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Videos are not the answer

Reader comment on item: Mocking Muhammad Is Not Hate Speech
in response to reader comment: Well Done Videos (vs. raw ones, I guess)

Submitted by sara (United States), Sep 28, 2012 at 19:12

Hello Sigmund,

I take issue with several of your points as follows:

You say: There would be a violent reaction even if the video really did cost 6 million dollars to make as was claimed (an interesting number, by the way) and was produced by Steven Spielberg or Spike Lee. But such a video probably would have a better chance of convincing some people that 1) Christian persecution (mostly by Muslims) is going on throughout the world. Many have not even heard of it or don't believe it.

You are contradicting yourself- how can there be both a violent reaction and a successful convincing of 'some people'. Isn't the problem that the people who would never be convinced will riot no matter what kind of film is made or its budget or director? I will just point out the (fictional rape) scenes from the American made film 'Redacted' by dePalma have been used as jihad propaganda for Jihadists and caused at least one terror attack (Arid Uka). The Muslims who do not accept that Christians are persecuted listen to their Imams, not to educational films. Who is your target audience?

2) It is wrong to persecute people because of their religious beliefs. You might might say that everybody really knows that but, if so, you are the one that is being naive.

I am being naive, how so? To think that 'everybody knows' that is truly truly naive! I think you will find that a quarter of the world population disagrees with you. What you meant to say is that everybody in your social strata and neighborhood knows that, right?

A huge problem in the world is that many people are inculcated in such totalitarian views (usually religious but sometimes purely political as in communism) that they really believe it is an important duty to attack those who believe otherwise.

In theory, yes. In practice, last I checked it is mostly Muslims going around enforcing that notion.

Perhaps there is no way of breaking through to such people, but some of the new methods such as Youtube of presenting material can reach millions of individuals simultaneously.

First of all, I would hesitate to assume that those with streaming internet access and those who go to Friday prayers to hear the world according to their Imams are dancing at the same parties. Second, any, and I mean any, depiction, drawing, reference to Mohamed is considered an insult, whether for educational or more nefarious purposes. There are requests from governments (Egypt) and Imams worldwide, including in the US, to prosecute or make blasphemy of Islam illegal.

Many of these are young people for whom there may be more hope for changing their view points. 3) Perhaps a few individuals might even end up changing their views from those of an Islamist orientation to a more Westernized religious viewpoint in which they see Islam as a religion separate from religious control. You don't know until you try.

Yes, we can dream that it might, in theory. But not as a matter of effective policy. Did I mention you are being naive?

If you do not believe that repeated display of videos could change thinking and/or behavior, do you also doubt that Dr. Pipes idea of multiple cartoons would help? Isn't that largely the same thing but with older media?

No, No they are not at all the same thing Sigmund. Perhaps you miss the point of Dr. Pipes' suggestion. He is advocating that repeatedly publishing insulting pictures would eventually reach a saturation point where Imams would have trouble getting a rise out of their followers. After all, how many days in a row can they keep up the fervor? You are speaking of an entirely different proposition, a respectful and educational film to change hearts and minds, two totally different concepts.

Of course the cartoons are cheaper. But they may not be that much cheaper. One really would not have to spend anywhere near $6 Million just to make a decent video. The cartoons are also an attempt at dialogue.

The cartoons are an attempt at dialogue?

Regarding theory, I think this whole forum is theoretical. Various people are offering thoughts and suggestions. Few, if any, are taking immediate action. Of course there is very little chance that any individual theoretical suggestion will help. Possibly a new slant on things will lead to something beneficial. Do you imagine that angry rants on this forum about Islam or Arabs accomplish a whole lot beyond making the ranter feel a little better for 30 seconds?

Once again, you are speaking in the theoretical and assuming that those who disagree with you are 'ranting'. I am not ranting, or at least I don't think I am. I am trying patiently to reason with you by presenting facts and realities so that you might understand that we all wish for the same.

So what if this forum is theoretical in the sense that we are all expressing our opinions? The theoretical I am accusing you of is not that kind. It is the worldview that in theory if one does A then B will happen. If we behave towards them as we would like to be treated, they will come around. Too many Hollywood stories reinforce that thinking.

I want utopia, peace, no more war, no hunger, sickness, prosperity and understanding and mutual respect. Who doesn't? (well most anyway). But wishing that there will be peace with dialogue is the same mistake being made right now with Iran. There are people in the world who aren't like you, don't think like you, don't share the values and goals that you have. That is a fact and it needs to be addressed by all who usurp the higher moral ground under the premise of just 'wanting peace'. The point is not do we want peace, but how best can we get to it.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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