toddlers. Who have committed riot, arson and murder in response to a flippin’ poorly made, low-budget, worthless youtube clip.

    You, Nick Gotts, are apologising and excusing away the behaviour of a group of deluded, crazy people who are even now preparing to fire rockets and homicide-suicide bomb lots of innocent people and those trying to protect innocent people from their atrocities. In many nations.

    And to think that *you* are calling *me* nasty names for speaking my mind on this. Hah!

    You, Nick Gotts, are pathetic and despicable. Take a long hard look at yourself and whose side you are standing on here. Take at look at what those you are supporting are doing and saying and calling for and believing in. Go on, I dare ya.

    You’re also a moron: both are clearly to blame, and are clearly in effective alliance.

    They are? *Really?* Are they? Got any citations or evidence for that supposed “alliance” then have you?

    -
    -
    -
    -
    -

    *** crickets ****

    -
    -
    -

    … No I didn’t think you would have.

    The film makers outsmarted and trolled the Muslims, the Muslims fell for it badly and got owned. (And killed people and hurt people and burnt stuff down)

    Whose more to blame and stupider there? Guess what.
    It ain’t the filmmakers.

  123. 123
    heddle

    #107,

    I’m amazed at the number of posters on here who are apparently in favor of blasphemy laws.

    I does seem that way and yes, it is amazing.

  124. 124
    John Pieret

    @ Nick Gotts everywhere

    Life is too full … and too short … to waste any part of it on spittle-flecked individuals who somehow think that phrases like “fucking idiots” and “ignorant dolt” do anything more that demonstrate how inarticulate and incoherent they are.

    Have a nice, if irrational, life.

  125. 125
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @119. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) :

    ..those actually responsible were quite willing to feed Arab and Muslim antisemitism with this lie.

    Wow. Something we actually both agree on. Yep.

    Of course one of us is apologising for a culture steeped to the core in truly vile anti-Semitism and I’m not but still.

  126. 126
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @115. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) :

    Every one who advocates or promotes genocide is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years. – kraut

    Hey, StevoR, better stay out of Canada!

    Why? I don’t advocate genocide and I hear Canada is quite a nice country?

    Oh yeah, that’s right, you keep failing basic reading comprehension and keep lying about what I actually think and say.

    Do you realise you’re doing this or are you actually that oblivious to reality Nick?

  127. 127
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    For the hard of reading once more :

    Advocating fighting Jihadists that are trying to exterminate theretsof us does NOT equal genocide.

    Re-read a hundred times if that’s what it takes before it sinks in.

    I believe in the Western world and Western vales – freedom, democracy, human rights, women’s rights, secular societies, LBGTQ rights, equality and the pursuit of happiness for all.

    Apparently, to a few people, that somehow seems to make me a straw monster. More fools them.

  128. 128
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Durnjit Tpotyos!

    Advocating fighting Jihadists that are trying to exterminate the rest of us does NOT equal genocide.

    Even when we do so vigourously and without holding back too much.

    That’s what I’m sayin’.

  129. 129
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Western vales = Western values.

    I officially cannot type.

  130. 130
    democommie

    “Ah, yes … the news! Because we all know that is so reliable! And anyone who may not be up to date on the news is an ignorant dolt and stupider than Terry Jones.”

    I’m sorry, did your reading indicate that I said anything like that? If so, I apologize. Otoh, since I’m pretty sure I didn’t say that, well, fuck you.

    “It doesn’t matter, of course, that Ed was responding to Anthea Butler’s call to arrest *Bacile*. And how does it matter much who is behind the pseudonym? He, she or it, as Ed says, should be criticized for their stupidity.”

    So, you’re going to jump off the cliff, just because all of the other cool kids do it.

    The reports were not on FuckTheNew’sCorpse website, fella. As recently as yesterday the LIBYAN gummint was saying that the attack in Libya was carried out by a group that had been in the country for several months and had been planning the attack for that period of time. That Mallomar Quitedaffy’s family and associates were NOT wiped out but, rather, melted into the background or ran off, there’s no telling if they or someone else is behind the attack. It’s a fair bet that they have something to do with it or, conversely, that Al Queda or one of the other Islamist groups (your local nationalists seizing on religion as a justification for their violence).

    Kraut:

    You seem to have worked yourself into a fine lather about the free speech protections in the U.S. while happily living in a country where you are deprived of those same right. There’s a word for that: hypocricy.

  131. 131
    thomasmorris

    This is almost entirely off-topic, but I can’t let it slide.

    Bacile’s movie is not the first to denigrate a religious figure, nor will it be the last. The Last Temptation of Christ was protested vigorously.

    Man, any Christian watching the last Temptation of Christ had more reason to feel really insulted that it indicates simply that after all Christian fundamentalists are after all more civilized than that rabble in the street of Cairo and Kabul, Tripoli and anywhere else muslims are the majority.

    It was an isolated incident, but actually a Christian group in France did throw Molotov cocktails into a theater playing the film. The fires seriously damaged the theater and resulted in 13 people being hospitalized.

    Which is all beside the fact that I’m not even sure why “Last Temptation” is even being mentioned, as there’s not really much comparison between it and “The Innocence of Muslims.” They’re both certainly controversial, but the latter, unlike the former, was solely made with the attempt to denigrate a religion. It’s a hate-piece meant to inflame religious sensibilities (which certainly isn’t to suggest that it should be banned.)

    Based on what I know about Kazantzakis (the author of the original novel of “Last Temptation”), Scorsese (the director of the film), and Schrader (the screenwriter), I’m quite positive that they did NOT create “The Last Temptation of Christ” with the intention to denigrate Christianity or Christ. They were of course aware of the unorthodox nature of the story, and of the fact that it would be considered sacrilegious by many – but I don’t think they made it out of a desire to attack Christianity. In fact, I know at least multiple faithful Christians who regard the film as a deeply spiritual work and one of their favorite movies. Heck – I was raised a Mormon, and went to BYU, and two of my liberal Mormon film professors recommended it to me as the best and most moving depiction of Christ’s life on film – in spite of the fact that it’s R-rated, and thus verboten to most Mormons.

    A few more liberal Christian groups even came out in support of the film’s depiction of Christ as something more than just a pure and boring saint – a depiction that makes you feel, more than most other works that depict his life, the true enormity of the sacrifice he makes.

    On the other hand, I seriously doubt any Muslim is going to walk away from “The Innocence of Muslims” uplifted or enlightened, or feeling that they’ve developed a greater appreciation for and understand of Mohammad.

    And this is all beside the point. I’m sorry.

  132. 132
    Chiroptera

    heddle, #123: I does seem that way and yes, it is amazing.

    heddle, normally I respect your comments, but right now, seriously? You’ve read the commenters’ actual words and the conclusion you reach is that they are in favor of blasphemy laws?

    I thought your reading comprehension skills were better than that. Was I wrong?

  133. 133
    thomasmorris

    I’d recommend New Zealand or Switzerland

    Don’t move to Switzerland. Besides the outrageous prices and the bankers running the country, they still force young men (and young men only) to waste nearly a year of their lives in the military (or an “alternative service.”)

    (Of course, you may not be a young man and thus wouldn’t have to worry about it, but still…)

  134. 134
    Chiroptera

    thomasmorris, #131: …but the latter, unlike the former, was solely made with the attempt to denigrate a religion.

    Actually, the point that people are discussing are the allegations that the latter was published with the deliberate intention of causing a violent reaction. Sot the difference between those two films is even greater.

    -

    And this is all beside the point. I’m sorry.

    Actually, what you said is exacty to the point.

  135. 135
    heddle

    Chiroptera,

    Telling people to commit violence is not covered by free speech. Being a jackass and pushing buttons that cause people to erupt is. The onus is on the target to have a thick skin or, in lieu of that, not to watch. Or both. In the case of religion, placing the legal culpability for a violent response on the speaker, no matter how stupid he is, rather than on the offended, who is obliged to respond by legal means only, is the functional equivalent of a blasphemy law. In my opinion.

  136. 136
    tacotaco

    You’ve read the commenters’ actual words and the conclusion you reach is that they are in favor of blasphemy laws?

    Of course, not blasphemy laws… Just laws against saying anything that might piss off religious people.

  137. 137
    dingojack

    OBTW I’m not talking about the mob’s culpability, but the filmmaker’s culpability for creating a work then distributing it in a way that causes ‘reasonably foreseeable harm’. We’re talking ‘reckless endangerment’ territory.
    Pauly – (#106) OK, but it was clumsily worded.
    (#110)Really? The film the filmmaker allegedly made wasn’t made by the filmmaker who allegedly made it? Got it.
    Stevo(#112) – Did you miss the bit about the filmmaker allegedly commenting that it was his intent to cause rioting?
    Heddle (#123) et al. really? perhaps you can highlight where someone expressed a view on blasphemy laws*, I must of missed it.
    Dingo
    ——
    * Apart from you and Stevo quoting him/her, the first mention was by tacotaco (#107) where he/she expressed surprise that everyone was so keen on the idea, even though it had not been brought up.

  138. 138
    tacotaco

    The film did not cause harm. Some idiots reacting to it caused harm.

  139. 139
    Chiroptera

    Telling people to commit violence is not covered by free speech. Being a jackass and pushing buttons that cause people to erupt is.

    And as far as I can tell, every commenter on this thread agrees with that much, so there is no argument there.

    -

    The onus is on the target to have a thick skin or, in lieu of that, not to watch. Or both.

    There is one commenter whose comments may be interpreted to disagree with this; if there are others, then I have misinterpreted their meaning.

    But no one, as far as I can see, is advocating that the organizers of the riots be left off the hook or that the rioters be treated any differently than rioters are usually treated in similar circumstances.

    -

    In the case of religion, placing the legal culpability for a violent response on the speaker, no matter how stupid he is, rather than on the offended, who is obliged to respond by legal means only, is the functional equivalent of a blasphemy law.

    I’m not sure what this is supposed to mean.

    What people — some people, anyway — are saying is whether, in general, it would be a good thing to treat creating and distributing a film with the intention that it will provoke a violent reaction in the same way that we treat what is already illegal incitement to violence.

    You may feel that, no, that isn’t a good idea — and there are certainly some good arguments against it. But it becomes the functional equivalent to blasphemy law just because in this particular case it’s about religion?

    That seems like a publicly owned facility that is used as an open venue becomes the functional equivalent to state sponsored religion because a religious group makes use of it.

    If that’s your point, then, okay, but I don’t see it as useful or important. If not, then I’m afraid I don’t see your point.

  140. 140
    Chiroptera

    Oops. That last comment was directed to heddle, #135.

  141. 141
    tacotaco

    You’re advocating for a law having the effect of forbidding speech which denigrates the prophet Mohammed. Call it what you want, I call that a blasphemy law.

  142. 142
    dingojack

    tacotaco – ah that hoary old chestnut: ‘guns don’t kill people people kill people’. Brilliant! Why hasn’t anyone thought of that before?

    ‘Anti drink-driving laws’ call it what you will, if it stops people fro driving it’s a anti-driving law! @@
    Dingo

  143. 143
    DaveL

    You may feel that, no, that isn’t a good idea — and there are certainly some good arguments against it. But it becomes the functional equivalent to blasphemy law just because in this particular case it’s about religion?

    That seems like a publicly owned facility that is used as an open venue becomes the functional equivalent to state sponsored religion because a religious group makes use of it.

    Chiroptera,

    What if the state were to pay for the construction of a building with a steeple, and pews lined up in front of an altar, and put a tabernacle behind it, but denied it was set up for any religious purpose?

    What you are proposing would be the functional equivalent of blasphemy laws because what other force in society has the capability of arousing such violence in such an arbitrary manner? Religion alone combines the fervor of personal and ethnic identity with the breadth to incorporate pronouncements on any subject whatsoever, from the origin of planets to the proper length of a beard.

    You know as well as I do that authoritarian religion has always sought to enforce its edicts upon society at large, by hook or by crook. What other force in society would be chomping at the bit over just such a legal tool as you propose?

    Proponents of actual blasphemy laws always insist they’re for the protection of the majority religion from insult, not for the oppression of minorities – but that’s always the use to which they are actually put, the nature of blasphemy and religious authoritarianism being what it is. Similarly, you may intend that the law you propose be applied evenly, with no special regard for religion. However, it would be the worst elements of authoritarian religion who would quickly learn to use it to their advantage.

  144. 144
    DaveL

    @Dingojack,

    I know it’s just an analogy, but as a beekeeper I have to ask: How do you propose one stop a swarm of angry bees from leaving, short of restraining their target?

  145. 145
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @ 137. dingojack :

    Stevo(#112) – Did you miss the bit about the filmmaker allegedly commenting that it was his intent to cause rioting?

    Who cares. Intent is magic now? Are you saying it excuses the Islamists reaction?

    Nope don’t buy it.

    Whatever the youtube trailers makers intended; the Muslims had a choice as to how they’d react. They could laugh at it. They could ignore it. They could criticise it verbally and in print. Or they could do what they actually chose to do – go out on thuggish rampages, murdering unconnected people, burning down embassies that had no control or say over it at all and assaulting police officers in many foreign nations with no connection at all to the youtube clip inc. my own land of Oz.

    They choose porrly, they behaved appalling, they wear the consequences for their own decisions and reactions that they chose. And I reckon hardly any of them even saw the clip that supposedly offended them so. Stupid, flippin’ idiots that they are.

    Muslims want to tell everyone else in the world to revere and never criticise a dark ages war-mongering pedophile rapist desert bandit theif that they adore and whose life they see as ideal. Well sod that and sod them!

    Also no response to my #112 yet then I observe?

    What do you think – are Muslims :

    I) angry bees, dangerous bulls and rabid dogs (Touse your chosen metaphors) that are best contained and / or destroyed?

    II) Or are they responsible for their own actions and accountable for their own choices however bad?

    What’s your pick there, Dingojack?

  146. 146
    dingojack

    Smoke.
    Dingo

  147. 147
    DaveL

    Good for pacifying a hive, but once they’re out it’s not going to stop them from leaving.

    Besides, just how fast can you light a smoke can?

  148. 148
    dingojack

    Also I find ordinary flyspray works a treat on paper wasps (I hate doing it, but sometimes needs must). I must say I’ve never tried in on Apis mellifera or their ilk.
    Dingo

  149. 149
    Chiroptera

    DaveL, #143: What you are proposing would be the functional equivalent of blasphemy laws because what other force in society has the capability of arousing such violence in such an arbitrary manner?

    Sure. Race relations in the US during just about any point in history.

    Ethnic violence in various parts of the world in the recent past.

    I disagree that religion alone provides the only “hot button” that can easily be provoked to violence. So, no, whether or not a general law that prohibits the intentional provocation of violence is a good idea, it is definitely not the functional equivalent to a blasphemy law.

  150. 150
    Chiroptera

    tacotaco, #141:

    Great. Another moron who’s thinking process shuts down when he sees the word “Muslim.”

  151. 151
    dingojack

    I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I … left out the ‘:)’
    Dingo :D

  152. 152
    DaveL

    Let me give you a hint:

    Paper wasp nest: 15-200 individuals

    Honey Bee hive: 10,000 – 50,000 individuals

  153. 153
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @142. dingojack asks :

    tacotaco – ah that hoary old chestnut: ‘guns don’t kill people people kill people’. Brilliant! Why hasn’t anyone thought of that before?

    Yknow that phrase is kinda familiar, reckon someone just might’ve thought of that before.. Also you saying it ain’t true?

    A gun by itself does nothing.

    Also, Muslims – are they accountable for their actions yes or no?

    Is murder, arson and brainwashing children to think beheading those who disagree with you ever okay? Yes or no?

    Oh & a multiple choice one for you & all other apologists for Islam :

    Do you think the appropriate response to youtube trailer for some Z-grade rubbish that insults your Dark Age pedophile “Prophet” is :

    a) Ignore it, its only a flippin’ stupid youtube clip clearly designed to be trollbait so you won’t bite.

    b)Vote it thumbs down on the site and leave a critical message there?

    c) Contact youtube and say you’re offended and wasn’t the clip removed?

    d) Write an angry letter to the paper or blog about how awful and unfair it is and aren’t you upset and use itas evidence of so-called “Islamophobia” ignoring the fact that inalot of place sMuslism are, well, y’know kinda actually chopping people’s heads off or blowing them up. So irrational “phobia” not-so-much.

    Or

    e) Burn down the Libyan embassy, murder a few diplomats with no culpability for the clip at all and give your kid a placard threatening to behead anyone who insults Islam?

    Looking forward to your answer there, Dingojack. Others feel free to give their answers too.

  154. 154
    DaveL

    Sure. Race relations in the US during just about any point in history.

    The propensity for violent reaction is there, but the arbitrariness is not. Religions make their own pronouncements on anything, including scientific and historical questions, and declare these doctrines sacred and unquestionable. The same goes for ethic conflict, except where the ethnic divisions happen along religious lines.

    You might have noticed my point was not that religion is the only possible flashpoint for violence, but the only one with such breadth and mutability that its authoritarian leaders could use such a law as a lever of political power. Not that some of its original purpose might not shine through, but rest assured religious authoritarians would move to abuse it with such speed and regularity that it would soon come to be understood as a blasphemy law. Perhaps a blasphemy law with side effects (a sort of blasphemy+ law?) but a blasphemy law nonetheless.

  155. 155
    democommie

    “@107. tacotaco :

    I’m amazed at the number of posters on here who are apparently in favor of blasphemy laws.
    Me too.

    Plus at the number of sympatheisers with extremist fundamentalist misogynist homophobic Islam on a supposedly progressive, feminist atheist blog too.”

    I don’t know that Ed Brayton thinks of his blog as a “supposedly progressive, feminist atheist blog”.

    What I’m seeing here are a lot of comments that equate a desire to have reasonable limits on free speech = a desire to STOP free speech. Those comments are from some who are self-described 1st Amendment absolutists and others who seem to be, without identifying themselves as such.

    I run into this a lot from 2nd Amendment absolutists, as well. If I think we, as a society, could benefit from some sane form of firearms regulation, then I’m a comsymp, liebral gungrabber.

    In both cases, nothing could be further from the truth.

    Our society has not been destroyed by the many changes to our customs, laws and mores over the last 236 years. I doubt that sensible regulation (that is the problem of course, making it sensible) of speech, ownership of firearms or other “rights” will do so.

  156. 156
    dingojack

    Dave – Let me give you a hint: 1 or 2 μl per wasp kills ‘em dead in less than a second. 250ml = 50,000 dead wasps*.
    But, no I’m not suggesting poisoning a whole hive of bees.
    You have heard of the concept of analogy haven’t you?
    :) Dingo
    —-
    * assuming wastage

  157. 157
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Muslims chose to do (e) – which is why I call them flippin’ stupid (& dangerous and crazy) idiots. btw.

    Don’t blame me – it’s how *they* chose to react.

    How very sad and wrong of them.

    Or do people here think they were right to kill and burn and rampage and threaten as they did?

  158. 158
    Chiroptera

    DaveL, #154: You might have noticed my point was not that religion is the only possible flashpoint for violence, but the only one with such breadth and mutability that its authoritarian leaders could use such a law as a lever of political power.

    If I had noticed that was your point, that would have been the point I would have addressed. But I didn’t notice it, and I apoligize for my misunderstanding.

    But I still disagree with the point. Any authoritarian can use such laws to their advantage. In some countries today, libel laws are used to silence legitimate political opposition. In the liberal democracies, libel laws are sometimes used by those with an axe to grind to harrass people.

    That such laws can be abused doesn’t necessarily mean they are in general a bad idea; one hopes that one can write them narrowly so that the abuse can be kept at a minimum. Maybe that isn’t possible in this particular case.

    I don’t see religious authoritarians as any more likely to abuse such laws as anyone else, and so I still don’t think characterizing them as blasphemy laws is really all that accurate or useful.

    -

    By the way, the children have returned to play. If I stop responding in this thread, it won’t be because I don’t think you (or heddle) or worth responding to; it’ll be because I’ll be at work and don’t have the time to wade through 25 to 30 comments full of nonsense to try to find the interesting ones.

  159. 159
    Raging Bee

    So if I knew who you were and where you lived, and said: “Bee, your posts make me so angry I will punch a random stranger in the face if you post to Ed’s blog again,” then your speech should be restricted, right? That’s basically what you’re arguing.

    No, eric, that is NOT what I am arguing, and you’re a fucking liar when you say it is. The facts of your hypothetical are so different from the facts of the “Innocence of Muslims” trailer that your attempt to equate the two can only be called flatly dishonest. Do you really think you can lie about what I said, when my own words are still up there for all to see?

    Now, if it can be shown by evidence (not news “reports,” rumor and hearsay) that someone deliberately sent this video to people who they knew would immediately direct violence against a particular group, then (if we have any law against it), a prosecution might pass constitutional muster.

    That’s exactly what they did: they deliberately overdubbed dialogue in the trailer to add inflammatory insults (the actors corroborate this), and then they deliberately posted it to a location where they knew that it would be noticed and available to people who they knew would use it to incite violence (YouTube corroborates this).

    In your world, what exactly should happen to the filmmakers and their film? And who should decide these issues when they come up?

    At the very least, YouTube should take down the trailer, because it clearly violates several of their own community guidelines (my comment quoting said guidelines never got posted). And other media outfits should have the decency not to air such pointlessly ignorant and insulting rubbish, when there’s plenty of better stuff they can publish. Also, the makers of the trailer can, and should, be sued for knowingly contributing to wrongful death.

    How far down the rabbit hole of self-censorship or societal censorship should we go?

    Oh, grow the fuck up already. Privately-owned media outlets like YouTube make their own decisions as to what to publish, and what not to touch with a ten-foot pole, every fucking day. TV stations go easy on racist or sexist jokes, certain topics and words don’t get mentioned before certain times of night, TV series get pulled early if they offend too many people, publishers decide which books to publish and which are crap…none of this is new, and most such judgment-calls are made with no controversy at all. Just a few weeks ago, a right-wing publishing house refused to publish Barton’s latest book because the historical lies were embarrassing even to them. And NO ONE (except for the right-wing liars, of course) cried about “the rabbit hole of self-censorship or societal censorship,” because there was none.

  160. 160
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    No answers here Dingojack?

    Is that your strategy? Ignore tough questions and stuff you disagree with?

    Ah. If only that’d been the Muslim way when it came to nasty youtube clips too then.

    A discussion on this blog = not too many broader consequences.

    Burning down an embassy, rioting and threatening people globally? Nowhere near so harmless. Pretty horrible for a lot of people – especially the bereaved. Those mourning lost lives and others in fear of theirs or nursing injuries.

    Go figure.

  161. 161
    DaveL

    Dingo – you’re welcome to try. Just pointing out that as someone who knows about bees, that’s a terrible analogy. Bees are not kept contained like bulls and in practice nobody stops a swarm from going where it may. An angry ‘swarm’ only goes as far as it’s willing to pursue a target, then it breaks off and returns, presenting no danger to the public.

  162. 162
    Raging Bee

    Following is an attempt to re-post a comment I wrote yesterday, in answer to a question by Michael Heath @33:

    Here are some quotes from YouTube’s Community Guidelines (no link this time — just click on “Terms,” then click on the “Community Guidelines” link):

    YouTube is not a shock site. Don’t post gross-out videos of accidents, dead bodies or similar things intended to shock or disgust…

    We encourage free speech and defend everyone’s right to express unpopular points of view. But we don’t permit hate speech (speech which attacks or demeans a group based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, and sexual orientation/gender identity).

    Things like predatory behavior, stalking, threats, harassment, intimidation, invading privacy, revealing other people’s personal information, and inciting others to commit violent acts or to violate the Terms of Use are taken very seriously. Anyone caught doing these things may be permanently banned from YouTube.

    Further guidelines:

    “Hate speech” refers to content that promotes hatred against members of a protected group. For instance, racist or sexist content may be considered hate speech. Sometimes there is a fine line between what is and what is not considered hate speech. For instance, it is generally okay to criticize a nation, but not okay to make insulting generalizations about people of a particular nationality.

    While it might not seem fair to say you can’t show something because of what viewers theoretically might do in response, we draw the line at content that’s intended to incite violence or encourage dangerous, illegal activities that have an inherent risk of serious physical harm or death.

    So yeah, YouTube had plenty of good reasons to take that trailer down, and they ignored them all.

  163. 163
    captainahags

    There’s a pretty big difference between the “guns don’t kill people” bs line and “words don’t kill people.” I’ve yet to hear of a case where the murder weapon was found to be a proper noun.

    Also, democommie, I find it amusing that you call StevoR a hypocrite for daring to live in Canada and enter an argument about US protections on free speech- and then propose limits on free speech. Nice try with the false equivalence about the 1st and 2nd amendment, too. See, we have limits on the 2nd because you can actually kill people with guns, in larger numbers and more rapidly if sophisticated enough weapons are possessed. Let me know when the same is true of speech.

  164. 164
    captainahags

    that’s intended to incite violence or encourage dangerous, illegal activities that have an inherent risk of serious physical harm or death.

    So yeah, YouTube had plenty of good reasons to take that trailer down, and they ignored them all.

    Yeah, except the video did not incite violence or encourage dangerous, illegal activities. There’s no call in the video to go out and kill xyz, or to go and raid an embassy. Intentionally trying to piss someone off is not the same as inciting them to riot.

  165. 165
    DaveL

    Any authoritarian can use such laws to their advantage. In some countries today, libel laws are used to silence legitimate political opposition. In the liberal democracies, libel laws are sometimes used by those with an axe to grind to harrass people.

    That’s certainly true, but different authoritarian leaders will find different sorts of laws useful to them depending on the resources at their disposal. Corporate strongmen would certainly might certainly enjoy manipulating flawed libel laws. On the other hand, libel suits do not require the services of a violent mob. That one such laws can be and is abused by one type of authoritarian is hardly a good argument for enabling another sort of authoritarian through a different law.

    That such laws can be abused doesn’t necessarily mean they are in general a bad idea; one hopes that one can write them narrowly so that the abuse can be kept at a minimum. Maybe that isn’t possible in this particular case.

    I do suspect that you and I differ more in hope than in reasoning.

  166. 166
    dingojack

    Stevo – *yawn* (sorry, irrelevance is just boring).
    Apparently tacotaco thinks next I’m proposing to place in the dock a 1941 reprint of Casablanca cut down to running time of 63 minutes.
    So you, like tacotaco think I’m in favour of prosecuting the gun for the next famous Sydney drive-by shooting? @@
    Dingo
    —–
    Roof tiles are inanimate objects too, guess they’ve never killed anyone either. Oh wait – there’s precedance going back to Roman times. ;)

  167. 167
    DaveL

    Corporate strongmen would certainly might certainly enjoy manipulating flawed libel laws

    Damnit. Rephrase FAIL.

  168. 168
    dingojack

    Wait now! South Australia is part of Canada now? I never knew that. :)
    Dingo

  169. 169
    Chiroptera

    DaveL, #165: I do suspect that you and I differ more in hope than in reasoning.

    Just to be clear, my main disagreement with you is whether religious authoritarian pose a uniquely dangerous element in regards to the misuse of broadened incitement laws and whether that would be enough to characterize such laws as “blasphemy laws.”

    I have other concerns about how in general such laws could be misused by forces of darkness; at any rate, I think most, if not all, of us on the left recognize that the uniquely crazed political situation in the US is such that if we tinkering with the First Amendment, we could be cutting our own throats.

  170. 170
    Raging Bee

    The onus is on the target to have a thick skin or, in lieu of that, not to watch.

    Isn’t that what bullies say to their targets? “It’s not my fault for hurting you, it’s your fault for allowing yourself to be hurt.” Classic victim-bashing, just like we’ve been hearing from MRAs and other cyberbullies at least since last year’s “elevatorgate” dustup. I know heddle can be a dick, but I never expected him to sink this low.

    That’s what the “Innocence of Muslims” trailer is largely about: goading and insulting people from the safety of a distant and powerful country, then sneering at the little people when they react (then calling Obama “weak” when things get dangerous and he has to deal with it).

    (And yes, the mobs who are reacting to all these alleged insults to their beliefs are victims, as well as perpetrators: victims of tyrannical regimes, victims of the social turmoil that followed the overthrow of said regimes, victims of stupid-assed US adventurism, victims of ignorant authoritarianism, victims of “leaders” who won’t take responsibility, and victims of a whole shitload of other circumstances, most of which are not their own doing.)

  171. 171
    Raging Bee

    Yeah, except the video did not incite violence or encourage dangerous, illegal activities. There’s no call in the video to go out and kill xyz, or to go and raid an embassy.

    Flat, mindless denial of the obvious? Is that all you have to offer? If I repeatedly insult you, on and on, that’s “encouraging” you to retaliate, whether or not I say you can or should retaliate. YouTube’s guidelines use the word “encourage,” which is a much broader term than the legal usage of the phrase “inciting to riot.” The “Innocence” trailer may not meet the legal definition of “inciting to riot,” but it sure as hell does “encourage” violent and lawless actions. Therefore it is in clear violation fo YouTube’s terms, and YouTube is obligated to take it down.

  172. 172
    slc1

    Re captainahags @ #163

    I believe that Mr. StevoR lives in Australia, as does Mr. dingojack.

  173. 173
    Raging Bee

    demo: you say comsymp, liebral gungrabber like it’s a BAD thing.

  174. 174
    captainahags

    @slc172 ah. I was misinformed by democommie. My apologies, StevoR. I knew about Dingo though.

    @Raging Bee

    Flat, mindless denial of the obvious? Is that all you have to offer? If I repeatedly insult you, on and on, that’s “encouraging” you to retaliate, whether or not I say you can or should retaliate. YouTube’s guidelines use the word “encourage,” which is a much broader term than the legal usage of the phrase “inciting to riot.” The “Innocence” trailer may not meet the legal definition of “inciting to riot,” but it sure as hell does “encourage” violent and lawless actions. Therefore it is in clear violation fo YouTube’s terms, and YouTube is obligated to take it down.

    No, repeatedly insulting me is not encouragement to retaliate, and it’s either dishonest or just plain stupid of you to suggest that it is. It is insulting me. What I choose to do in response is 100% my responsibility. If I choose to argue in reply, or walk away, or punch you in the face, all of those actions are equally my decision and I am culpable for them, in the case of punching you in the face anyway. It’s the responsibility of the rational, responsible people in the world to ensure that the few voices of idiocy are drowned out by the chorus of maturity.

    And, I believe youtube has the right to enforce their terms of service as they see fit. Your poorly defined meaning of “encouraging” would probably force half of youtube to be taken down. Seriously, by your logic most atheist youtube channels would be shut down if xtians decided to riot over them. How do you completely fail to grasp that you’re repeatedly arguing for the heckler’s veto?

  175. 175
    kraut

    ” but it sure as hell does “encourage” violent and lawless actions. Therefore it is in clear violation fo YouTube’s terms, and YouTube is obligated to take it down.”

    Did you actually watch that pile of crap? Because beside some stupidity it is beyond me that anybody could be incited to anything but hilarity and boredom, but not violence. I have lost about 13 minute of my life by watching this crap.

    The reaction to that movie makes one thing very clear: it does not matter how vile of justified critique of muslims and their religion is. Anything said might be taken as offensive and will elicit a reaction if the mullahs say so.

    I guess for some here that aspect does not matter. Muslims say that the movie is insulting, so we throw the book at the producer. What a beautiful stance on a skeptical website.

  176. 176
    dingojack

    Kraut – *yawn* [see mine #166]
    Dingo

  177. 177
    captainahags

    @Dingo 176 What exactly is your point in 166?

  178. 178
    eric

    Chiroptera @85:

    [quoting someone else]In your world, what exactly should happen to the filmmakers and their film? [end quote]

    At the very least people should be saying, “Jesus! What fucking hateful bigots! I’m going to show my friends this hateful awful bigoted film to let them know that it really is important which political factions wins the next elections.”

    I have no problem with that. AFAIK, most every person defending their speech has been saying exactly that. What I have a problem with are the arguments that (1) they are partially legally responsible for the riots and should suffer some criminal penalties for those riots, or (2) their speech should’ve been censored because they knew what was going to happen (or (3) both). To be clear, I don’t think you, Chiroptera, are making argument (2). But to the extent that you’re making argument (1), I think you’re wrong.

    Actually, the point that people are discussing are the allegations that the latter was published with the deliberate intention of causing a violent reaction. Sot the difference between those two films is even greater.

    I think you are riding this ‘deliberate intent’ thing way too far. The speech itself has to be related to the violent act its intended to cause. If I walk into a KKK meeting and yell “Equal rights!,” intending to deliberately provoke people, I am still not legally responsible for their assault on me. I may be responsible if I say “equal rights you a**holes, now come on, who wants a piece of me? Are you cowards or will you fight? Put up your fists!” Because now I am calling for violent action. But just yelling a political, racial, or religious position is not calling for violent action, even if I know someone is very likely to respond violently to it. Its not calling for violent action even if I count on the audience responding violently.

    Raging Bee:

    If I repeatedly insult you, on and on, that’s “encouraging” you to retaliate, whether or not I say you can or should retaliate.

    I can insult you all I want, and if my insults get you so angry that you go off and kill the US ambassador to Libya, you are criminally at fault, not me. I am not responsible at all – not one iota. The same goes here.

    You might be able to invoke the ‘fighting words’ concept if you attack me, the speaker. But these people did not attack the speaker. They attacked other american citizens by proxy. As a form of collective punishment. The speaker is not legally responsible for that. Even if, as Chiroptera argued, they fully knew and intended for that to happen.

  179. 179
    Raging Bee

    No, repeatedly insulting me is not encouragement to retaliate…

    Yes, it is, whether or not you take the bait.

    What I choose to do in response is 100% my responsibility.

    First, you taking responsibility does not mean you’re not getting encouragement from anywhere, it just means you’re in a position where you’re able to resist or ignore it. And second, not all people are able to take responsibility as we can here. The people in Egypt and Libya, for example, are currently nowhere near as empowered as we are, as I’ve repeatedly pointed out above.

    And, I believe youtube has the right to enforce their terms of service as they see fit.

    IF they claim that right, then they accept the corresponding responsibility for the consequences of their decisions. And if they enforce their terms inconsistently, then a) they’re hypocrites, and b) they can’t hide behind their terms to justify their bad decisions.

    Your poorly defined meaning of “encouraging” would probably force half of youtube to be taken down.

    Only if “half of YouTube” is created with obvious malice and triggers predictable incidents of violence. Seriously, are you really trying to pretend it’s impossible for responsible adults to make decent judgment-calls here?

    Defending free speech: UR DOIN IT RONG!

  180. 180
    dingojack

    soo…. If I go into a crowded theatre and yell ‘fire’*, I’m in no way criminally responsible because I’m not the one who actually panicked (thinking the theatre was on fire) and trampled someone else to death my haste to get out. No punishment then?
    Dingo
    —-
    * Yep this old chestnut

  181. 181
    Raging Bee

    I can insult you all I want, and if my insults get you so angry that you go off and kill the US ambassador to Libya, you are criminally at fault, not me. I am not responsible at all – not one iota. The same goes here.

    That’s because I’m not in any sort of extraordinary or unusual situation in which I may not be able to make informed, responsible decisions. If I was in such a situation, then you might well be partially responsible for the reaction your insults get from me.

    And that’s one of the factors that make the “Innocence” trailer so reprehensible: it knowingly preys on people who are currently in a situation that any reasonable person would label an “emergency;” and in emergencies, sometimes we are obligated (morally if not legally) to alter our behavior to at least try to avoid making an bad situation worse — not to PERMANENTLY alter our behavior, of course, just to temporarily do so until the situation improves. (Seriously, removing one crappy movie trailer isn’t really that much of an alteration.) The makers of this trailer (and the actual movie, if there really is one) knew that certain people were in a very bad situation at a certain time, and they deliberately did something they knew would make that situation worse. And YouTube had their chance to admit there was an unusual situation, and exercise tact and decency in response, and they chose not to do so. Both parties are responsible for their actions, and for at least part of the consequences of those actions.

  182. 182
    tomh

    I don’t understand what this debate is about anymore. Everyone seems to agree that no US laws were broken by making this film, so it’s just about who deserves more blame for the violence? That seems kind of useless. Or is it about whether there should be some sort of restriction on speech in the US. That would seem more fruitful. For advocates of such a position there is actually movement in that direction. A new book, The Harm in Hate Speech, by professor of law at NYU, Jeremy Waldron, lays out a book-length argument in favor of such laws. The pros and cons are discussed by Stanley Fish in the NYT.

    Waldron proposes some interesting arguments but, in my opinion, whether such laws could ever be enacted or, more importantly, fairly enforced, in the US seems highly problematic.

  183. 183
    Chiroptera

    tomh, #182: Everyone seems to agree that no US laws were broken by making this film, so it’s just about who deserves more blame for the violence?

    That could be what people are talking about, and if so, that is one of the things that I am trying to argue against.

    What I see are two issues that just happened to be linked in this one particular incident.

    One is that there are fanatical religious extremists who will become violent when their sensibilities are offended. That has been discussed over and over again on this blog, and it is a matter that needs to be addressed.

    The other issue is the existence of vicious bigoted thugs who have a vicious fascist political agenda who will use despicable tactics to advance that agenda. This, too, is an important issue that needs to be addressed.

    The reason I first became involved in this discussion is that I saw comments that could be interpreted as extolling these Islamophobic thugs as First Amendment martyrs. It is possible to be concerned about Islamic extremism in the Middle East without seeing these film makers as heroes. Even if what they did was entirely legal, and even if we agree that their free speech rights must be protected, we can do so while reminding ourselves that these people, too, are a danger to civil liberal democratic society.

    But, yeah, the thread ended up meandering and all sorts of different points and different subjects got mixed up in the conversation, so I guess there were lots of different topics going on even within the exact same comments.

  184. 184
    eric

    Raging Bee;

    [eric] I can insult you all I want, and if my insults get you so angry that you go off and kill the US ambassador to Libya, you are criminally at fault, not me. I am not responsible at all – not one iota. The same goes here.

    [Bee] That’s because I’m not in any sort of extraordinary or unusual situation in which I may not be able to make informed, responsible decisions. If I was in such a situation, then you might well be partially responsible for the reaction your insults get from me.

    This was a publically released film. Are you now holding filmmakers to blame for the actions of legally insane or drugged up people who see a film and then go out and commit violence? You know that the Matrix has been blamed for violence. So has Twilight. Gosh, we need to hold their producers criminally responsible. And lets not forget Chapman’s (Lennon’s killer) obsession with The Catcher in the Rye. Clearly, we need to hold Salinger responsible for the the people in extroadinary or unusual circumstances who commit murder in response to reading his book.

    Even if your argument had merit (I don’t think it does), its invalid in this case. We do not even know what Libyian faction killed him. How can you possibly argue that you know they were in an “extroadinary situation” when you don’t even know who they were? Were they starving? You don’t know. On drugs? You don’t know. Legally insane? You don’t know. Politically repressed – you don’t even know that! It could’ve been pro-Kaddafi former upper class Libyans that did it. We do know that the killers staged an RPG attack on the building he was occupying. That is not exactly a crime of passion; it takes planning and forethought to go get your RPG, head downtown to a bulding, then shoot it. This is nothing but a post hoc justification of your position – you’re engaging in a sort of mirror image No True Scotsman argument. You want to conclude that the filmmakers are to blame, ergo, you assume that the people doing the attack must be in your ‘extroadinary circumstance’ category. Which, to go back to my first paragraph, is not a good reason to hold a filmmaker responsible in the first place.

  185. 185
    eric

    Chiroptera @183:

    The reason I first became involved in this discussion is that I saw comments that could be interpreted as extolling these Islamophobic thugs as First Amendment martyrs.

    This does not appear to be true at all. Nowhere in the first 12 posts does anyone ‘extol’ the fimmlakers. Posts 1 and 3 take the position that they are disgusting bigots who nevertheless have free speech rights – which is exactly the position you now claim to support.

    Post 13 is where you make your initial substantive argument, and in that post you very clearly support the notion of changing the law to make such films count as incitement. There’s no complaint about other people extolling the filmmakers, its an argument that content like this should be illegal.

    Now, if your thinking has evolved since yesterday, that’s great! I will not complain or if you’ve changed your position since @13. I’ll support you. But if your thinking hasn’t changed, then (1) attacking people who ‘extol’ these filmmakers is just to attack a straw man, and (2) IMO, you’ve made no good argument for why such content should count as incitement.

  186. 186
    Raging Bee

    eric: your arguments fail because you keep on avoiding the relevant facts of this case by hiding behind one bad analogy after another. You’re being dishonest and evasive, and I see no reason to keep on repeating relevant points that you’ve already ignored more than once.

    How can you possibly argue that you know they were in an “extroadinary situation” when you don’t even know who they were?

    I’m talking about the general population, dumbass. As in, the whole society is in turmoil, and ceratin people are exploiting that turmoil for their own evil purposes. And the filmmakers are deliberately adding to the turmoil, and helping others to exploit it.

  187. 187
    mrbongo

    The burning stupidity of Michael Heath! He said: “Don’t forget the availability of civil courts to mitigate slanders and libels rather than criminal law. Not for Mohammed – he’s dead, but contemporaneous Muslims which can prove libel and/or slander, and harm”

    So, Mr. Heath, a person of religion X is slandered if you mock the founder of religion X.

    This discussion really has brought out the leftist authoritarianism in many of Ed’s crew.

    Also, it has brought the patronizing racism of Ragin Bee, Chiroptera, Heath et al. You see,they believe that white Christians are actually superior because they can take the criticism – thus never a peep from this group to ban speech attacking butt dumb xtians. But insult them brown Muslims over there – OH MY GOD, WE’VE GOT TO STOP IT AND DEFEND THOSE POOR HELPLESS DEFENSLESS SOULS – its the new whiteguiltnik lefty ‘white man’s burden’. This view is totalitarian and limiting on freedom, but hey, who isn’t for that if it can placate raging bee’s or heath’s white guilt.

  188. 188
    mrbongo

    I’m glad I don’t live in a Islamic dominated world.

    Long Live Free Speech and freedom of expression, however crap it maybe.

    And fuck Raging Bee with her patronizing white man’s burden totalitarian views.

  189. 189
    mrbongo

    Eric said “This was a publically released film. Are you now holding filmmakers to blame for the actions of legally insane or drugged up people who see a film and then go out and commit violence? You know that the Matrix has been blamed for violence. So has Twilight.”

    Eric, you just don’t get it. This films didn’t involve muslim violence and muslims are brown people (in Raging Bee’s limited view) and thus we must patronizingly protect them from the true evil in the world – the fundy white xtians whose candidate is now polling behind barak obama.

    With these far far leftists, this incidence is all racialized and you have to see it from the this perspective to get why they want to limit free speech when it involves islam.

  190. 190
    dingojack

    Yep – we can always trust in mrbongo to bring teh burning stoopid.
    Dingo

  191. 191
    mrbongo

    Would Raging Bee, Heath, Chiroptera also seek to ban Piss Christ?

    Nope.

    Why?

    Because they’re just only anti-christian and patronizingly racist of Muslims who they believe need special restrictions on free speech so as to not have their feelings hurt.

  192. 192
    mrbongo

    Engage me Dingo, why do you feel that Muslims need special protections on their feelings? Are you patronizlingly racist because you feel they are less able to control their behavior?

  193. 193
    dingojack

    When you’ve got some substantive argument come back and post, mr bongo.
    Dingo

  194. 194
    dingojack

    *yawn*
    Dingo

  195. 195
    Raging Bee

    Would Raging Bee, Heath, Chiroptera also seek to ban Piss Christ? Nope. Why?

    And you’re basing your charge of religious bigotry on that? Fuck off to bed, boy, this is a grownup conversation. Come back when you’ve learned how to use analogies.

  196. 196
    mrbongo

    The real hero to this story is
    Google. They refused to give into the left’s demands to shut down the film on YouTube. I don’t know what made Dingo, Chiroptera, Raging Bee, Heath, et al more upset 1. that a big corporation wouldn’t make exceptions to free speech or 2) that Muslim sensibilities weren’t protected from criticism.

    Here is something to assuage your left totalitarian views –

    an Egyptian atheist was arrested for insulting Islam in Egypt. You see Dingo, Chiroptera, Raging Bee, Heath, et al – if you make offending Muslim sensibilities a crime, then open atheists are often the first to go down to the slammer. So Fuck you for advocating limits on free speech.

  197. 197
    mrbongo

    wow – raging bee is patronizing to me and to muslims (a group she feels deserve special protection from free speech others because they aren’t white).

    you see, raging bee won’t call on christians to deserve that special protection – i.e. a ban on ‘piss christ’ – but she wants laws protecting mohamed from lame mockery.

    at least her inconsistency is out in the open for all to mock. i’m just trying to explain the inconsistency – and I submit it is based on her patronizing racist view that non-white muslims need her special protection and her blind hatred of xtianity. apparently, i’m close as she just blathers instead of rebuts.

  198. 198
    dingojack

    And as I said before when you have something relevent to post come back and see us.
    Dingo
    —–
    Third strike

  199. 199
    mrbongo

    Can Dingo, Chiroptera, Raging Bee, Heath, et alat least be consistent and call for the arrest of the Andres Serrano for his piss christ sculpture? It offended fundy xtian sympathies. What is their distinction between offending fundy xtians and fundy muslims if not their hardwired patronizingly racist view of muslims as non-whites that need special protection?

  200. 200
    mrbongo

    This just in:

    Brown Egyptian Atheist arrested by Raging Bee’s Islamist allies for the crime of offending Muslim sensibilities and insulting Mohamed. Raging Bee is stoked as she feels these same restrictions should be applied in U.S.

    Dingo, Chiroptera, Heath, et al also advocate special laws for arrest/punishment of those who offend muslim sensibilities and insult Mohamed.

  201. 201
    Raging Bee

    if you make offending Muslim sensibilities a crime, then open atheists are often the first to go down to the slammer.

    Yeah, open atheists were never punished anywhere in the Muslim world before “the left” threw its support to Khomeini. Or something.

    Go play with your bongos somewhere else, moron.

  202. 202
    mrbongo

    Raging Bee – I’ll go away if you can justify why you aren’t in favor of limiting Andres_Serrano’s free speech for Piss Christ, but want to limit our free speech to criticize Islam?

  203. 203
    Raging Bee

    Okay, bongo boy, it’s a deal: read my previous comments, then go away.

  204. 204
    dingojack

    OT ALERT.
    Has anyone else been monitoring the situation in western Myanmar (Burma) where the Muslim minority have been forced to live in tent communities because of majority Buddhist violence against them?
    The situation has become critical, but as I understand it news outlets have deemed it ‘non-newsworthy’.
    Dingo

  205. 205
    mrbongo

    The one thing that I’m most curious about –>

    Why didn’t Dingo, Chiroptera, Raging Bee, Heath, et al call for limitations on free speech after Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ? Why only get hot and bothered to limit freedom of speech after Muslim sensibilities have been hurt by a crap film?

    Why the hypocrisy guys?

  206. 206
    mrbongo

    Uh oh … new papyrus refer’s to Jesus’s wife!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/us/historian-says-piece-of-papyrus-refers-to-jesus-wife.html#postcomment

    Riots are sure to break out in Mexico, Quebec, Peru, Brazil, etc. The U.S. embassy in Costa Rica will be attacked! Run!

    Oh wait, ……. wrong religion.

  207. 207
    mrbongo

    Yes Dingo, Muslims are victims in Burma, thus we should limit freedom of speech. Ok, I gots now, I does!

  208. 208
    mrbongo

    Raging Bee – I can’t seem to find your previous comments about piss christ – damn this Opera browser – given that your comments are invisible to all but yourself – could you tell me why you only call for limits on free speech when it came to this ‘film’ that offending muslims, but not for the piss christ sculpture that offended xtians?

    I’m just going to say it – you didn’t because your a hypocrite with poor critical thinking skills.

  209. 209
    Raging Bee

    I took the deal you offered, and you’re breaking it already? Go fuck yourself.

  210. 210
    mrbongo

    Here is why Dingo, Chiroptera, Raging Bee, Heath, et al views of free speech are unflappable when it came to Piss Christ, but then suddenly do a 180 when Muslim sensibilities are offended by a lame YouTube video –

    Hating xtianity is not a taboo in their group, but Muslims are perceived as having non-white victim status. Thus, their group has a taboo against offending them. They aren’t much into critical thinking ergo the reflex to call for patronizing limits on our freedoms to protect Muslims from offense existing side by side with the silence about Piss Christ.

    Unconsidered ingroup taboos – we all have them – this thread is a great example of one that dominates how Dingo, Chiroptera, Raging Bee, Heath, et al view the world.

  211. 211
    dingojack

    Raging Bee – Do not feed the (rather needy) trolls.
    Dingo

  212. 212
    mrbongo

    Raging Bee – perhaps your response was invisible to all but those who share your taboo about speech that offends Muslim sensibilties – because all I saw was a vague reference to look supra. I did a ctrl F and found zero references to piss christ until I showed up and slapped you around with your hypocrisy.

    Your just a group morality zombie – out to enforce your particular far left subgroup’s taboo against ‘islamophobia’ at any expense – even to point of limiting our freedom of speech. your lack of critical analysis is brought to light when I ask you about piss christ (a near perfect xtian analogue). the fact that you can’t see the hypocrisy of calling for a ban on muslim film while supporting the display of piss christ shows that your just operating at a low level of mindless enforcing your group’s moral taboos.

  213. 213
    mrbongo

    Dingo

    Did you ever consider the history of Burma? How a nationalistic form of buddhism can still motivates people toward chauvinism? You know, how Islam has been doing in Pakistan’s recent evisceration of its own non-mulsim minorities?

    Or are you just too straight up stoopid and know nothing about the unique role of Burmese Buddhism in Burma’s history? e.g. during its struggle for independence? Compare this with the mid-to-late tang persecution of statist buddhism in china, and how oda nobunaga and his successors eviscerated the militarized monasteries?

    Here – I’ll give your response:

    Dingo “uh no, i’m just happy cuz i found me some wherz where muslims were persecuted and dats enuff fer me!”

  214. 214
    captainahags

    Okay, mrbongo, I will grant that you have some valid points, if not expressed in the best manner, but is there any possibility that you could maybe in the future combine some of them to reduce the post frequency a bit? Comment threads get a little cluttered when the same person posts 20 times an hour.

    Now, as to Raging Bee.. . where to begin. (italics are my original post)

    No, repeatedly insulting me is not encouragement to retaliate…

    Yes, it is, whether or not you take the bait.

    No, it’s fucking not. Are you really this obtuse? While in many cases people feel the need to respond with physical violence to insults, that does not mean that the insults were encouragement. Fighting words are encouragement. Telling someone to fuck themself is not telling them to commit violence. They might get angry at you, but your words are not specifically inciting violence. The only thing causing the violence in the situation is their reaction.

    What I choose to do in response is 100% my responsibility.

    First, you taking responsibility does not mean you’re not getting encouragement from anywhere, it just means you’re in a position where you’re able to resist or ignore it. And second, not all people are able to take responsibility as we can here. The people in Egypt and Libya, for example, are currently nowhere near as empowered as we are, as I’ve repeatedly pointed out above.

    Ah, yes, those poor people, so unempowered that they can’t resist the urge to riot and murder whenever their religious figures are insulted. This is pretty racist. I don’t care how empowered the people in any country are, they’re people, not animals, and it is their responsibility to control any violent urges they may have, not mine to ensure that nothing I say or do offends them. Are they or are they not responsible for their actions? I believe kraut was asking this earlier, and nobody seemed to want to answer him.

    And, I believe youtube has the right to enforce their terms of service as they see fit.

    IF they claim that right, then they accept the corresponding responsibility for the consequences of their decisions. And if they enforce their terms inconsistently, then a) they’re hypocrites, and b) they can’t hide behind their terms to justify their bad decisions.

    Yeah, they do accept the responsibility for consequences, most frequently in deciding whether or not to take things down for copyright violations, etc. I don’t think that they include whether or not some people might be offended in their decision tree.

    Defending free speech: UR DOIN IT RONG!

    Defending free speech: UR NOT DOIN IT AT ALL

    @DingoJack: Yawn. Irrelevant.

    soo…. If I go into a crowded theatre and yell ‘fire’*, I’m in no way criminally responsible because I’m not the one who actually panicked (thinking the theatre was on fire) and trampled someone else to death my haste to get out. No punishment then?
    Dingo
    —-
    * Yep this old chestnut

    It’s a misquoted and shitty chestnut. The original ruling included the word “falsely,” and was one of the worst decisions in US Supreme Court history, allowing the government to imprison a man for distributing anti-draft literature. It established the “clear and present danger” standard for the limits on free speech. The standard has since been changed in Brandenburg v. Ohio to “imminent lawless action.” Outdated and irrelevant. Next.

  215. 215
    mrbongo

    If you put ganesha, jesus, buddha et al in a jar and pee in it — Dingo, Chiroptera, Raging Bee, Heath, et al go “hey that’s art!”.

    If you make the film equivalent about mohamed — Dingo, Chiroptera, Raging Bee, Heath, et al go “It offends Muslims, its going too far, ban this type of speech!”

  216. 216
    Steve Morrison

    @85:

    I don’t think you understand the meanings of the words. “Censorship” refers to preventing something from being published to begin with; what people here have been talking about is how should people be held responsible for what they have published.

    Actually, that is a definition of “prior restraint”, not “censorship”.

  217. 217
    Chiroptera

    eric, #186: TThere’s no complaint about other people extolling the filmmakers, its an argument that content like this should be illegal.

    When I said, “when I first got involved in this discussion” I was referring to the ongoing discussion that has been occurring over the last several days over many threads on several different blogs. I see that my comment here was pretty unclear, and I apologize for that.

    I admit by the time this thread started, I got invovled into the subtopic of whether and how to extend the legal definition of incitement, but I always considered that to be a side issue of the important point. I see that someone who has been reading all the different blog posts that I have, and especially if someone hasn’t kept track of exactly who said what and where on the hundreds of comments that have been posted, would easily not understand what the hell I was talking about there.

    The fault for the confusion is mine. Sorry about that.

    -

    Nowhere in the first 12 posts does anyone ‘extol’ the fimmlakers.

    Again, I was thinking of what was being said on other threads on other blogs; I apologize for that.

    But there have been comments left on blog posts about the filmmakers who complained that we were focusing solely and mainly on the rioters. I was probably bringing that attitude here. This may have been another fault on my part.

    -

    Posts 1 and 3 take the position that they are disgusting bigots who nevertheless have free speech rights – which is exactly the position you now claim to support.

    I probably forgot those particular posts in the heat of the ensuing discussion. I was referring to the commenters afterwards who couldn’t explcitly distracted calling their opponents “appeasers” or “wanting to excuse rioters” or “wanting to ban speech just because it’s offensive.”

    On the other hand, I know I rarely responded directly to these charges of “appeasement” because I felt it was too silly a charge to take seriously; maybe they felt the same way about my concerns that they were ignoring the danger the filmmakers pose to civil soceity. At any rate, I was constantly frustrated at their lack of ability to read what I was writing; maybe they can lay the same charges against me.

    -

    Now, if your thinking has evolved since yesterday, that’s great!

    My views on the legal issues have been evolving. At first I was pretty much against weakening free speech protections. Then I became much more favorably inclined toward including this film within a broadened definition of legally prohibited incitement. Now I am pretty much on the fence and, depending on who is saying what, will probably find myself vacillating as weakly supporting one side then the other.

    -

    attacking people who ‘extol’ these filmmakers is just to attack a straw man

    Maybe “extol” is too strong a word. Maybe it would be more accurate to say that I was disappointed in what I saw as people who find riots occurring half-way around the world to be much more of a serious concern than bigots using evil methods to try to advance a horrible cause. But, as you seem to say, maybe I failed to properly understand what people are saying.

    -

    IMO, you’ve made no good argument for why such content should count as incitement.

    And, in my opinion, no one has made a good argument why it should not.

    One commenter has stated that she sees a big difference between explicitly telling people to engage in violent acts and simply saying something fully intending that people will be provoked into violent acts.

    Me, I don’t really see much of a difference at all. On the other hand, I see a big difference between fully intending to create violence and merely knowing that violence might be a likely result. I expect the previous commenter doesn’t see the difference that I do.

    -

    Of course it is one thing to say that there is no moral difference between these film makers (assuming the allegations of intent are true) and people who explicitly incite violence — and to me, there is no moral difference at all. It is another to thing altogether to try for law enforcement officers to determine whether someone legally intended to take advantage of a violent confrontation as opposed to engaging in, say, satire simply knowing that someone would probably react.

  218. 218
    Chiroptera

    Steve Morrison, #217: Actually, that is a definition of “prior restraint”, not “censorship”.

    I thought they were the same thing. Sorry if I was confused.

    However, the commenter to whom I was responding did mention “self-censorship,” since that doesn’t seem to apply in this situation, I think it’s still understandable that I didn’t quite get at what the commenter was trying to say.

  219. 219
    dingojack

    captainahags – so you’re saying that shouting ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre (I would assume ‘falsely’ is a given, but OK if you insist) makes you completely free of any kind moral responsibility. Good to see your moral compass (such as it is) so brazenly exposed.
    Dingo

  220. 220
    captainahags

    @ DingoJack

    Please, quote where I said that, moron.

  221. 221
    captainahags

    But, since you lack reading comprehension skills, I’ll clarify. Yes, it is wrong to shout fire in a crowded theater. Now, that has no relevance as to what occurred in this case, and the original court case was built on the same thing you’re building your argument on: a false equivalence. Finally, as I said before, the standard by which these cases are judged is no longer the same- it is not sufficient to say that your words create a danger (leaving the first amendment vulnerable to the heckler’s veto) but that they must incite “imminent lawless action,” which is clearly not the case here.

  222. 222
    captainahags

    Chiroptera’s post reminded me that I haven’t really said what I think about this other than to respond to others, so here goes.

    Murder is wrong. Rioting and property destruction and all the other stuff that goes along with it is wrong. The people who engaged in this behaviour were absolutely wrong, and I would fully support their being brought to justice.

    The people who made the film are hateful bigots. It is rank garbage, and I can see why people would find it offensive.

    The fact that their film is offensive does not give anyone the right to riot, or give legitimacy to the claim that the riots were “caused” by the film. The riots were caused by the people who fanned up fury over the movie, and by the people rioting. To claim that the people in these groups couldn’t help themselves, or anything along those lines, is to pretend that they are not rational agents, and serves to both trivialize their humanity and shift culpability away from them.

    Should the people that made the movie have done so? I don’t think so- I think it was being hateful for the sake of being hateful, and maybe it was in fact intended to anger Muslims. But it is protected speech.

    Finally, an analogy: Fred Phelps engages in incredibly offensive and hateful speech, often directed at people who are very vulnerable, such as those who have lost loved ones. This does not excuse the actions of anyone who would seek to commit violence against him, nor does it make him responsible if the angered parties go out and start rioting or anything like that. His little gang showed up at the Reason Rally, and we pursued several options, ranging from counter protesting to engaging in discussion with them to ignoring them. No violence required or tolerated.

  223. 223
    eric

    Raging Bee:

    eric: your arguments fail because you keep on avoiding the relevant facts of this case by hiding behind one bad analogy after another. You’re being dishonest and evasive, and I see no reason to keep on repeating relevant points that you’ve already ignored more than once.

    That’s a non-argument. The facts are, these folks watched a movie, then went out and killed the ambassador of the country in which some private citizen made the movie, and you are saying the moviemaker is in part culpable for those acts. Despite the fact that the attack was on a bystander having nothing to do with the movie. Despite the fact that it appears to be planned and staged and not a crime of passion. And despite the fact that when I simply change the actors but use the same basic event, you claim the example isn’t relevant, and have yet to explain why.

    If U.S. Jews watch a movie that grossly disparages them made by Syrians, and then go and kill the Syrian Ambassador to the US by launching an RPG through his window, are the Syrian filmmakers at fault?

    [eric] How can you possibly argue that you know they were in an “extroadinary situation” when you don’t even know who they were?

    [Bee] I’m talking about the general population, dumbass. As in, the whole society is in turmoil,

    Since I can’t believe you actually mean that, I’m going to ask you to repeat it. You think that the entire Libyan population is not responsible for the violence they perpetrate in response to offensive movies and speech? Is that what you are saying?

    Chiroptera @218:

    [eric] IMO, you’ve made no good argument for why such content should count as incitement.

    [Chir] And, in my opinion, no one has made a good argument why it should not.

    Here’s the good argument why it should not: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Now, I’m not an extremist. I’m fine with time/place/manner restrictions, imminent lawlesness restrictions, and so on. But “make no law” certainly means that anyone wishing to limit or criminalize speech has the burden of proof to show why its necessary. It does not mean the free speech proponents need to say why it should be allowed. So the reason is: under our Constitution, all speech is allowed unless you can give a really good reason why it can’t be allowed.

    Incidentally, all of the earlier part of your post is fine by me. I was not aware of where you were coming from. Now I understand you were not necessarily objecting to ‘extollers’ on Ed’s blog.

  224. 224
    mrbongo

    @220

    Wow, dingo just went and made up his own reality in that post.

  225. 225
    mrbongo

    Dingo, Chiroptera, Raging Bee, Heath, et al are just philo-islamic due to the alignment of their own reflexive hatred of xtianity with that of fundy islam.

    “wow if you hate the West and I hate the West then you must be on my side!”

  226. 226
    mrbongo

    eric queries “If U.S. Jews watch a movie that grossly disparages them made by Syrians, and then go and kill the Syrian Ambassador to the US by launching an RPG through his window, are the Syrian filmmakers at fault?”

    Let me answer for Dingo, Raging Bee and Chiroptera – “Yes, because Jews are ‘white’(enough) and their victim status on the left is wearing off”

    You see when you think through shallow social taboos your responses are ready made!

  227. 227
    Nick Gotts

    ?Why? I don’t advocate genocide – StevoR

    You’re a liar. “Nuke’em” were the exact words, where “‘em” referred to Muslims.

  228. 228
    Nick Gotts

    StevoR

    So , how “smart” does that make the people who’ve fallen for their trap and done exactly what those trailer-makers wanted?

    So far as the Islamist leaders are concerned? Not stupid at all, because they want exactly what the filmmakers want – an increase in Islamist violence: that’s why I have said more than once that the Islamists and the Christofascists are in effective alliance. So far as the followers are concerned, they are almost as stupid as you.

    No-one at all has expressed the slightest sympathy for the Islamist shitbags who stirred up the riots, or for Islam.

    Really? Ya coulda fooled me then. Seems to be exactly what you are doing here.

    Point to one single expression of sympathy from me for them, you lying genocidal scumbag.

    You going to unequivocally denounce the Islamists conduct and call their hateful religion what is its then, KG, er.. Nick Gotts?

    Going to hold the Islamists accountable for their own actions and the murders and terrorism they committ are you?

    I unequivocally denounce the Islamists’ conduct, the murders and terrorism they commit, for which I hold them accountable, and their hateful religion, you lying genocidal scumbag.

    Or are you going to continue to whine that “Oh we’ shouldn’t provoooooke dem poor widdle Muzzies? Dose sweet, nice innocwent liddle teowwists?” (Paraphrased slightly for emphasis but basically what ya seem to be sayin’)

    Another lie from a lying genocidal scumbag.

  229. 229
    Chiroptera

    eric, #224: So the reason is: under our Constitution, all speech is allowed unless you can give a really good reason why it can’t be allowed.

    The reason why it shouldn’t be allowed (sorry for the quibble in words) is already given when it has been explained why explicity exhorting people to violence (which is how incitement is currently defined) shouldn’t be allowed. In both of them, people are deliberately attempting to convince a group of people to commit violence. In both cases, people are deliberately creating a situation in which life and safety are in danger. As I said before, these two situations are so similar that I have trouble distinguishing the essential difference.

    That the courts in the US have ruled that the essential characteristic is an explicit exhortation for people to commit violence (is that an over-simplification?) seems to me like an artificial distinction.

    On the other hand, I can also see the distinction as not so artificial in terms of practical application of law. As the laws in the US are written, it is relatively straightforward to determine whether incitement has occurred. One simply has to read the transcript of the speech and look for the words, “Let’s go kill them right now!”

    In the case of this particular video, however, we are looking at intent for violence to occur. That may be, in practice, a tricky thing to prove, and there is, admittedly, a fine line between intent for violence and mere expectation that violence will occur. I can see how that might make people nervous.

    So, in my opinion, the prohibiting deliberate provocations like the making of this video (provided, of course, there was a deliberate attempt at provocation) doesn’t strike at the foundation of free speech, nor is it any new ground in terms of weighing the competing rights in society. It comes down to a matter of whether such a law can be applied fairly and without abuse.

    -

    Incidentally, all of the earlier part of your post is fine by me. I was not aware of where you were coming from. Now I understand you were not necessarily objecting to ‘extollers’ on Ed’s blog.

    Yeah, I think that the confusion is a sign I need to take another few days off of blog commenting. I’ve thought about it, and what I said still isn’t the whole truth — as I remember back to the earlier comments, I realize that I had even more complicated thoughts going on. But no need to further muddy the waters.

    Now I understand why defendants in a trial often need to be exhaustively coached by their attorneys before they testify in their own defense — and why even an innocent person may be advised not to.

  230. 230
    democommie

    “Also, democommie, I find it amusing that you call StevoR a hypocrite for daring to live in Canada and enter an argument about US protections on free speech- and then propose limits on free speech.”

    Please provide my quote re: my calling Steve R a hypocrite. IIRC, it was Kraut I was talking to. He is a hypocrite.

  231. 231
    tacotaco

    So are posters like Chiroptera also in support of throwing Salman Rushdie in prison, or would this proposed law only apply to Christians?

  232. 232
    Nick Gotts

    tacotaco,

    What a dishonest little shit you are. There is not a scintilla of evidence that Rushdie deliberately provoked violence, let alone violence against third parties. In the case of the makers of The Innocence of Muslims, however, there is considerable evidence that the latter is exactly what they did.

    Incidentally, comparing rape victims to the Christofascist scumbags who made The Innocence of Muslims, as you did, is pretty vile in itself.

  233. 233
    captainahags

    @231 Sorry democommie, my reference was to kraut not SteveoR. However, the argument still stands- just because he lives in Canada doesn’t make his talking about US free speech protections hypocrisy. It’s idiotic ad hominem.

    @Chiroptera

    it has been explained why explicity exhorting people to violence (which is how incitement is currently defined) shouldn’t be allowed.

    And it is not allowed. There are already laws against incitement, which do not apply here because the makers of the video did not “explicitly [exhort] people to violence.”

  234. 234
    lofgren

    In the case of this particular video, however, we are looking at intent for violence to occur. That may be, in practice, a tricky thing to prove, and there is, admittedly, a fine line between intent for violence and mere expectation that violence will occur. I can see how that might make people nervous.

    I don’t really think it’s relevant whether or not he wanted a violent reaction to his video or not. His video lacks the ability to incite violence in the way that we want to prevent. The people who committed violence did not come as a prepackaged angry mob for him to stir up, nor did he create the mob. He did not compel Muslims to watch the film or place it in such a way that it was unavoidable.

    Here’s my question:

    I love my wife.
    She is the most dear person in the world to me.
    (She is also still alive, and not a mythical figure from 15 centuries ago.)
    If somebody made a video defaming her,
    made accusations that I know to be false,
    and posted his comments publicly for all the world to see,
    and did so out of a deliberate attempt to make me upset,
    so that I became enraged at this horrible mistreatment of her,
    and I went out and got an RPG and blew up the Libyan embassy,
    (to whom the poster had no connection)
    would the person who posted the video be an accessory to murder?

    I really just don’t see it.

  235. 235
    neilt

    #85 Chiroptera: Thanks for the mostly reasonable (if dead wrong) response. I’m sorry you take so much pretend offense at the word “nincompoop”. That was mostly directed at Raging Bee, who has continued on with pages worth of nincompoopery. I should have been clearer.

    I asked what should be done about the filmmakers. You said, “at least people should be recognizing that this is bigotry”. Your wish is granted….that seems to be the major focus of this whole thread for at least three of you. I would hope you would have more sympathy for the murdered than the murderers, but, hey, whatever.

    You say I don’t seem to know what censorship is….I do, but it’s clear you don’t. You seem to think that if someone says something that makes another person angry, and the angered person goes on a killing spree , then one of our duties is to decide how to hold the first speaker “responsible” in some way for the actions of the murderer.
    You seem to think the U.S. constitution is a hindrance in this social goal.(I could be misinterpreting that, but it’s hard to see what else you mean) You seem to think some kind of “justice” is needed, but refuse to get specific….but if one person’s freedom to speak should result in ANY kind of official action because of the actions of others, that is in fact censorship whether you are honest enough to own it or not. In what way could he be “held responsible” without the intended goal being the silencing of further speech, because of the unreasonable and violent actions of others?

    You then go on to claim that the filmmakers are “violent bigoted thugs” who are somehow, in your silly world, a “threat to our liberties” (by using them???), that if they thought violence was likely, they are “no better than terrorists”, (the ones who actually perpetrate the violence), and that they are somehow a “threat to our security and freedom”.

    Admittedly, you seem to have a much more rational outlook than Raging Bee, but I still don’t see what you actually want DONE about anything, or why anyone should care at all about the “violent thugs” who posted a video. “Bobby was teasing me”, no matter how true, is no excuse for little Lizzie to pick up the axe and go chopping. I think the attitude that Muslims just can’t help but react violently, therefore we must control ourselves for the sake of their inevitable victims, is the most ugly and dehumanising thing I’ve heard in a long time, and will ONLY serve to encourage more violence and erode freedom of speech. The Muslims using violence to get their way are no more stupid than the makers of the video….yet you think that the filmmakers should share the blame of the much, much worse crime. Ridiculous.

  236. 236
    tomh

    Chiroptera wrote:

    That the courts in the US have ruled that the essential characteristic is an explicit exhortation for people to commit violence (is that an over-simplification?)

    A little bit. The essential element is the “imminent lawless action” test. The time element is key. An abstract call for violence is protected speech. In fact, that is what Brandenburg v. Ohio , where the test was first articulated, was all about. Brandenburg, a KKK member, called for violence and revenge against n______s, Jews, and pretty much everyone who wasn’t white. He was convicted in Ohio of advocating violence, but it was reversed by the Supreme Court in 1969, and the “imminent lawless action” test, which introduced the time element, has been the standard ever since.

  237. 237
    Homo Straminus

    Hey guys! What’s going on in this thr—

    .
    .
    .

    Oh lawd.

    My eyes! My eyessss!

  238. 238
    Chiroptera

    lofgren, #235: I really just don’t see it.

    Differences of opinion are common enough and to be expected. That’s part of what makes blogs and comment sections so interesting.

    What is interesting to me is how so many people “just don’t see” how the other people are coming to their conclusions.

  239. 239
    tacotaco

    Incidentally, comparing rape victims to the Christofascist scumbags who made The Innocence of Muslims, as you did, is pretty vile in itself.

    I guess we’re each entitled to our own opinion… Unlike you, however, I won’t advocate putting anyone in prison for expressing their’s.

  240. 240
    Chiroptera

    tomh, #237: In fact, that is what Brandenburg v. Ohio , where the test was first articulated, was all about.

    Thanks, tom. I haven’t yet looked up Brandenburg. I’ve just been taking peoples’ word for it that the Constitutional issue has pretty much been decided. I still plan on looking into it, but this answers a couple of questions that I had.

  241. 241
    Chiroptera

    I bet with a few more comments we could get this post to the #1 spot on the “Most Active” list in the side bar.

  242. 242
    tacotaco

    Chiroptera, your demand that we “hold the makers of the film accountable for being the vile hatefilled bigots that they are” only serves to legitimize these Muslims’ view that mocking their prophet is an offense that demands accountability.

  243. 243
    dingojack

    lofgren (#235) – if such an outcome was ‘reasonably foreseeable’, yes*.
    As in – not taking action to prevent a ‘reasonable foreseeable’ accident that causes injury or death makes the person whose inaction contributed the injury or death legally liable.
    Or someone who carelessly or recklessly gives someone else a method to cause ‘reasonable foreseeable’ injury or death is legally liable.
    Dingo
    —–
    * In your case it isn’t

  244. 244
    lofgren

    lofgren (#235) – if such an outcome was ‘reasonably foreseeable’, yes*.
    * In your case it isn’t

    OK, let’s say that I have just been fired from work, putting me into a “state of turmoil,” as Raging Bee put it. Is that enough for me to be able to partially blame others for my carefully organized, planned, and targeted fit of rage?

    As in – not taking action to prevent a ‘reasonable foreseeable’ accident that causes injury or death makes the person whose inaction contributed the injury or death legally liable.

    OK, so I am now in a state of turmoil and somebody who I hold dear as been grievously insulted on the internet. At this point, would you say that an accident is “reasonably foreseeable?”

    I am curious about this wording, as well. Is this a specific accident or just some possible accident?

    What I am trying to figure out is how you believe this translates to the example given or the situation at hand, and why anybody would believe this was anything but a heckler’s veto.

    The logic that has been used over and over again in this thread is thus:

    1. Muslims want people to stop criticizing Mohammed.
    2. In the past, Muslims have committed violence in order to silence people who criticized Mohammed.
    3. THEREFORE, we should not criticize – nor even portray in any way – Mohammed, because violence as a result of that criticism is now “reasonably foreseeable.”

    Because Bacile, or whatever his name is, knew that some primitive, angry fucks were going to be angry about his film, he should therefore be held responsible for his actions… Oh, but not those other people who created artwork that primitive, angry fucks were angry about, because, um, because, uh, because we’re going to arbitrarily declare the the Danish cartoon thing was the cutoff line. Before that line, pissing off angry primitive fuckers was laudable, for freedom and shit, but after that line the reaction of primitive angry fuckers determines entirely what can and cannot be said. Salman Rushdie is cool because he published his book a long time ago. If he published it today, then obviously he should be charged as an accessory to his own attempted murder, because he should have known that he was poking the beast, and poking the beast is illegal. Because that makes boatloads of sense.

    And I really don’t give a shit that the film was intended to provoke. So the fuck what? Piss Christ was intended to provoke. Howard Stern intends to provoke. Barack Obama has said a thing or two that was intended to provoke. Provocation is a perfectly legitimate – some might even argue necessary – rhetorical tool. But shocking somebody’s sensibilities is not magical mind control juju that turns them into raving murderous monsters.

    You guys do realize that these were organized, planned protests, right? This was not the result of a few thousand Muslims around the world coincidentally tuning into YouTube at the exact same moment, and then raging into the streets. Times and places were chosen. Twitter hashtags were created. Then somebody said, “Hey, Abdul, bring the RPG so we can blow a hole in the consulate!”

    Well guess what? The very concept of Free Speech implies that some people will find it acceptable to say things that you do not find acceptable. If that shit were standardized across the human race, we wouldn’t need free speech because nobody would say the crap you think should not be said. The very concept of Free Speech implies that some people will react violently to speech in order to silence it. Again, if the only result of speech was more yelling and screaming, then we wouldn’t need speech to be protected because everybody would automatically have it. Terroristic violence like that practiced in Libya as an attempt to silence people through fear is exactly why we need Freedom of Speech. Instead of protecting something that I would consider basically the seed of Democracy, some in this thread would have our own government make common cause with Muslim fundamentalists and terrorists in order to silence somebody who never did anything but express his opinions on the internet.

    And why? Because Bacile is an unlikeable bigot?

    That’s all it takes for you to cave to the demands of terrorists? That their target is a jerk?

    You know who I feel sorry for in all this? The protesters around the world who didn’t kill anybody. They went out to the streets to express themselves in a perfect sensible, socially responsible manner. In some cases, their leaders met with US representatives. They expressed their outrage and requested that the video be banned and the creators punished. The US representatives explained that the US doesn’t do that.

    Turns out, they should have just shot the US representatives in the face. Then, since their region is in “a state of turmoil,” they could have everything they wanted but could never get by asking nicely.

  245. 245
    Shawn Smith

    lofgren said,

    Twitter hashtags were created. Then somebody said, “Hey, Abdul, bring the RPG so we can blow a hole in the consulate!”

    So, I guess you reject the idea that the killing of Ambassador Stevens was payback for the assassination of al Qaeda #2 Abu Yahya al Libii in early June? How many other protesters brought machine guns and RPGs? Why did the attack wait until the protest in Benghazi had mostly moved on? I’m going to need some evidence to convince me that it was mainly protestors and not something that was already planned for the 9/11 anniversary.

  246. 246
    lofgren

    Hey are you guys familiar with the “cracker incident?”

    A quick summary:

    Famous atheist activist PZ Myers announced on his blog that he would desecrate a religious symbol – a blessed eucharist in this case – held sacred by millions of people worldwide.

    The purpose of this demonstration was entirely and explicitly to offend. It had no artistic merit. It was not educational. It served no function other than to show that the cherished symbol of this popular, ancient religion held no power.*

    PZ Myers knew that there was a chance there would be violent reactions to his performance. He received many death threats from Catholics, which he responsibly forwarded to the police. Of course there may be violent reactions to such a provocation – but American Catholics were attempting to use the force of law to punish a student for insulting their holy symbol, so PZ felt it imperative to stand with a fellow traveler.

    But of course threats from a few whiny American Catholics – whose region is not in sufficient turmoil for their actions to also taint any who dare criticize them – these were not enough for PZ Myers… so he desecrated a few pages of the Koran as well.

    Now, as any regular reader of this blog should know, desecrating the Koran** is something that has and could very reasonably foreseeably trigger a violent reaction from Muslims. I don’t feel the need to say much more about that. I think most Americans became pretty fluent in what offends Muslims sometime around eleven years ago.

    And Myers didn’t merely post a trailer for his fictional homemade movie to a website that millions of people also use to contribute their uncensored personal opinions to the web of noise that is social media. No, he literally performed these heinous, offensive acts, and he wrote about it as a professional blogger (well he gets paid a little) for a website now owned by National Geographic (major media company, Darwinists). The entire story, including photographs of a defiled Koran in the garbage can, is still available. It’s even been rebranded.

    Now as near as I can tell, the story of PZ Myers meets all of the same criteria as The Innocence of Muslims.

    Myers:
    • Malice aforethought.
    • Deliberately provocative.
    • Widely available.
    • Sacrilegious.

    His targets:
    • In turmoil.
    • Easily provoked.
    • Angry.
    • OK, fewer of them had Twitter accounts then. But otherwise the targets of the offense were pretty much identical in 2008 and 2012.

    There are some differences. Myers already had some status, at least on the web, as a blasphemer. Myers had the backing of an American corporation. Myers was not motivated primarily by bigotry or fear.*** Myers did not frame his performance as an accusation (although that’s what it was – it was just more artfully crafted). Myers did not blame the jooz for his speech.

    I think any kind of legal retaliation against Innocence of Muslims isn’t just a slippery slope towards also punishing Myers. I think you’re already there. If Myers knew that he could be held legally responsible for murders committed in response to his work – well, he probably still would have done it, because that’s the kind of guy he is. But a lot of others with a similar point to make might have been silenced.

    I mean, the category basically includes anybody who has every participated in Everybody Draw Mohammed Day. Offensive. Check. Deliberate. Check. Sacrilegious. Check. Turmoil. Check.

    So what am I missing? What makes Innocence of Muslims so special? Why is it different from a thousand other excuses that we as Americans have given to Middle Easterners and North Africans to riot over? That is what I am just not seeing.

    *The actual execution was both educational and effectively done. I was a doubter in the lead-up. I thought Myers was going to end up looking like a jerk and a buffoon performing such a pointlessly offensive act. That was how the event was portrayed in the lead-up, but when he actually did the deed he actually used it to very effectively call attention to the Catholic’s church history of persecution of those who dare to defy it. I recommend you read it if you haven’t.

    **Down in the comments there is some bickering over whether or not the Koran is sufficiently holy for Muslims to care about it, for all of the usual highly technical religious reasons. Something about the Baptist Council of 1912. In any event I doubt Myers knew that, so it has no bearing on his intent.

    ***I mean the guy was a Coptic Christian in Egypt. Is it any surprise he might have a distrust for Muslims? I don’t agree with what he was saying or the way he said it, but I understand why he did it. If he had presented the movie as a catharsis for the torment in his soul due to the persecution of his people in the homeland, well, it would still be worse than your Aunt Petunia’s one-woman show down at the community center, but I doubt quite so many otherwise sane people, and possibly even Raging Bee, would so gleefully toss him under the bus.

  247. 247
    lofgren

    So, I guess you reject the idea that the killing of Ambassador Stevens was payback for the assassination of al Qaeda #2 Abu Yahya al Libii in early June? How many other protesters brought machine guns and RPGs? Why did the attack wait until the protest in Benghazi had mostly moved on? I’m going to need some evidence to convince me that it was mainly protestors and not something that was already planned for the 9/11 anniversary.

    I’m talking about the organization of the peaceful demonstrations that were held in many other countries. Some of them were organized by Twitter. That’s all I’m claiming. The quote at the end is describing events the way we have been discussing them here, which morphed into a hypothetical about a day ago if I recall.

    My current understanding of events is that the attack appears to have been planned. Although I just saw a headline on Google News that some dude says they were not planned, so I’ll go check that out later.

    If the attack was planned, it’s possible that the Innocence of Muslims was just a scapegoat, its release coinciding with the intended attack date closely enough that it could be used to stir up Muslim resentment and use the resulting demonstration as a distraction.

    Or it was just an opportunity that the attackers couldn’t pass up, so they went and rushed things a little. Either sounds plausible to me.

    Yet another reason it would be totally wrong to hold Innocence of Muslims creators legally responsible.

  248. 248
    kraut

    What I find astonishing in the raging butterflies comments is the obvious lack of logic. Let us assume that bee considers herself a feminist. According to her argument, that any insult repeated justifies a violent reaction….I guess you can see where that leads?…so a husband pestered and insulted by his wife has the right to at least beat her, but in an extreme case he can kill her and that according to the raging beetle is completely justified, because insults can only be avenged with blood.
    Is she stupid or just uncommonly moronic?

  249. 249
    lofgren

    Well she’s a dude.

  250. 250
    eric

    Chiroptera @:

    That the courts in the US have ruled that the essential characteristic is an explicit exhortation for people to commit violence (is that an over-simplification?) seems to me like an artificial distinction.

    It seems like a necessary one to me. Otherwise, I could go to jail for telling you “Arglebargle! Blah de blah, Meow!”I could go to jail for telling you “nice to see you!” if my intent was to cause you to go kill someone and you did in fact go out and killed someone in response. Heck, I could go to jail for putting a voodoo curse on you, in which I try to incite you to do something illegal. Do you really want to go back to a system that criminalizes witchcraft?

    What you are basically saying is that speech content doesn’t matter, only the intention to incite violence. If intent is there, speech can be completely different from a direct call to commit a crime and its still incitement.

    Now, I’m fine with intent being one component of the legal assessment of criminality, but I don’t think it should be the sole component. Speech content needs to matter, too. The content of the speech has to be reasonably related to directing someone or encouraging someone to commit a crime, otherwise, its not incitement. “Moslems are evil and Mohammed was a pedophile” is not reasonably related to “Go out and kill the US Ambassador to Libya.”

  251. 251
    Chiroptera

    eric, #251:

    That is a very good point.

    I’m not sure it changes my mind — we are still talking about someone with an intent and is trying to act on it, even if the actions seem to be ineffective. If someone plants a shoebox believing it contains a bomb in a post office but it turns out to be empty, is that prosecutable (assuming the facts can be proven in court)?

    However, it isn’t a point that I can dismiss out of hand. I need to think about it some more.

    -

    The content of the speech has to be reasonably related to directing someone or encouraging someone to commit a crime, otherwise, its not incitement.

    I’m not sure I disagree with this, or whether I think your standard of “reasonably related” is too strict. Again, this is good food for thought. I need to think about it some more.

  252. 252
    eric

    Chiroptera @252:

    If someone plants a shoebox believing it contains a bomb in a post office but it turns out to be empty, is that prosecutable (assuming the facts can be proven in court)?

    IANAL but I believe US courts use the ‘reasonable person’ standard, and the reasonable person standard is quite a bit tighter than Bee’s idea of ‘people in turmoil.’ The current standard assumes a fairly good background knowledge of current events, history, science, understanding of the context in which events occurred and decent reading/listening comprehension skills. Thus, voodoo curses are not prosecutable as attempted murder because a reasonable person (in the legal sense) understands that they don’t work.

    Obviously, not every actual living, breathing, individual meets the legal ‘reasonable person’ standard, so this standard will inevitably result in “outliers” – cases where someone interprets speech in a manner that a legal ‘reasonable person’ would not. That, I think, is a general summary of what is happening here. The people rioting took this speech to be direct incitement to violence. But a U.S.-legal reasonable person would not. So the filmmakers are not culpable.

  253. 253
    kraut

    “Well she’s a dude.”

    Who can be a feminist. Although a rather confused one.

  254. 254
    kraut

    “So what am I missing? What makes Innocence of Muslims so special?”

    What makes it special to those that seem to defend censorship – and that what prosecution of free speech means in the end -
    is the fact? that the movie was not produced by some atheists, but by adherents of a different religious belief.
    I cannot find any other reason behind the convoluted and illogical arguments brought forward by some.

  255. 255
    Chiroptera

    eric, #253: IANAL

    Neither am I (clearly), but “reasonable person” sounds familiar. And I can see how a similar idea could/would apply to the situation about which we are discussing.

    Thanks for your input. I appreciate it.

  256. 256
    lofgren

    There is a certain irony to invoking the “reasonable person” standard when discussing deliberate attempts to bypass reason and appeal directly to emotion.

  257. 257
    tacotaco

    If someone plants a shoebox believing it contains a bomb in a post office but it turns out to be empty, is that prosecutable (assuming the facts can be proven in court)?

    The FBI thinks so:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Portland_car_bomb_plot

  1. 258
    What does Anthea Butler think “freedom of speech” means?

    [...] Butler think “freedom of speech” means?September 18, 2012 By JT Eberhard Leave a CommentEd Brayton and PZ are already on this, but I wanted to throw my hat into the ring as well.Muslims are rioting [...]

Leave a Reply

Switch to our mobile site