The Word on the Week

Innocence of Muslims

This is the name of a 14 minute film trailer, produced in California back in June 2012. At that time its production passed almost unnoticed. It was translated into Arabic before Sept 11th and released by Google on Utube with explosive results in Muslim States.

The amateurish video opens with scenes of Egyptian security forces standing idle as Muslims pillage and burn the homes of Coptic Christians. Then it cuts to cartoonish scenes depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a child of uncertain parentage, a buffoon, a womaniser, a homosexual, a child molester and a greedy, bloodthirsty thug.

Apparently the original idea was to attract Muslims to a film thinking they were coming to a movie celebrating Islam. Then when they came in they would get this movie and see the truth about Islam as the authors saw it.

It is doubtful if the film was ever made, the trailer having achieved the discord the makers must have known what would occur.

Claiming the cause of free speech Google have refused to withdraw the video. They have however censored the video in India and Indonesia after blocking it on Wednesday in Egypt and Libya, where US embassies have been stormed by protestors. Up to the present there have been 7 deaths including the US Ambassador to Libya.

What has the Bible to say about all this?

The descendents of Abraham though Isaac’s line and the descendents of Ishmael were both promised to become great nations. But it was to be through Isaac’s line that the Redeemer would come (Genesis 17:20/21). From the start hostility was predicted between the brothers and has continued to this day between Jew and Arab. By extension the antagonism spreads to friends of Israel on the one side and friends of Arabs on the other.

There are various triggers that ignite the enmity but none are more effective than the religious one. Violence breaks out across the Muslim world and whilst the reasons for it may not be as simple as they first appear the aggression towards all things Jewish or in this case their Western allies is unmistakable.

It was this hostility that divides nations that was in view when St Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, that Jesus Christ’s death had made the way of reconciliation possible through his redeeming love (Chapter 2 verses 11/22).

The title “Innocence of Muslins” is a misnomer. None are innocent before God. But where there is an acknowledgement of guilt, reconciliation is possible when we meet together at the foot of the cross.