Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Innocence of YouTube

An incomprehensible YouTube posting called the Innocence of Muslims has created a furor in the Islamic world, I'm sure you are aware. This incident and previous such provocations show that it doesn't take much to incite violent protests in that part of the world. So when I first heard of the posting and the reaction, all I could think of was 'here we go again.'

I tried to watch all of this 14 minute video, but couldn't make it through without fast-forwarding to different scenes just to see if it got any better. It didn't. Is it an insult to a religion, Islam? I suppose it is, but the reaction that ensued is an insult to humanity that makes the video's purpose (if there was one) pale by comparison.

Our humanity, the central thing that makes us human, is our ability to use reason, and in many ways all religion is an insult to humanity. Humans have the capacity to reject blind faith (the foundation of all religions), to control their violent emotions, to act in their own rational self interest. The reactions to this video, are so much more damaging than the video itself, yet those protesting see themselves as defenders of the faith. It's a head shaker.

But worst of all were the calls to squelch the video, pleas to both Google and YouTube to remove or review it. Those calls came from some people sworn to defend freedom, but of course the freedom to speak out, to disagree, needs to be most safeguarded in times of turmoil. Sadly that reminder too often needs repeating.
Here is ReasonTV's take on YouTube freedom.

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