If you want to suggest that your first amendment rights are under fire because of islam, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula has become the unexpected pin up for free speech. Odd, given the content of his lamentable film Innocence Of Muslims is not the reason for him serving a year in prison. Plus the suggestion that he is culpable for the violence of others, or should pay a price for blasphemy, is more ludicrous than the acting.
Rather he was previously convicted of bank fraud committed to the tune of just under a million dollars. Part of his probation agreement meant not using aliases plus not use computers for transactions nor access the Internet without clear permission of the Probation Office. On all counts this was something he failed to do in making the film, including using an alias while raising finance for the project.
Unfortunately, just as Tommy Robinson (EDL leader) was made out to be a political prisoner despite being sentenced for clearly breaking the law, people have made out Nakoula is one too:
That article opens:
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula deserves a place in American history. He is the first person in this country jailed for violating Islamic anti-blasphemy laws.
You won’t find that anywhere in the charges against him, of course. As a practical matter, though, everyone knows that Nakoula wouldn’t be in jail if he hadn’t produced a video crudely lampooning the prophet Muhammad.
Maybe not, but the high profile video drew attention to him breaking the probation order on him.
As Attorney Ken White in the first article sited remarked:
Is Nakoula in federal prison because he made the “Innocence of Muslims” video? Superficially, perhaps, in the sense that his behavior may have escaped detection if he hadn’t become famous. It’s even possible that someone in the Obama Administration tipped off — or pressured — the Probation Office about his conduct. (If that’s what happened, there ought to be a Congressional investigation.) But Nakoula’s conduct is the sort that would absolutely be pursued if detected by his Probation Office and would routinely result in a revocation of supervised release and a return to federal prison. People saying otherwise don’t know what they are talking about or don’t care, or both.
As they say in Hollywood, never let facts get in the way of the narrative you want.
Related Blogs: Sam Harris and first amendment rights to criticise Islam
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog