Muslims Rage Against Offending Filmmakers

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It was a bad week for filmmakers’ freedom of expression, or for the tender sensibilities of Islamic fundamentalists, depending on your point of view. The television airing of a “blasphemous” film in Tunisia sent hundreds of offended Tunisians on a rampage. An Iranian actress was sentenced to jail and ninety lashes for appearing in a film deemed critical of the Iranian regime. And Bollywood filmmakers were ordered to either change the name of a film that “hurt Muslim feelings” or face thousands of angry demonstrators across Mumbai.

“Three hundred people attacked our offices and tried to set fire to them,” said Nebil Karoui, chairman of Tunisian television station Nessma, after the station received death threats in the wake of Friday night’s broadcast of the film Persepolis. “There were messages posted on Facebook calling for Nessma to be torched and our journalists to be killed.”

Persepolis, writer/director Marjane Satrapi’s adaptation of her graphic novels about growing up during Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, is critical of the fundamentalist regime and contains a scene showing a character representing Allah, which is of course blasphemous in Islam. The film won the jury prize at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.

Worshippers poured out of al-Fatah mosque in downtown Tunis in the afternoon and began protesting after the imam preached against Persepolis, calling it a “serious attack on the religious beliefs of Muslims.” Tunisian police had to resort to tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters; fifty demonstrators who tried to attack the station were arrested.

In the wake of this and other protests in the cities of Sousse, Monastir, Sidi Bouzid and Beja, the government called not for calm and restraint, but for “respect for sacred things” – essentially faulting the station for having the temerity to broadcast Persepolis despite the pain it could cause to hair-trigger Muslim sentiments.

Despite apologizing for airing the movie, station owner Karoui’s home was attacked at night by around a hundred people hurling firebombs. He wasn’t home at the time, but his wife and children were forced to flee out the back, and a housemaid was attacked and later hospitalized.

So much for the flowering of democracy and freedom after Tunisia’s Arab Spring. In Tehran, where the 2009 Green Revolution might have led to true democracy and freedom if the Obama administration had actively facilitated it, actress Marzieh Vafamehr was sentenced last week to a year in prison and ninety lashes for her role in My Tehran for Sale, a film ironically about a theater actress whose work is banned by the authorities, and who is then forced to “go underground” to secretly express her art. Ultimately, she plots her escape from Iran. The film shows subversive footage of Iranian “rave”-style parties, and in some scenes Vafamehr, who is married to an Iranian film director, is shown without a hijab and with a shaved head.

(See the trailer for My Tehran for Sale here.)

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  • christopherl

    Democracy with Muslims is a failure, so it is time to forget all ideas of nation building. Looking overseas is not the answer, as the problem is on our shores, and that is where the focus needs to be. It is time to end all Muslim immigration.

    • MarkTapson

      What does your comment have to do with the article?

      • christopherl

        It has everything to do with the article as your article has to do with Muslims/Islam, and continually focusing overseas is not the answer. Not surprising you couldn't figure that out though.

        • MarkTapson

          Your comment was about Muslim immigration and democracy and nation-building overseas, which has nothing to do with my article. I'm not surprised you couldn't make that clear, though.

          If you don't want to read about anything going on overseas, don't.

          • christopherl

            It is all connected. Here is a clue Mark, I will read and say what I want. Is that clear enough for you? Islam is marching across the West, and you and others constantly writing about what is happening overseas is not helping much. The problem is here now, and that is where the focus belongs.

          • MarkTapson

            You're the one complaining about the articles being a waste of time. I was trying to save you the time and aggravation. Look, we're all aware Islam is marching across the West, but thanks anyway. There are plenty of articles on this site about that as well. Now I'll give you a clue, since you're seriously in need of one: we'll write about what we want. Is that clear enough for you?

          • christopherl

            Obviously I touched a nerve with your no answers to the problem articles. In other words you will continue down an obviously failed road. Good work Mark…..but not unexpected….

          • MarkTapson

            Ha ha. YOU touched a nerve? You started this thread with an insulting, irritable tone and maintained it throughout. I was just giving it back to you, so you're taking your ball and going home. Not unexpected though – jealous commenters like you pop up occasionally. Thanks for the "good work"! I'll keep it up.

          • christopherl

            Obviously I have. I spoke the truth, if you take it as an insult that is on you. Jealous? Not even close. Nothing to be jealous of, and I know you will keep up your format. A format of failure.

          • MarkTapson

            It's actually not my format, it's David Horowitz's, so feel free to complain to him. I'm sure he'll be enlightened to know about the Islamic threat, and he'll take to heart your recommendation that nothing overseas matters.

          • christopherl

            I know he is aware of the threat of Islam, he also promotes Zuhdi Jasser. Promoting Jasser is a failed policy, which is only spreading false hope. "Moderate" Muslims did not come to the rescue in the UK, and they will not here in America. It is time non-Muslims come to to terms with that fact. I did not say nothing overseas matters, I said constantly writing about what is happening overseas does not help much.

          • MarkTapson

            Again, complain to Horowitz.. Educate him about the correct approach to combating the Islamic threat, and recommend that the site stop posting so many articles about world affairs. And while he's mulling that over, stop reading articles that irritate you. I hope that helps you out.

          • christopherl

            Maybe I will, but I also want the Western readers to realize that focusing so much on what is happening overseas is not the answer. They also need to see that promoting "moderate" Muslims is a waste of time. It is imperative the country takes a new course in the war with Islam. Otherwise we will be the UK ll.

          • MarkTapson

            Nobody said it was "the answer," and as I said, this site posts articles about a wide range of topics domestic and foreign. You were the one who said it's all connected – knowing about what's going on overseas is an important part of the big picture, no? And, to paraphrase Homer Simpson, knowing something about what's going on overseas doesn't push domestic info out of your brain. It's possible – indeed, crucial – to be informed about both.

          • christopherl

            The point is the country needs answers, not just repetition of what is going on overseas with Muslim countries. That is what I see most of here on the issue of Islam. Unfortunately very few people have answers. One who does is Geert Wilders. Do you see him going on and on about what is happening overseas? I don't, he states what needs to be done to save his country from Islam. That is the kind of leadership America needs.

          • MarkTapson

            False comparison. Wilders is doing his part, Horowitz is doing his, and the writers on this site are doing theirs, a large part of which includes informing people about what's going on here and abroad. And by the way, Wilders doesn't discount what's going on overseas, even if he doesn't "go on and on" about it. He knows, as we all do, that the threat is global.

            Enough time wasted. Feel free, though, to keep wasting yours.

  • Amused

    Mark, good article and intelligent replies ….this is indeed refreshing . The very term Arab Spring , as it is percieved in the west , has a toatlly different meaning in the countries involved .We see the overthrow of tyrants as a path to democracy , but easily forget that the particiopants themselves are tyrannical in their intolerance ,and tendency toward physical violence, because all their common world view is based in a tyrannical religion by it's very nature .It has long been he practice of said tyrants to garner and direct this inbred violence towards specific ,named enemies , but this would not be possible without an already existent intolerance , and animus towards the very same . Libyas's kicking out Jews , Tunisia quickly determined that jews have no right to worship , Iraq did not waste any time attacking its christians , nor did sunni and shia put down their axes against each other . Even Egypt wasted no time bringing to the fore their animus towards Israel.
    "Arab Spring " is an ovious misnomer , borne in misinterpretation of the muslim/arab mindset ,heavily sprinkled with wishful thinking . An illusion of the wst as it were.

    • MarkTapson

      Thanks, Amused!

  • Amused

    A for the overblown paranoia existing in the US , of an islamic juggernaut taking place here ?
    Not possible , they represent less than 1 percent of the population, their atrocious behavior , where it exists , takes place among their own willing conclaves , most of which in this country reject such intolerance and violence ….not to mention that such would be totally rejected and noit tolerated by a free American public .Oh they'll do their little attempts with taxi-ca=bs in Minnesota , and hijinks in grocery stores about handling pork , but for the most partthe taxi drivers fired and the grocery store workers to go elsewhere for employment .

  • Amused

    90 million guns , a people whose tradition is tolerance and freedom of religion and ideology , our own worst enemy is us ;as the country is divided roughly right down the middle to the point of inbnefective government in all its aspect . THAT IS THE DANGER , wehilst we lockhorns with ourselves in indecision or lack of any thereof , our real enemies lie in wait for a clear and clean shot . In this respect the whole muslim enterprise can be compared to an ant on an elephants back . Those with the big guns , China and Russia , are the enemies to guard against , whilst the muslims in this country , those of which choose to be enemies of the US can be held easily in check .

    • tagalog

      Ninety million guns (actually I believe that America, if that's who you're talking about, has about 300 million guns in circulation -in 1994, there were approximately 192 million guns in private ownership-, essentially one gun for each citizen of our fair nation), yep, and about 90% of them in the hands of the righties. I like those odds, particularly when so many more of the righties have former military experience.

  • C"H"Martel

    My book, "Satan's Trinity: Hitler, Stalin & Muhammad," will be available within the month and one may pre-order at For the first time in history "HSM" appear together on a book cover. The idea behind the book is to make headway against the ludicrous idea that Muhammad should be conjoined with any religious leader/founder. Once this comparison, driven by actual names, has been made then it must be attacked. Once the attack has been launched then the attackers will be forced to defend their attack. Since the attack is indefensible then the "religion" Muhammad (if he existed) founded will begin to be viewed as the scam it is. This book has been written under the principle of KISS. And nothing is simpler to understand than Hitler and Stalin…..and now, Muhammad. Thank you for your time…….C"H"Martel

    • MikeWood

      Martel: this is an excellent idea. I've been making some comparisons of Hitler and Muhammad myself recently and where Hitler and Muhammad differ, Hitler looks to be the better person! Muhammad is Islam's greatest weakness; it's the fragile secret they seek to protect with an edifice of lies and fury. Good luck with your book. I shall be reading it.

    • flyingtiger

      Sir, You know better than this. Mohammed never existed and all of Islam is a lie. How much is the book?

  • StephenD

    Mr. Tapson, good job this. I wonder though, since Islam is of Allah and he is supposed to be "All Powerful" and Mohammed was his "Prophet" meaning Allah’s words were channeled through him…he spoke for Allah to humanity. Why is it that those that supposedly believe all this are so easily offended? How can "The Almighty" be offended by mere mortal man? How can the mouthpiece of G_d be offended by something a regular person may say or do? Using a word (azaan) becomes so offensive to the religion that it becomes a threat? How can anyone’s lack of “respect for sacred things” be cause for violence and that justified as for being in the name of the Almighty? This just doesn’t make sense. All I know is with a G_d so sensitive to emotion and a prophet so in need of mortal intervention for protection, I'm glad I have no part of it.

  • jacob

    How come Belafonte didn´t make his singing career in Cuba instead of good old USA ?? __If there is something I hate with a passion are dogs who bite the hand that feeds or__fed them and here is a damned good example of it….____People like him, Sean Penn and mny other ´Celebrities´ should be grabbed by __the collar and the seat of thir pants and thrown out of the country, even if they are__naturalized citizens….____As to the rotten program this BEHAR woman runs, I swear to GOD if I would have__a chance to, I would hesitate to dump on her a bed chamber full of excrement, __which is preciserly what she truly deserves…. __I still remember her and that other ´celebrity´Whoopi Goldberg walking out on__BILL O´REILLY when he spoke against Muslims but he faikled to ask them whether__they considered ´moderates´ the Muslims who danced and give out candy in the__steets of QUEENS on 9 11 while people were jumping to their deaths from the__WTC windows…..

    • matchingset

      I remember seeing a photograph in a newspaper front page, right after the murders of 911, of hundreds dancing in the streets and tossing candy to their children – New York boroughs! It was immediately impossible to find those photos. What happened to them? Why was that so quickly covered up? To keep those muslims from retaliatory (and well deserved) response from US citizens? Hmmmm. Anyone have a copy of those photos?

  • emmess1

    What do you expect from Muslims?
    This is the cancer that will eradicate civilization unless, by some miracle, it is wiped out.

    • jmz

      we are the miricle than needs to wipe them out. you dont negotiate with a cancer. you cut it out and nuke it until its nothing but a bad memeory, or you die in the proccess. toleration of the muslim is no longer a vialble option as far as i am concerned

  • mrbean

    Watch banned film FITNA online.

    • kafir4life

      Where is it banned? Not anywhere that matters, I'd suppose.

  • maturin20

    It's extraordinary to think of movies inspiring so much resistance and perturbation. We're so used to images in the USA, to their mutability and proliferation, we often forget how powerful they are.

  • mrbean

    Are you censuring the film FITNA as well by not posting this?

  • Suzanne

    I have come to the conclusion that the average maturity level in Muslim countries is well below the average of those in enlightened western nations. The reason that Europe and now the United States have led the world for so long is because the average maturity level of the general population as well as the bravery of its citizens to defend their values is much better than those in Muslim countries. Once either one of these things is gone (i.e., a majority in enlightened countries not living up to the virtures of maturity and bravery), a country is sunk. Sure there are exceptions in Muslim nations such as that poor Iranian actress but, as a whole, the average person in Muslim countries is still not brave or mature enough to handle a mature religion or a mature government. As the United States and other enlightened nations must pick and chose what conflicts they can handle, most of the time the only thing that can be done with these countries if they are not actively threatening the US or its allies is to contain them as best as possible.

    • kafir4life

      It's not just a maturity level issue, Suzanne. The entire muslim world shares a single brain, and has throughout the ages. Only one muslim at a time can have it, and each time it transfers to a different muslim, some of the cells are lost. The brain of the entire muslim world is down to about 19 brain cells, half of them don't talk to the other half, claiming they aren't "muslim enough". The muslims aren't sure which muslim posesses it currently, and that itself is causing strife in the muslim world. The one thing we know for sure, is that nobody at the terrorist supporting organization cair, nor its terrorist supporters have it currently.

  • Ghostwriter

    It's a shame that the message of "Persepolis" was lost on the protesters. They could have learned something but unfortunately,that something that they didn't want to do.

  • Questions

    Muslims enjoy being "offended." That way, with self-fulfilling prophecy, they can punish the "offender." Classic narcissism.

    • kafir4life

      This will continue until muslim learn to laugh at themsleves… everybody else laughs at them.

  • xlent

    Anyone getting upset with the socio/commies in our world yet. Are we slowly awakening to the dammage these people do. The are evil to the core exactly like their buddies the muslims. They will support one another but should they finally win, the muzzies will turn on the socios and chew them up and spit them out like a nasty chaw of bad tobacco.

  • Katy Williams

    America if you believe the Muslim and Christian serve the same God you are sadly mistaken. They are cowards and fight llike women they attack and run and hide, they are pigs. I haven't forgotten the navy diver beaten beyond belief shot in the head and dumped like trash out of TWA jet. I haven't forgotten highly decorate Marine Lt. Col William Higgins who was on a peacekeeping mission for the UN when he was hijacked off a road beaten and tortured and then hung for the world to see and then dumped like a dog next to a mosque in Lebanon,of course no one there saw anything and that was 1985 for Stethem and 1988 for Higgins. We should have bombed the dogs then. If we had of there would've been no 9/11

  • jmz

    yep islam is peaceful and if you say otherwise they will kill you…why in the hell can we not end islam? what is this stupid notion that you can ever have peace with sub human violent cult bent on taking over the world. israel was moronic trading 1000 hammas terroist for 1 soldier. we are stupid for allowing islam to be in America. and dont give me nonsense about 'freedom of religion' . that dosent include terroist actions. Muslims are filthy monsters. they need to me killed off and their things taken until they are wiped out and not longer a threat. please..i DARE someone to try and tell me about how we we should let them proactice this religion…come on…cause you know full well that ilam would kill you without a doubt. so keep that kumbaya, 'aww muswims awernt bad' philosophy to your self! I AM PROUD TO BE AN INFIDEL AND TO HATE ISLAM WITH MY HEART! MUSLIMS ARE FILTHY ANIMALS AND ARE NOT WORTHY lIVING ON MY PLANET.!.only fools think otherwise.

  • rulierose

    seriously–what is WRONG with these people? is there no end to what they consider offensive? and G-d help this country because we are slouching toward sharia, especially with this current president. (yet another great reason to vote NObama in 2012.)

    my dream is that all the world's newspapers get together and announce they are all going to run the "Danish Cartoons" on their front pages on the same day, all over the world. they can't kill us all!

  • Sound Doc

    Taught from birth and from the Quran that they are superior than anyone else in the world, and that they are the best of all creation, Muslims have become spoiled brats with a narcissistic demand from all who are not like them. Yet, their contribution to the general welfare of humankind is sadly lacking.

  • BobSmith101

    Because Islam makes a continuous claim of religious legitimacy, Islam, as a system, can rely on a huge, unpaid, unseen, unorganized, individually acting, empowered to act, widely distributed group of highly motivated devout believers who are willing to kill in order to keep Islam the way it is.

    Read the complete thesis at:

  • tyty01

    I'm muslim and I want to say – after reading your comments – that your are criticizing a religion and a culture which you ignore… If you wanna talk about it, at least try to search and learn by yourselves what is Islam.

    • curmudgeon

      learn about your own "religion". read the quo'ran. then decide. are you a monster, an arch criminal like mohammed and his made up god, or are you a human being. you decide. if your decision is i am a human being, then run screaming from that monstrous evil religion invented by a desert criminal, and join any religion or nonreligion that doesnt advocate pure evil.

  • curmudgeon

    it is too bAD OUR FILMMAKERS ARE SUCH cowards. if they were real americans, they would make a film titled MOHAMMED, which would be a truthful account, right out of the holy quo'ran, of the crimes, vices, evils, depradations, and monstrosities of, well, mohammed. it would make fun of islam, and reveal for the world to see what a monstrous evil islam is. but our filmmakers are cowards.

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  • MarkTapson

    At the risk of sounding "repetitive," what does this comment have to do with the article?

  • christopherl

    Talking about a problem over and over while having no answers, is pretty pointless in the end.

  • kafir4life

    Hi lila – Are those the same muslims that follow the made up moon god allah, that was invented by the peodphile mohamat, who after a bout of intestinal distress following sex with, then later a meal of his favorite pig (allah, or "mom" as he liked to call him) shat the contents of the terror guide, the koran? All of my islamic knowlwdge was gleened by observing the behavior and listening to the words of muslims.

    A hearty allahu snackbar to you and the ummah!!

  • Sound Doc

    According to Peter, the disciple of Christ, Muhammad is a false prophet denying the salvation of Christs' blood sacrifice; 2Pe 2:1 ¶ But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. I AGREE WITH THE Bible.