Inside Opinion

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Tag: Islam


Here’s how desperate for work some actors are

By Myles Crawley
Los Angeles Times

Last week, an acquaintance sent me a link to an article on the Atlantic’s website about “Innocence of Muslims,” the anti-Islam film that has provoked so much violence in the Middle East. To my horror, the story prominently featured a picture of me.

When I watched the film clip, I was even more appalled. A year earlier, I had done two days of acting in a film I’d been told would be called “Desert Warrior.” The images were clearly from that film, but my words had been replaced by words I would have never uttered, and the resulting film was something I would never have agreed to participate in. Here’s how it happened.

It was July 2011. One night, while looking through Craigslist, I happened upon an ad looking for actors for an film called “Desert Warrior.” I sent an email inquiring about roles, and a few days later got a request from the director for my bio and head shot.

A couple of weeks later, I was invited to an audition at what looked like an old nightclub on La Cienega. There, I met the director and another man who identified himself as Sam Bacile. The part I read for was that of a doctor in a clinic. The director read the part of the other character, a military officer of some kind. There was no mention of Muhammad or Islam in the script I saw.
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9/11 should be about more than mourning the victims

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Saturday, the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, should be a time for solemn remembrance. But perhaps it can be much more.

People of all faiths (or none) were touched by the tragedy, directly or indirectly, and its commemoration is an appropriate time for countering the kind of religious intolerance that warped the terrorists’ view of the world and allowed them to rationalize their unthinkable actions.

No religion has a monopoly on intolerance, as we’ve seen in recent days. Plans made months ago to build an Islamic cultural center two blocks from ground zero in New York City have sparked national controversy, with many saying that the “mosque” is offensive to the victims of 9/11 – even though Muslims were among the dead and one purpose of the cultural center is to counter radicalism. Read more »


American Islamophobia running out of control

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

If one of the chief purposes of an Islamic center by Ground Zero was to promote interfaith understanding, its chief backer – Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf – might want to think about building it elsewhere.

But if the Cordoba House will be about making a defiant assertion of Muslim identity and constitutional rights, the location near the fallen World Trade Center will do just fine. Whatever Rauf originally had in mind, and whoever’s to blame, that site has become an incitement to Islamophobia, and the public now sees it as a stick in the eye.

Much as he’s been maligned for defending the project, President Obama actually got things right two weeks ago – if you combine both his original statement and the half-step back he quickly took.

As he said initially, Muslims have the same right as other Americans to “not be treated differently by their government.” Next day, he said he was talking about constitutional freedoms, not the “wisdom” of the project.

No one was questioning either the wisdom or foolishness of the Cordoba House until recently, when the usual crew of mega-mouthed media rabble-rousers – thank you, Fox News – began whipping up a furor about it. It might otherwise have quietly been built, opened and absorbed by the commercial din and ethnic cacophony of Lower Manhattan.

That possibility is long gone. The project has since become an epicenter of anti-Muslim sentiment, which has rippled out to other mosque projects elsewhere in the country. The Washington Post reported Monday, for example, that citizens in Murfreesboro, Tenn., are protesting plans for an Islamic center there with such signs as “Keep Tennessee Terror Free.”

Islam in America has taken a beating since the uproar metastasized across the nation. A recent Time magazine poll is particularly discouraging.
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