The recent attack on the U.S. embassy in Libya as well as the other attacks and protests in the Muslim world have all been in response to a low-budget film being made in the United States that depicts the Muslim prophet Muhammad in a negative light. The film reportedly depicts Mohammed as a womanizer and child molester. While it is understandable that this film would anger Muslims, the fact that it is serving as an excuse for violence against innocent Americans is worrisome.
The First Amendment gives Americans the freedom to make a film like this one if they so choose. While the U.S. is in no way sponsoring or supporting the production of this film, it seems that this fact makes absolutely no difference to many of the violent protestors. This situation is one where it appears that our Constitutional protections may put some Americans in danger. While other western nations such as Germany are thinking of banning the film, our Constitution prevents us from doing the same. Banning the film may serve to alleviate potential violence but, at least in the U.S., it appears the Constitution stands in the way.
Many Muslim extremists are always looking for an opportunity to attack the U.S. When extremists can find something that they can use to justify their actions, it makes their moral position stronger. This film is certainly giving Muslim extremists an excuse to attack Americans. Many Muslims, not just extremists, are incensed by this film. The fact that these recent attacks were spurred on by the film may give some of these extremists a more sympathetic view in the eyes of some non-radical Muslims. Giving extremists an excuse to attack the U.S. is certainly the worst side-effect of this film.
The U.S. is in a hard place here. The U.S. is bound by the First Amendment to protect the freedoms of the filmmakers to make this film, while at the same time wanting to discourage this film because of the danger it poses to Americans worldwide. What should the U.S. do about the constitutional question this film poses? Do you feel that this film is being used as an excuse for terrorist attacks? For more information about the attacks and protests this film has fueled see http://news.yahoo.com/violent-clashes-over-anti-islam-film-3-nations-114415524.html.