Letter: Innocence questioned

By Richard Campbell

[Re: “Innocence of Mohammad,” October 4, 2012]

The article “Innocence of Mohammad” implies that a 15-minute YouTube movie trailer represents some kind of large-scale attack on Islam. I fail to see how a low-budget, obscure movie represents anything other than a case of bizarre expression. The article’s express reference to slavery and insidious reference regarding the Holocaust are wildly overstated and repugnant. 

The article then describes a brief history of Islam, concluding that it is a religion of “equality, peace and justice.” Perhaps the definition of “justice” articulated does not include tolerance.

It seems like the chief goal of the article is to somehow justify the thousands of intolerant people worldwide who — as a result of this alleged “blasphemy” — have rioted and killed. The article does not condemn this violence, but justifies it. 

The analysis of Islam goes much further, placing it in some kind of other-wordly position whereby it can never be the subject of criticism or attack. There are countless comical and outrageous representations of Jesus or other religious figures in the media. This doesn’t justify people rioting and killing because of an equal offence. We should have more tolerance than that and accept and promote freedom of expression.

We live in a free society with a rule of law. It is a society that I am willing to defend. I don’t support the film, but I refuse to remain silent in the face of an opinion that seeks to call that kind of expressive activity “hate speech.” The assertion that publicly slandering Islam is not free speech is patently incorrect. Please consult section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms for an accurate definition. 

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