Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thursday September 13, 2012: Let Example of Stevens' Mourners Outshine Haters

By Sylvia Gurinsky

It increasingly looks as if terrorists pre-planned the attacks in Libya and Egypt for the week of September 11 and are using a film made here as an excuse.

But that's not the only pre-planning going on. It's easy to wonder whether Nakoula Basseley Nakoula had a strategy of his own - not only against Muslims, but also against Jews.

The Justice Department identified Nakoula as the filmmaker of an online, anti-Muslim film that's been seen as a trigger for the violence. Nakoula, who is on federal probation for bank fraud charges, has apparently been playing dodgeball over the making of the film.

Initial interviews identified the film director as a "Sam Bacile," supposedly an Israeli-American who got $5 million in financing from other Jews. That identity and money trail has been disproven, but there's no question that the millions of Jews both here and worldwide who will be attending High Holy Days services during the next two weeks have been put at risk by those early reports. That makes this an act of anti-Semitism as well as anti-Islam - and possibly makes the release of the film a hate crime that crosses the limits of free speech.

At the very least, actors who worked on the film have come forward to say they were misled about its intent, so fraud charges might be involved as well.

The fact that the film apparently has an ally in Terry Jones, the anti-Muslim nutcase from Gainesville, makes this plot even thicker.

Such hatred needs an antidote. One can be found in the Libyan people who came out and expressed grief and remorse at the death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, who did so much to support that country. Their mourning for a man who exemplified the term "public servant" is cause for hope.