Editor in Chief
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.
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.