Punish filmmaker for misrepresentation
A shameful byproduct of the hullabaloo over the release of the movie extract from "Innocence of Muslims" is the painful attempt by the Coptic Christian filmmaker to blame the Jews for its financing, production and release. This lie, and the deceit in representing himself as Jewish, may or may not have been intended to mask his true identity and deflect criticism. However, by falsely promoting the film as an effort by Jews to defame Muslim beliefs, his act will undoubtedly have a more profound and lasting impact. It also reminds us that use of the Jews as scapegoats is not a historical footnote from the Middle Ages, but is present today in American and European hate group literature and, sadly, found in some Arab government policies and religious leadership statements to the faithful and in the media. His act is no different than defacing a synagogue with Nazi symbols.
If we Americans wish to make a thoughtful but bold response against the use of such perfidy and hatred, our federal and state law enforcement authorities should seek to charge this man, Nakoula Basseley Nakouh, with hate crimes. Let him go to jail for his actions. Remaining silent, too, is an offense.
Lawrence M. Ross