Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:42AM
Managing this [anger] would be very difficult in 20 days or 30 days. You cannot predict but I think this will not subside in anyway. So the crisis will grow.”
The angry protest rallies against the blasphemous and racist anti-Islam movie made in the US take momentum throughout the Muslim World from West Africa all the way to Far East. The refusal of Google’s YouTube video-sharing website and other websites hosting the inflammatory film to take it off has sparked further outrage in the Muslim World. It has also sparked speculations over whether this excuse actually falls under the ‘Freedom of Speech’ category as the West claims, or there are some behind-the-scene intentions as the Western governments have always confronted freedom of speech with an iron clad policy when it comes to questioning the Holocaust story. Press TV has talked with Nader Talebzadeh, prominent Iranian writer and journalist to shed more light on the issue at hand. He is joined by the Senior Editor of the Veterans Today Gordon Duff, from Ohio. The following is an approximate transcription of the interview. Press TV: Mr. Talebzadeh, of course you have seen all the protests taking place across the world, not just by Muslims but also non-Muslims against this act that has been called a sacrilege on Islam as a religion and on the most important figure in Islam, Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). The thing is that a lot of analyses now have been made, political observers have given their views of what is going on and they are speaking of a concerted and organized effort that is directed against Islam. How are you seeing this? Talebzadeh: Well, you know, things have come to ahead before this film. For the past decade we have been seeing films that had authors, I mean you had titles there made in the state films like ‘Fitna,’ ‘Iranian,’ ‘the third Jihad’, you know mainstream films against Islam, against Iran. But this is completely new and this, as one person was saying the other day, it seems like the last card that they are playing to provoke. And this is, in their view, a good time to provoke things to destabilize, to throw things into a crisis that cannot be curbed that easily, which is exactly what has happened. It is like live ammunition in the hands of people who are very angry. The film itself is like a very volatile ammunition and the reason that it is continuing and not being contained is because it is blasphemous, it is stupid, so ridiculous attempt, very inartistic. We cannot exactly say who is at the rule of it. But the fact that is on YouTube that it is on the Internet and governments, the Western governments, have not taken responsibility to contain it; so it is going to be further volatile, further dangerous and a big pain for the West. Press TV: The refusal by Google, as Mr. Duff, just motioned there, to take the film off YouTube [its affiliated video sharing site] and that request has been made by the White House, the Obama administration and Google is refusing to do that. Do you think this and similar instances that have been made by Duff [other guest of the show] and others show that actually the Obama administration was not aware that this is happening and was actually caught by surprise and shocked by all this anti-US sentiments? Talebzadeh: Yes, that makes sense. I think it is logical because how much is the White House aware of everything? I mean Tel Aviv has a station in Washington in the form of think tanks, AEI foundation and the Defense for Democracy. So many double passport experts, I mean Israeli-American experts in Washington right now and this whole thing could have been planned without their direct knowledge, I mean there might be leaks but I could buy that. I mean they are taken by surprise and the fact that Google and others are obstinate by taking it off, withstanding it and they have the excuse of the first amendment. But the point I would like to make is that this is a huge challenge to the Western civilization about what is free speech. I mean the broader picture is, this is not going to end, this is not going to curb, this is going to continue. Maybe that is what the perpetrators want, [which] is a large-scale conflict, if not war but continuing conflict which is what they are getting. But the moral story is this is completely new. I mean the West will have to face this freedom of expression to say anything. If you check the history of the United States, the American founding fathers, you cannot imagine people like Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin or George Washington burning bibles as freedom of expression. This was non-existent. This is pretty recent, the four or five past decades and that could be traced. And you know, this film has been prepared several months ago. They could launch it any moment they want. Why did they launch it right before September 11th? Why did they launch after General Dempsey announced that we do not want to be accomplice in attacking Iran and Obama followed that very quickly, saying ‘we do not want to draw a redline for Iran’? Why did this fury, this anger, this blaze happen immediately after the stance that Obama took? So there are a number of things that one could follow very closely, … Press TV: Mr. Talebzadeh because we are running out of time, I would just like to get all of the issues involved in this onto the table and that is, how should we…, how should the world, basically, react to all this that has happened? Some people would say that maybe this entire film should have been ignored from the first place because we are just making it bigger and bigger. Others are saying that the reaction is indeed necessary and essential because of the attack. Do you see this as an attack, basically, on a religion or an attack on any sanctities that any human can hold? And proportionately to that what kind of reaction does it warrant? Talebzadeh: You know, blasphemy towards a prophet for a Muslim is unbearable. It is sort of out of hand. I mean anyone who watches the film reacts. An intellectual reaction is in an intellectual way, somebody in the street will react in a street manner. And this is what we are witnessing. And maybe the people who made the film, whoever the true authors are, they are aware of this, but the reaction is natural. I mean in Lebanon yesterday you had Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah talking about this. There are many questions raised now that were not raised before. Actually a whole civilization goes under question. Where is your sanctity? What is sacred? And of course the question about the Holocaust, which you have created a sacred ground for that. You get fined if you question it. How come you have sanctity there and you do not have sanctity for something that pertains to two billion people? You have sanctity for something that pertains to 20 or 30 million people, why should not you have sanctity for the belief of Muslims and …. So the new questions are rising up now that they were not there before. And for the knowledge of the West this will not subside. This tide would not die off. This will increase until they make a decision to do something. So this is pretty serious actually. It is like a September 11th [incident]; the difference is that the reaction of the Muslim World is pretty heeded and I believe it is out of their hands. … This is not an emotion you can control. It is an insult that is very deep and so this is an old-new territory. The West is confronted. They could not brush this under the rug anymore. It is quite different. This is not the film Fitna, this is not the film Obsession, this is not cartoons, it is on there and not willing to take it off or to apologize or to adopt a new law. If you take that stance, you are taking a pretty obstinate, arrogant stance and the Muslim World will not take it. This is what the past eight days have shown and I think this will continue. Press TV: Mr. Talebzadeh, when you say that they are facing something new now, what do you exactly mean? And is this going to bring ahead a new movement against the anti-Islam campaign? Talebzadeh: I think that we have pretty much moved, I believe, into a new time. It is a new time territory. Maybe they were aware of this, I do not know, that what they are doing is well planned and they were aware of the reaction. But whatever they planned, the reality on the ground is that this movement is out of the control because it is in the hearts, it is in the spirits [of the Muslim Nation] and even the governments cannot control. Even if a government wants to control its people, which some of these governments do, they do feel pressure from the West but you cannot control the people. So, I think, managing this would be very difficult in 20 days or 30 days you will see that …, you cannot predict but I think this will not subside in anyway. So the crisis will grow. MY/PKH