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Minister: I'll fight attempt to show anti-Islam film

The Local · 16 Sep 2012, 09:38

Published: 16 Sep 2012 09:38 GMT+02:00

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“For us, it's a question of art and freedom of expression," Manfred Rouhs, head of the small Pro Deutschland group told Der Spiegel magazine.

Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said he would use every legal means at his disposal to stop them.

“Such groups and organisations only want to provoke Germany's Muslims," he said, accusing them of recklessly pouring oil on the fire.

Pro Deutschland is known for its provocative demonstrations. Last month about 50 of its activists staged demonstrations outside three Berlin mosques, in action they said was aimed at Islamist extremists. This followed a previous demonstration in Cologne which successfully provoked extremist Salafist Muslims into violence against the police.

They brandished copies of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that sparked violent reactions across the world when they were first published in a Danish newspaper.

Indeed Der Spiegel said at least part of the reason the German embassy was targeted in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Friday was because of the Pro Deutschland demonstrations.

The magazine said several Islamist groups in the city had met and talked about the decision of the Berlin administrative court to allow them to use Mohammed cartoons.

The Sudanese groups decided in advance to demonstrate in front of the German embassy, the magazine said, prompting warnings from the German federal police on Thursday that the building could become a target during potential riots.

Story continues below…

The "Innocence of Muslims" film, which portrays the Prophet Mohammed in insulting terms, has sparked a wave of deadly anti-American protests since Tuesday during which mobs have attacked US missions, schools and businesses.

The Local/AFP/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:47 September 16, 2012 by smart2012
Very clever people.... Let's condemn all extremisms, whatever side they are. And let's work on liberte, egalite, fraternite.. Ops, someone said this already 300 years ago. But we never learn...
12:55 September 16, 2012 by The-ex-pat
The question is, if you do or say something that will result in death and or destruction (a fore gone conclusion when a "perceived" insult of Islam takes place), should that something be protected under the umbrella of freedom of speech??
16:53 September 16, 2012 by marimay
That's cute. There is no real film.
22:58 September 16, 2012 by EffectivelyME
"That's cute. There is no real film."

Very many people do not realize that. There is however, a fourteen-minute trailer. I watched part of it, and the production and acting are terrible (read: nearly un-watchable). The video (what there is of it) seems simply designed to deliver a message, bad as that might be.

It is a good case for people to discuss what is "Free Speech."
23:33 September 16, 2012 by Onlythetruth
Such groups may indeed only want to " provoke Germany's Muslims", Herr minister, but that is indeed their right. Otherwise the right of free speech would be in jeopardy every time the government claimed that expressing an unpopular idea might lead to violence. " I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it." is a sentiment moslems should acquaint themselves with if they want to settle in the West. Otherwise I invite them to move to a region in which they might feel more at home.
23:39 September 16, 2012 by nstaubach
ha ha ha....i posted to a similar blog....but here you go.....!

"Empty vessels make the most noise!"

a handful of idiots on both sides making things go bad to worse. The need is to create more jobs and make these jobless idiots busy.

To all those idiots on both sides....please do not spread anymore poison so that the world can be preserved for our next generations!
00:51 September 17, 2012 by Edin
@Onlythetruth and others alike

Surely, there must be a difference and a line drawn between a free speech and deliberate insult and hate spreading. Words are sometimes more powerful than any other weapon, and we already accept it in the science and partially in law. Words can cause psychological violence, trauma etc. Mobbing (at work), psychological child and women abuse are all recognized and denounced. Why cannot a religious hate spreading also be recognized as such???

An insult=Beleidigung is under German law a punishable deed! If I where for example to make a movie about your mother, her made up sex life etc... and used every opportunity to stick it up your nose... would you still defend my right to do it???
08:15 September 17, 2012 by ovalle3.14
To me this is not about rights but about plain common sense: if I have the right to do something, but doing it will almost for sure have direct, negative consequences on my countrymen (already one ambassador lost his life because of this), maybe it's just the clever thing to avoid doing it. Just saying.
08:49 September 17, 2012 by pigsnuck
@Onlythetruth: Publishing untruths about your mother would be slander, also punishable in countries with free speech.

The "Beleidigung" law means Germany (and most of continental Europe) doesn't really have free speech. If I say "you are an idiot" to someone on the street, it's obvious that this is my opinion rather than a statement of fact (as opposed to slandering @Onlythetruth's mother). The problem is, what is an acceptable level of taking offense? Does it offend you that my wife is out of the kitchen? If we want to live in a pluralistic society with mixed cultures and gender equality, the only way to do so peacefully is to protect true freedom of speech.
09:40 September 17, 2012 by MrNosey
There is nothing in this film which gives the government any reason to ban it. Instead of trying to block the film from being shown they should be defending the right for it to be aired and crack down on anyone trying to ban it as working against the German constitution.
11:10 September 17, 2012 by dp_darmstadt
@MrNorsey: "There is nothing in this film which gives the government any reason to ban it."

The news clearly says that the film portrays the Prophet Mohammed in insulting terms. This is more than a reason to ban the film.
12:05 September 17, 2012 by maxmuxx
As someone said bunch of idiots on both sides made the world an ugly place to live...
13:32 September 17, 2012 by gorongoza
Freedom of speach is something we should cherish in today `s world. However if someone uses his freedom of speach knowing very well that if it back-fires he himself will go into safe hiding and the rage will fall on other innocent souls with nothing to do with the issue is utterly irresponsible.

Why should the purvayer of this movie go hiding? Why can`t he stand up in the open and defends his point of view? Now that some children have lost parents because of his actions aren`t he ashamed when he earns money from his movie?

Please do not mistake me: I do not condone violence (especially killing of people) over a faith.The point is , this movie man and indeed his admirers, abuse freedom of speach for the sole reason of personal agrandisement and sheer hatred.

I think its high time for people to do some homework of calculating the consequences of their utterances before offloading them into the public domain. In my view such soul-searching step is in no way a show of cowardice but rather a responsible way of co-existing on our mother Earth.
14:17 September 17, 2012 by raandy
"I will fight to ban this anti Islamic film." What will you fight to ban next??

The controversy, violence and cowering reaction of some leaders to the film makes it that more interesting and a must see by many.

If you think the film might upset you or challenge your values don't see it.

You are enabling these people, this would be a non starter if it was about jesus or Buda.

This is a clear violation of free speech.
22:41 September 17, 2012 by Onlythetruth
How about a film ridiculing scientology which would be is very easy to do. Its members claim it is a religion (obviously to escape taxes as "churches" avoid them) so should an informative film about it be outlawed if it makes scientologists angry? How about a film accusing the Catholic Church of systematic pedophilia?

The bottom line is that islam reserves for itself the special privilege not to be insulted. Western civilization should tell them good luck with that but if you live in the west we have a long and important tradition of free speech.
15:43 September 18, 2012 by keeps71
Onlythetruth and raandy ar spot on. One of Hitchens' best about free speech nails it: youtube (dot) com/watch?v=X3Hg-Y7MugU
08:48 September 19, 2012 by pjnt
As mentioned above by many. Freedom to speak you will, jail time if you physically lash out.

Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich should be punished for trying to restrict freedom of speech and voters should avoid him at the polls for trying to 'buy' votes with this nonsense.
21:12 September 19, 2012 by bullsballs
Yet it is OK for 'artists' to place a crucifix in a jar of urine and call it art, or to spread excrement over a statue of the Christ and call that art as well, and the Christians have to accept the insult?

You wonder why there is violence? Keep pushing the limits, and see who and what happens next...

So far, the Christian riots have been peaceful, while the Muslim riots have been murderous...
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