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'Innocence of Muslims' to Play in Berlin Theater as Pro Deutschland Party Champions Free Speech

German politicians are divided over whether or not to ban the public screening of the anti-Islam movie "The Innocence of Muslims" which has caused a wave of attacks on US diplomatic missions around the world in recent days. A screening planned by the far-right Pro Deutschland party is to take place at a cinema in Berlin which has provoked discussions regarding how to balance freedom of speech versus concerns over public safety. Social Democrat MP Martin Hartmann: "It is an extremely disgusting video which deeply offends one of the world's major religions. Christians have had to endure this too without us being able to prohibit anything. I believe that in Germany, freedom of speech is valued so highly that (an attempt to ban the movie) would not hold up in court." German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich has stated that he hopes the authorities in Berlin will prevent screening of the film in the name of guaranteeing public safety and good relations with the Arab world. Angela Merkel has also stated she is opposed to allowing any screening of the movie, but other MPs have come out against any ban on screening the movie. Green Party MP Cem Oezdemir: "I believe that (any) religion needs to tolerate criticism and sometimes, even mockery. (The religion of) Islam isn't the only religion (having to tolerate this), I'm thinking of satirical publications here, or movies such as 'The Passion of the Christ' or 'Life of Brian'. Religion needs to bear this. Protests against the ...
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