It is true that Innocence of Muslims is a risibly crude, bigoted diatribe against Islam. But the idea that this obscure film that barely anyone had seen till this month is the source of worldwide violence is equally risible. As in the Rushdie affair, what we are seeing is a political power struggle cloaked in religious garb.
These calls reflect a paranoid worldview that is widespread among Muslims that their religion is under some kind of global assault. If so—because Islam is spreading faster than almost any other religion, with the possible exception of Mormonism—its an odd kind of siege. In reality, Islam is thriving in its countries of origin and spreading quickly into the West.