|An oblique comment on a comment? ... h/t reader P.|
"It is clear that the producer of the film intended to incite Muslims and to cause controversy," he told his interviewer inter alia (see here).
"The motive of the producer was malicious, and reprehensible, and his actions have been repudiated by political and religious leaders, Christian and Muslim leaders in the United States and Europe. So we oppose what he has done totally....
Most secular people and most Christians I have met and spoken to about it are embarrassed by the film and they realized its purpose was destructive and they don’t agree with it. The film doesn't bear any resemblance to what we know of the Prophet’s life and therefore any sensible person will recognize that this film was malicious...."Asked "Would you please elaborate on reason or reasons behind insulting Islamic sanctities?" he made this rather oblique reply:
"It is a complex question and there are number of factors. The reality is that the Western powers especially America have interests in the Middle East, and it’s related to the oil, and raw materials. Oil and its presence in the Middle East, is a significant factor. The creation of the state of Israel, and the power of Zionist lobby is clearly an important influence in American politics. Even today, Benjamin Netanyahu is campaigning through advertisement in America on behalf of Mitt Romney. He is clearly worried that Obama would be re-elected, and will institute measures that negatively will impact Israel. So we have a Zionist lobby, we have oil, and we have competing empires at work in the Middle East, and those must be taken into account."American Muslims should campaign to have insults to their religion outlawed in the United States, he suggested.
"The problem with the law in America, and Europe to some extent, is that it does give people freedom of speech. If people are offended by the film, they have the right to bring a complaint to the police. For example Zionists were offended by some of the things I said about Israel and they complained to the police. If I had offended people’s religious opinions, then I could have been charged in Britain with a criminal act....
If I were a US citizen, I would seek to use my freedom , vote, and my ability to campaign, to ensure that these kinds of events do not take place. I would lobby and encourage Muslim groups in America to have these kinds of actions outlawed."Incidentally, if you're wondering who Michèle Renouf mentioned in the screenshot above (which features a comment preparatory to this link made by reader Ian) is, here and here she is in action.