How to Piss Off a Muslim

| September 14, 2012

Making fun of any religious figure is a touchy topic but as a Muslim I can tell you my people get mightily pissed off when you speak ill of the Prophet Muhammad.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula or as he likes to call himself “Sam Bacile” is a fifty-six-year-old jackass who recently decided to test the tenuous limits of Islamic tolerance.

The Muslim world, which has already become a constant reactionary culture, is now reaching a fever pitch. And yet, most of the protesters have not even seen this atrocious trailer.

I watched it, and I think my IQ dropped by twenty points within the first ten seconds. Forget for a moment the movie’s incendiary subject matter — the writing, directing, and technical aspects are so impoverished as to make the Razzie Awards scream, “We’re too damn good for you!” And the voice dubbing alone is so pitiful I’m confident I’ve seen better match-ups in a Meow Mix commercial.

The Innocence of Islam’s clear intent was to spark uproar and infuriate Muslims; well, congratulations Mr. Nakoula: Mission accomplished.

And in that sweeping furor, some of my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters have taken their outrage to an extreme and murdered U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other U.S. Consulate employees in Libya and are currently launching attacks on the U.S. embassies in Egypt and Yemen. In Sudan they even attacked the German Embassy. Someone needs to ask them what the Germans did to deserve this. Dieter will not be happy, and surely Teutonic tube socks worn with Birkenstocks are not yet a criminal offense. (But hope springs eternal.)

I’m always amazed at the alarmist actions my Muslim brethren take when it comes to defending the Prophet Muhammad — including destroying things in their own cities, getting themselves killed by clashing with police forces, and making themselves look like packs of intolerant Neanderthals. As an American Muslim, these actions make as much as sense to me as Kim Kardashian getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — or even having a career for that matter.

The Middle East needs to take a serious chill pill. Indeed the Prophet Muhammad is important to our lives but in moments like these the Prophet forgave his enemies and extended the hand of friendship, but you don’t hear about that because it’s not as fascinating as the spurious story about him marrying a five-year-old.

I am not religious by any means but I was raised with the belief system that you respect all faiths, and a true believer is one who loves all. And again, a handfuls of assholes in the Muslim world have managed to steal the spotlight and make us all look like a bunch of backward buffoons.

Now, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is demanding that the United States punish Nakoula. How about you give back the $1.6 billion dollars in foreign aid that we give your country annually, and we’ll just call it even? And while Morsi may administer whatever form of justice he wishes in his own country, in my country we have this wonderful thing, which by the way is also mentioned in the Quran repeatedly, called freedom. You may not like this filmmaker’s piss-poor shock-flick but we don’t punish people here for crap — no matter how offensive. The best way this so-called filmmaker should be punished is simply never to be allowed near a camera again because he’s a talent-free FilmFocker.

But the real question is this: Why are these fame hogs so obsessed with making films defaming the Prophet Muhammad? Have you ever seen any Muslim films or cartoons that disrespect Moses or Jesus? No, you haven’t. And that is precisely because in Islam, Moses and Jesus are prophets whom we also love and respect.

Nakoula is a Coptic Christian who tried to pass himself off as an Israeli Jew, which of course lights another powder keg, and now the Israeli flag is being torched alongside Old Glory throughout the Muslim world as we speak. The thing about Muslims is that whether it’s Nakoula or Salman Rushdie criticizing the Prophet Muhammad, the shit gets very real, very fast — for all of us.

The question I want to ask my Muslim brethren is, strictly on a human and Islamic level, how is it all right to kill and get killed in the name of God and/or the Prophet Muhammad. That is not what Islam is about.

Why aren’t we seeing this level of outrage among all Muslims while Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is butchering his own people — our Muslim brothers and sisters? I truly believe Islam has slid into its own version of the Dark Ages; in the same way Judaism and Christianity went through theirs, Islam is going through its darkest, most troubling time.

We started off with the Arab Spring and have ended with a summer bummer, and now the violence has spread to eleven Muslim countries, including my birthplace, Pakistan (surprise!).

The Muslim world must stop reacting to every idiot whose sole intention is to provoke outrage in our communities. The Muslims who are violently protesting in public squares and burning embassies need to arm themselves with the facts and stop reacting to everyone else’s reactions.

Each time Muslims jump the gun with their knee-jerk reactions, they give further ammunition to ridiculous hate-mongering fools who provoke us with their cameras, pens, and paintbrushes.

As for Nakoula, he has now not only pissed off Muslims worldwide, but the entire United States as well, and based on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent diatribe regarding this little movie, she looked like she was going to be fitted for a dominatrix costume and whip his Egyptian film-making ass into shape. This probably won’t happen but I’m allowed to dream. Folks on both sides need to grab a non-alcoholic beverage, hug it out, and take up a damn hobby.

Peace! Shalom! Salam! Sit down!

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Mona Shaikh is a comedienne and the founder of

Comments (15)

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  1. Ashraf Meer says:

    Mona Shaikh, if I ever successfully launch my Masjid, the one with giant flatscreens, bean bag chairs and PS3’s to fill the time between prayers, you are welcome to give the khutbah any day you like. Great piece. thanks!

  2. You know who this is! says:

    A fantastic article written by someone with both talent and humor. I’d listen to the khutbah if you ever gave it… these certainly are the Islamic dark ages and if muslim’s don’t wake up and fix it, I fear it will be a long time before things turn around. Keep up the great work.

  3. Stephanie Wilkins says:

    You had me at “Meow Mix”. Brava!

  4. Sean says:

    The attack on the German Embassy was for Uwe Boll. They figured if they were going to retaliate against one crap director, might as well get the most offensive one too!

  5. Howard says:

    Thank you for the article and sharing the words of peace.

    The fact that Muslim leaders are at all linking this ridiculous youtube video–that anyone can make–is being used as an excuse in this well orchestrated attack in Libya is sad. Under President Obama’s leadership, the U.S.–at a large cost on many fronts–has helped Libyan’s overcome a ruthless dictator that hurts his own people, supported democratization of Egypt, while trying to prevent the Syrian people from being murdered by their own dictator–going against other world powers such as Russia and China.

    These are the real actions of Peace, Salam, Shalom
    …not the inciting violence of using some idiots youtube video to justifying a violent uprising

    How can Muslims in America help to reduce these–not so peaceful actions of Muslim leaders in the countries–especially ones that have benefited from recent American support?

  6. Jonathan says:

    “We started off with the Arab Spring and have ended with a summer bummer.”

    Well said. I was really starting to think that the world was beginning to find some ‘common’ ground in terms of human rights and freedom… but I suppose we still have a lot to work on. Great article. You speak from the heart. I laughed to myself a bit when I read an article stating that this ‘film’ was authored while Mr. Nakoula was serving time for methamphetamine production. Class act.

  7. joe says:

    Actually, no one in America is pissed. Most of us could care less. Unlike muslims[and no not just a radical faction of it. the Sunnis for example, are the most apt to commit acts of hate and also one of the largest factions and although they usually kill their own kind, they still have a huge capacity for religion based hate.] we do not run around hurting innocent people when we feel offended. To many Muslims over too large a geography have engaged in too much violence for Islam to ever reclaim itself all in the name of a prophet who is now in death reaping what he sewn in life. The stereotype has proven itself true. You cannot blame anyone else but them for their violence, period.

  8. Amna says:

    the news u hear on media is the exaggerated version. Before u critique muslims, try to see the west media propaganda.

  9. Cee says:

    as an atheist, i really appreciated reading this voice of moderation.

    i think i have some insight. i work in scientific research, my boss (who i’ve known for many years) is a muslim woman, and i have both a christian and a hindu coworker. throughout the years the labs i’ve worked in have usually been some amazing hodgepodge of nationalities and religious and philosophical beliefs. we all seem to be fine.. education is our common denominator.

  10. maram says:

    It’s really funny what the media shows those living abroad and particularly in the U.S. I am not trying to offend anyone, but as a muslim and sunni living in a muslim country I know what is going on. The truth is what the media tries to portray is what makes people hate us. Of coarse I am not saying all muslims are perfect or anything they have done mistakes and impeccable ones. However,you still need to learn the truth before judging you need to listen to different points of views and accept them. Have you listened to a muslim’s point of view who is not abroad who lived here in the middle of all the action ? The media every changes all the information to play the role those in charge want to it to play and make everybody hate muslims and think that we are all with no exceptions are terrorists and extremists, but we are not I am living in a culture where I can tell you the muslims here are open-minded accepting of others and their religions and we have not witnessed anything that is extreme from a muslim. Just for the record we muslims are not all extreme we don’t all kill people because they are not what we want them to be. We have a proportion of extremists and ALL RELIGIONS have those too !

  11. Fatima H.R. says:

    i agree with this and as long as we have Men who will rule us We are going to be their prisoners… so many Women donot want to scream in the scwuares but we have to do it… i am glad for Mona to be able to say the thigs we like to say in the world and no be affraid… TRUTH!!!!!

  12. Khalid Khan says:

    Always wondered why this kind of street protests and violence never happen in Saudi Arabia, the birth place of Islam.

    • josh says:

      because they’re some of the most oppressed people in the world living under a government that uses medieval style executions.

  13. Bertrand Jones says:

    Excellent read, funny, and to the point. And thank you for mentioning Syria (my wife’s Syrian). If Muslims around the world cared about their brothers and sisters being killed by other Muslims (and not about stupid “movies” or cartoons) the Arab world would be much better off. There’s more Muslim-n-Muslim crime in the world but Muslims don’t seem to care about actual Muslim lives.

  14. Janet says:

    Well written and very informative Mona.