When producers issued a casting call for the film “Desert Warriors,” it was deemed to be an “Arabian Desert adventure movie” and a “historical drama.” Alan Roberts is the name of the director who has apparently pulled an elaborate hoax, convincing cast and crew to film a movie with no idea of its religious consequences. People involved in the filming are saying that they had no idea the lead character was the prophet Muhammad and that the film would eventually be released as “Innocence of Muslims” instead of “Desert Warriors.” The crew members and actors have joined together to issue a statement in light of the outrage the movie has caused saying that they were not aware of the film’s intentions and would not have participated had it been portrayed truthfully to them in casting calls and script readings. They’ve even gone as far as to say that parts of the movie were re-recorded and overdubbed with anti-Islam messages.
The video is not the actual film, but a fourteen-minute trailer. No one knows who posted it on YouTube in the days leading up to the eleventh anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on America. It was also translated to Arabic. No one is even certain the full film exists. That didn’t stop it from getting a million views in hours and sparking violence across the Middle East and North Africa, mostly aimed at American entities. The video is not a professional production at all, appearing more like a home video or a cartoonish attempt at a serious film. It has scenes of Egyptian forces watching Muslims burn homes of Christians and then shows the Prophet Muhammad as an illegitimate child, a womanizer, being gay, and even being a child molester.
What seems to most of us as something silly or at best mildly offensive was very serious to Muslims. It’s hard for Americans to understand how Islam regards Muhammad. After all, Americans are predominantly Christian, but Jesus Christ is often depicted in comedy situations on American television with very little fanfare. Armed men stormed the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya, shooting at structures and throwing bombs. Chris Stevens, the United States ambassador to Libya, was one of four Americans killed in the attack.
That was only the beginning. More attacks continue on today in Egypt and Yemen, also on the American embassies. A marine unit has been dispatched to Libya to increase security in light of the attacks. Security is on high alert at all United States’ interests in the Middle East. Investigations indicate that the attack that killed Stevens was meant to coincide with the September 11 date.
This incident is really sad. It also shows just how extremist Muslims view America, in case you didn’t already know. The people hurt in these attacks on the embassies had nothing to do with the film, and quite likely would have spoken out against it if they heard about it. But the Muslims need someone to strike at, and the American embassies are the closest thing they could find. Put simply, they blame the film on the United States, not the people that created the film.
It would be impossible not to address the implications the timing of this has on things back in the homeland. President Obama already was taking hits on his foreign policy for refusing to meet with Israel’s Prime Minister about the prospect of attacking Iran in the near future. Now, this only spotlights the fact that the so-called “War on Terror” continues, and while Obama was championed as the perfect person to put us back in these country’s good graces, he has failed to do so. Could this have an effect on the election? Time will tell, but for now, at the very least, it takes away some of the perceived “success” of supporting the toppling of some of these countries in the so-called “Arab Spring.” Many considered the changing of power in Libya, Egypt, and other countries to be a positive thing, but the problem is that Islamic leaders now have hold, and the anti-American sentiment continues. Now, more of our soldiers will be landing in Libya, even as war rages on in Afghanistan.