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Hina P. Ansari Headshot

If People View Muslims As Intolerant, That's Our Fault

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My dearest fellow Muslims, please get over it and toughen your skin.

Yes I'm talking to you fellow Muslim activists and protesters. And yes I'm talking to you too, Muslim rioters and thugs.

The film, Innocence of Muslims, has recently been thrust into the spotlight clearly without any merit whatsoever, has played the willing role of firestarter to what can be seen as a tinderbox which harbours the sensitive feelings of my Muslim brothers and sisters.

I shake my head because this is exactly what the filmmaker Nakoula/Bacile (who, as recently reported, has a total of 17 different aliases) wanted.

So I am pleading with you to please stop taking the bait!

Innocence of Muslims, formerly known as Innocence of Bin Laden and once again formerly know as Desert Warrior clearly is a flimsily filmed hate propaganda packaged as a D-level film. The creator's intensity of hate is evidenced by the obvious strategic dubbing of Islamic references in his pitiful post production work, to really drive his anti-Islamic point home. The production value doesn't even amount to $100 worth, let alone the whopping $5-million tag which was initially stated by the filmmaker.

The same filmmaker, who is now discovered to be a convicted fraudster, financial scammer and a meth maker is probably laughing at all of us from his hiding place.

I saw the trailer and yes it's horrible. It's absolutely gut wrenching and 100 per cent offensive. But you don't see me running to the nearest embassy with a Molotov cocktail and tearing up a flag now do you?

Why you ask? Because a) I have more important things to do and b) I believe in not giving any weight or volume to something that is that overtly offensive. It's one thing to find offense in an obscure matter where it lends itself to an enlightening and adult discussion to explain why we are offended. But it's another thing entirely when the offensive material is so blatant and so poorly executed, that even a five-year-old will understand that it's just not worthy of any thought or discussion because it's just, well, so childish.

Sure, that's my version of turning the other cheek. When something really idiotic or offensive enters my space, I just ignore it and move on. I try to be the bigger person. Pick my battles. And honestly I just don't have the time nor the energy to dedicate to such nonsense.

So my fellow Muslims, I beg of you to get a grip. In this day and age where pretty much any one who can grab a camera, paint a wall green (the home made version of a Green Screen which was done for this vulgarity) and dole out cash for starving actors, can make a movie.

Then they upload it on YouTube and collect a few endorsements by like-minded people. If the blocks are put in the right place, it goes viral, hopefully catching the attention of key media outlets who then talk about it some more, which then gets them more press, more hits, more tweets, more forwards and they become a media sensation. Whether you or anyone else like it or not.

So here we have this Bacile character, this low rent Cecil B. DeMille wannabe (apologies to Mr. DeMille for this reference), who hopes that the aim of his film is to really show the world how crazy us Muslims are.

And cue the riots.

You, my dear Muslim brothers and sisters fell for it. Now, as I breathlessly try to explain to others that this group of rioters in the far away lands aren't like "us," I can't help but feel that the same people who had our backs in the past are now starting to view us with a little bit more skepticism. Sure I may be paranoid but you know what? At this point I have no idea what to think.

You have played right into the hands of this hate-monger and into the hands of his bigoted friends who view Muslims as "crazy," "intolerant," "violent" all in the same breath. And thanks to you we have handed them another high profile example. On a big fat shiny platter.

Bacile is probably sitting back in his armchair, twirling his evil madman mustache (assuming he has one) and roaring his evil mastermind laugh.

And he should, because his plan worked perfectly.

One last thing:

When The Book of Mormon became an award-winning Broadway musical you didn't see throngs of armed and offended Mormons flooding the Great White Way in protest, tearing up theatre programs and setting the billboards on fire. When South Park skewers their laundry list of religions including Christianity, Judaism and, yes, even Scientology, you don't see effigies of Trey Parker burning now do you?

My point exactly.

So can we all just stop being wusses now? It's time to toughen up, thicken the skin and most importantly stop taking the bait. Enough already.

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