“innocence of Muslims” inflames countries

Chelsea Ratterman

Editor in Chief

The late U.S Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens is seen dring an interview with a team of Libya Hurra TV., July 4, 2012. Photo courtesy of MCTCampus.com


A film released online over the summer has set the world afire in recent months. “The Innocence of Muslims” film, which portrays the prophet Muhammad as a womanizing child abuser, has sent countries around the world into an uproar, resulting in deaths, most notably that of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, former Navy SEAL’s Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty and Air Force veteran Sean Smith.


The global death toll as of Sept. 24 reached a total of 51.

ansfer cases are carried into a hangar during the Transfer of Remains Ceremony marking the return to the United States of the remains of the four Americans killed this week in Benghazi, Libya, at Joint Base Andrews, Friday, September 14, 2012.
Photo courtesy of MCTCampus.com

The backlash of the film reached its precipice on the 11th anniversary of the September 11th attacks when militants attacked the lightly defended U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya and protesters stormed the embassy in Cairo, Egypt.

As anti-Western protests continued in the Middle East, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been speaking with leaders of those countries to lessen the blow.

The response from these leaders has been mixed.

When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad went on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, he denounced the film but spoke for the solution to be in a human atmosphere, as “we do not like anyone losing their lives or being killed for any reason, anywhere in the world.”

Railway Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, a Pakistan government minster has personally offered a $100,000 reward for the death of the director of the film. He said that he has invited the Taliban and al-Qaida to carry out the attacks, as well as making clear he was speaking for himself, not for the Pakistani government and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf condemned the bounty offer.

The repercussions have been felt outside the political world. The Iranian culture minister has said his country would be boycotting this year’s Academy Awards. Iran won an Oscar in the foreign film category at the event in February 2012, the first for Iran, and the minister said they would not put forth an entry to the category for the 2013 ceremony.

Internet users have also reported Google blackouts in Tehran and other Iranian cities over the Sept. 21 weekend, after Abdolsamad Khoramabadi, a member of the body responsible for Internet oversight, reported they would block use to Google, who owns YouTube, where the video was posted.


By 15th Street News Posted in Features Tagged Black Outs, Chris Stevens, Glen Doherty, Google, iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad, Libya, , Sean Smith, The Innocence of Muslims, Tyrone Woods,

Kony 2012 ignites armchair activism

By: Chelsea Ratterman, Assistant Editor
Activism has always been a part of human nature. Whether righting a wrong, helping someone or raising money for a worthwhile cause, there is always something for those who want to be involved. By definition, “activism” is the intentional effort to promote, impede or direct change, and comes in many forms ranging from letters written to Congress members to rallies and marches. Then, there is the trend of “bandwagon activism” or being apart of something simply because it’s big and cool, and “armchair activism,” or being a part of a cause strictly through technological means. 
One recent example is the “Kony 2012” campaign, to make Joseph Kony, a name already infamous in many parts of the world, well-known in order to raise awareness to the cause. The surge of interest was a result of a 30 minute YouTube video released by the non-profit organization Invisible Children on the problem in Uganda. Joseph Kony began his reign of terror in Uganda in 1986, which resulted in the enslavement of over 66,000 children, who became sex slaves or soldiers in the Lords Resistance Army, and the displacement of over 2 million people. In 2005, he was indicted on charges of war crimes by the International Crimes Council, but has evaded capture. From the United States, in 2008 President Bush signed a directive to provide assistance to Uganda, in 2010 President Obama signed a bill that made it American policy to capture or kill Kony, and in 2011, Obama signed another measure that deployed 100 special forces to the area.

Legislation aims to chain cyberspace

Dennis Gosnell, Assignment Editor

Power hungry politicians start off the year with a slap in the face

At the end of last semester we published an article about legislation aimed at changing the fabric of the U.S. and the Internet. Why should the beginning of this year be any different? Legislators in the U.S. Capitol have once again shocked many of their constituents by attempting to pass outrageous and unconstitutional laws to prohibit the flow of information within the Internet. The absurd rationale within the confines of the congressional halls is astounding and perplexing. Are they working for the people or for themselves?

SOPA/PIPA it’s more than just a name

The most recent attempts to seize control of the Internet happened with the introduction of the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act of 2011) and PIPA (PROTECT IP Act of 2011) bills. These bills would essentially disallow anyone from viewing, linking to or otherwise using other website information (both foreign and domestic) as a resource in their own website because of conflicting issues of copyright legality.

These bills would affect websites like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Wikipedia and YouTube. While this is troubling, the greater problem lies with the subtle threat it poses. Schools across the country use other websites and their information as resources to help in educating students of all grade levels.

What Representative Lamar Smith had to say

“Current law protects the rights of American innovators by prohibiting the illegal sale and distribution of their products by domestic websites. But there is no equivalent protection for American companies from foreign online criminals who steal and sell American goods to consumers around the world. Congress must address the widespread problem of online theft of America’s technology and products from foreign thieves.” – Texas Rep. Lamar Smith, said in defense of SOPA.

Those who oppose the bills ratification, Is it another NDAA?

Those who oppose SOPA and PIPA ratification take issue with the vague language of the bill. It seems innocent enough, but like the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2012) people could be targeted without cause or reason and subjugated to jail time and major court hearings.

Like a hydra, the more heads you cut off a bill the more heads there will be to take their place. Even though the SOPA bill has been temporarily shelved, PIPA is still before the Senate. Like any other freedom, Internet freedom can only be maintained by being vigilant. That requires recognizing and stopping anything that seeks to infringe or restrict those freedoms.