The television series by Tom Holland that was censored in the UK is a serious, respectful look at the history of Islam.
The movie that has provoked riots and murder in Egypt and Libya is a ghastly bit of hackwork associated with Terry Jones, the fanatical Christian pastor from Florida. Follow that link to see a clip: it’s incredibly bad. It’s got terrible acting, inconsistent and bad fake accents, white actors in blackface (poorly applied blackface, even), beards straight out of Monty Python, sloppy greenscreen work, and it goes out of its way to portray major figures in Islam as gloating gay parodies and pedophiles. It doesn’t just criticize Islam (and when it does, it does so with painful ignorance); it criticizes ethnicities, sexual orientations, and nations wholesale. It is simply a calculated, ugly insult with no redeeming qualities at all.
It does not justify rioting or killing people. But let’s not mistake what it is: the movie is the work of a group of incompetent fundamentalist Christian assholes pissing on entire cultures.
Oops, not just Christian assholes. As noted in the article:
the film was in fact directed and produced by “an Israeli-American California real-estate developer who called it a political effort to call attention to the hypocrisies of Islam.”
It seems to have called attention to the hypocrisies and vileness of the Judeo-Christian Right.