As anti-American protests and violence continue to spread in the Middle East, many have continued to be peg the protests–aside from those in Libya–mainly as a result of outrage over the low-budget film “The Innocence of Muslims.” Google has blocked access to the film on YouTube in both Egypt and Libya, and Egypt has asked the U.S. to prosecute the filmmaker responsible; now identified by the feds as a LA-based Coptic Christian with a checkered past. An MSNBC panel even debated calling for the prosecution of Pastor Terry Jones, who was loosely involved with screening the film.
While the film was indeed offensive to many, these proclamations and debates on prosecuting Americans filmakers have drawn criticism from many who say such action would conflict with our belief in the freedom of speech. Furthermore, the assumption that this video solely caused the widespread, and appearing to many to be coordinated, anti-American protests across the Middle East has drawn criticism. Comments today by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, that these attacks were in reaction to the video not a response to U.S. policy or the eleventh anniversary of 9/11, were particularly lambasted by conservatives and media commentators.
On “Real News From The Blaze” Friday the panel discussed whether many Americans are forgetting our freedom of speech when rushing to find retribution or assign blame for these attacks: