Release of Low-Budget Film sparks violent protests among Muslim countries.


A low-budget movie, entitled Innocence Of Muslims, was released on Youtube and has angered followers of Islam for its mocking of the Prophet Mohammed;
portraying Muslims as immoral and gratuitously violent. The video was believed to be produced by a small group of extremist Christians.

Here is an article of one of the countries which violence ensued after the release of the film:

Afghan protesters during a demonstration in Kabul
Afghan protesters during a demonstration in Kabul


Violent rage over an anti-Islam film has spread to Kabul, with hundreds of people taking to the city's streets, where they burned tyres and a car, and attacked police and a US base with stones. It was the fourth day of protests in Afghanistan, but they had been largely peaceful until Monday, with the capital spared the rioting that spread across the Middle East in response to Innocence of Muslims, a film that denigrates Islam and the prophet Muhammad.

"The people are going to raise their voice to show we are not silent. With the last breath in our body we will be against those who are insulting to our religion and prophet," said Haji Samar Gul, an 80-year-old protester at the Kabul demonstration. "We shouted death to America, death to supporters of America, death to slaves of America."

A few protesters carried guns, and eyewitnesses claimed they opened fire several times, but police said they resisted responding with their own weapons even though officers were injured by rocks.

"The police did not open fire at all, we used other techniques to control the protest," said the city police chief, Ayub Salangi, who was among those hit by the protesters.
"There were protests in four places around the city; more than 2,500 people participated. The police managed to control them, although they burned one vehicle."
The groups gathered as early as 6am, with some protesters coming from villages on the city outskirts.
"I joined with them because I thought it was my duty as a Muslim to condemn those who made this film," said Waleed Khan, a 35-year-old from eastern Paktia, where insurgent violence is much higher than in the relatively secure capital.
"My relatives who are in Paktia were filled with anti-government and anti-American feeling when they heard about this film," he added.

Fire engines stood by to douse flames, including in one shop that was set on fire, but the protests appear to have ended without deaths or significant injuries, unlike previous violent protests against the burning of copies of the Qur'an by a US pastor and US troops, when several people died. Many of those killed then are believed to have been hit by police bullets, and human rights groups said the decision to hold fire, if confirmed, was unprecedented and encouraging.

"The Afghan police, who in the past have often responded to unruly crowds with gunfire, seem to have taken a much more restrained and professional approach today," said Heather Barr, Afghanistan analyst at Human Rights Watch.

"Police reportedly did not open fire on protesters and used crowd control techniques instead. If this is true, it represents an important improvement in Afghan policing and the police leadership deserve appreciation for defusing what could have been an incident with a significant body count.

Taken from: The guardian

After investigations, it was found that the man behind the film forged an identity as the culprit and was finally given his due punishment. Read below:

The man behind the anti-Islam video blamed for sparking deadly protests in the Muslim world was jailed in the US for a year for breaching the terms of his probation for a previous offense.

Mark Basseley Youssef, 55, will serve the sentence in a US federal prison after he admitted four allegations of using false identities -- a violation of the terms of his probation for a bank fraud conviction in 2010. He had faced up to two years behind bars, but four other charges were dropped as part of a plea deal.
Youssef was identified as the main man behind "Innocence of Muslims," an amateurish film depicting the Prophet Mohammed as a thuggish deviant which triggered a wave of violent protests that left dozens dead in September.The video was also linked to the September 11 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi in which US ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

In February 2009, a federal indictment accused Youssef and others of fraudulently obtaining the identities and Social Security numbers of customers at several Wells Fargo branches in California and withdrawing $860 from them.He was jailed for 21 months and ordered not to use computers or the Internet for five years without authorization, and also banned from using fictitious names during his supervised release.

Youssef was arrested in September for eight probation violations. At a hearing last month he denied all counts, but on Wednesday he admitted to four, in return for the other four being set aside. US District Judge Christina A. Snyder said Youssef, who has already spent five weeks in custody, must spend 12 months behind bars, followed by four years of supervised release.

Youssef was previously listed as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, and known as Sam Bacile when the protests about the video emerged.
Assistant US Attorney Robert Dugdale said Youssef had "betrayed" the actors involved in "Innocence of Muslims" by not telling them he was a "recently released convicted felon."

The Egyptian-born Coptic Christian also deceived them by dubbing anti-Islamic dialogue over their lines after the movie was shot. "He made that choice for other people," the prosecutor said. Such behavior was part of a "long-standing pattern of deception" by Youssef, he added.


Singapore blocks access to film:
http://sg.news.yahoo.com/singapore-asks-google-block-access-islam-film-054710633.html

Google refuses to remove film:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/09/14/white-house-asks-youtube-to-review-anti-islam-film/

Actress in Anti-Islam Film Sues YouTube on Copyright Grounds:
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/09/cindy-lee-garcia-dmca/



Questions to ponder:

1) Do you think Singapore in general, has exhibited an adequate level of tolerance or acceptance towards our growing population of foreigners?


Sources: Channel NewsAsia
The Straits Times
The Guardian