Anti American Protest: Free Speech or Inciting a Riot?

By James Turnage

One of our most important freedoms in the United States is our right to say what we think. There are few limitations to free speech. We’re not allowed to yell ‘fire’ in a movie theatre. Libel and slander can cost an individual court time and financial loss. Some communities have laws forbidding profanity. Almost anything else can be spoken in public. Television personalities can say whatever they wish, even if what they’re reporting are blatant falsehoods. Movies can be made about almost anything. They can claim to be documentaries such as ‘Obama 2016’ even if there are no facts and are in truth political advertisement.

The film behind protests in the Middle East titled “Innocence of Muslims” is protected under the first amendment. But should it be?

Inciting a riot is a crime, it is not protected by the first amendment. The four American lives lost in Libya were caused by this hate film. It was intentionally translated into Arabic, and uploaded to ‘YouTube’. Minister Terry Ford of Florida promoted this film. This is his second effort to defame the religion of Islam. You may remember he burned a stack of Qurans previously.

I am in no way condoning the murders or the rioting by Islamic extremists. Using the popular social media to insure the movie was viewed by the terrorist groups among the Arabic world is criminal. This film ignited the fire of hate and aided this extreme group in the recruiting of young men who may not have previously held such an extreme and violent view of America.

The world today is a dangerous place. It is divided by ideology, not by borders. To intentionally increase the chasm between Islamic and Judeo-Christian people places both groups in great danger. We’re not talking about countries, we’re talking about people.

Countries need each other, mostly for economic reasons. The persons who made and promoted this film are ensuring that the terrorists who murdered thousands on 9/11 remain successful. Their goal was far more than the killing of American citizens. Their goal was to engulf the world in hatred, and to keep it divided. Those in the Middle East openly display their dark feelings. Here in the U.S. extremists go about spreading hatred in more subtle ways.

The “Holy War” has never ended. The weapons have become more effective. Killing innocents, or inciting others to do so, does not make one’s religion superior. What religions demonstrate is they have become the catalyst for violent acts, and making enemies where there should be citizens in all parts of the world who practice tolerance and understanding.

If you are proud to be a Christian, or a Christian minister, than you’d better read your bible a few more times. Christ taught his followers to love, not to hate. You might remember the part when He forgave those who crucified Him. If hate is what fills your mind and soul, then you have to find a new name for your church. It cannot claim that it is based on the teachings of the Son of God.