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Video Ridicules Islamic Prophet; Sparks Outrage

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Wed, September 12 2012 at 6:20 PM, Updated: Wed, September 12 2012 at 6:38 PM

Video Ridicules Islamic Prophet; Sparks Outrage

The video credited for sparking so much controversy is called "Innocence of Muslims." Since this posting, it's already received more than 700,000 views on YouTube. It's now being blamed for being the catalyst for the violence in Libya.

The film ridicules Islam and portrays the Islamic prophet Mohammad in a comically sexual light, describes him as born out of wedlock and belittles him as an idiot. It's being blamed for the violence in Libya.

"I believe in freedom of speech...but I also feel the people have to take responsibility for the speech they say," said Medford resident Jennifer Royster.

On Tuesday,  a group of demonstrators stormed the US Embassy in Libya and killed four Americans inside, including the US Ambassador.

"Sure it was wrong to make the video, but killing people over words on a film it just doesn't make much sense," said Jessica Hodge, a Talent resident.

Many Americans feel the same way -- unable to understand why some Muslim extremists have become so violent over a video.

"Overall in the Muslim world is a greater respect for religious symbols and individuals," said Dr. Henry Wisniewski, a professor of Islamic Sociology at Rogue Community College.

He said it may also be hard for Americans to understand the importance of religion to Muslims because of the stark differences between American and Islamic life.

"In this country religion has come to play a secondary role...whereas in Islam religion is actually a part of your daily life," said Wisniewski.

As for the California man who made the video...

"The person who made the video has had prior history to look back on and know what type of reaction could come from it," said Royster.

In the past violence has also broken out when anti-islamic extremists have burned the Koran and depicted the Islamic prophet Mohammad in a negative light.

According to reports, the film maker is in hiding.

Dr. Wisniewski also said it's important not to stereotype when things like this happen. He said while the vast majority of the more than one-billion Muslims worldwide may have disapproved of the video,  they would not have acted out violently.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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