Angry protesters have stormed the American Embassies in Cairo and Benghazi.
Egyptian protesters scaled the walls of the embassy, pulled down the US flag, and called for the expulsion of the US ambassador to Cairo.
They also asked the US government to apologize to the Muslim world over the release of the movie.
US officials now fear the demonstrations may spread to other countries.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Franklin Lamb, a Beirut-based international lawyer, to further talk over the issue. The following is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: We have been getting different reactions and thoughts from our guests during our interviews and I would like to get yours as well. How do you perceive this re-occurrence of targeting such sensitive issues when the outcry and massive response to blasphemy towards important elements of Islam have already been tested before?
Lamb: OK, how about we look at it from an international legal point of view for start. Under the 1961 Vienna Convention, both of those attacks are illegal and Egypt and Libya must be responsible for, in Benghazi, the death of the American and all damage.
This is fundamental and be sure the American government will squeeze them both to get compensation for that. Those are illegal reprehensible acts and are completely inexcusable.
Now, the question of freedom of speech which under American law, as you know, you can do that sort of thing except for recent legislation that outlaws hate crimes. This is obviously a hate crime.
So I would suspect that the prosecutors in California are looking carefully at that low-budget film and its authors who appear to be a combination of a Zionist funding and Coptic Islamophobes and Arabphobes. So it looks like a hate crimes.
So perhaps the American courts will do it. I do not accept the idea that the West and the American public are turning against Islam… We have got 308 million people. You have got a lot of a Zionist’s money who wants to make problems with the Arabs and the Muslim. It is not difficult to get funding for this kind of film. I see that is a problem.
I think the American people are, on the contrary, warming to Islam. According to American survey from the National Home Owner’s Association, who are the most popular neighbors in America? That is right; they are Muslims. Why is that? Because they are good family people; they believe in education; they are not probably in the drugs and all that kind of stuff and they respect their neighbors.
So frankly, in my own experience, I do not expect that. But it does show the underlying racism that we know exists in America. It has been there for 263 years and it is not seemingly going away. But again, the act which is understandable, those acts, not justifiable and I think the international law will be applied and that those governments will compensate.
But I think it is important what Clinton said, but I would hope today that the American president will make a statement because he is very fundamental. The Muslims are getting more and more involved in the Democratic Party, as you know, and we saw that fiasco with the change in the language on Jerusalem and their objection.
So he has even a political reason now to reach out to the Arab and Muslim community and I will be surprised if he does not.
Press TV: Mr. Lamb, you touch upon the issue of freedom of speech; many believe that that issue is rather inconsistent, most notably in the United States where a man can for example burn the Holy Quran, can make obscure movies of Islam’s prophet, have a wide array of racial slurs for Muslims, but one cannot so much as question, not even mock but even question Israeli policies and Israeli allegiances, without being labeled an ant-Semite and feeling the full wrath of condemnation from the media, celebrities lose their fame, comedians lose their jobs, politicians lose their status. Why is that?
Lamb: Yes, I agree with your general statement but honestly –and I may be the only American outside of the US who believes this– I think things are changing on that too. Now you have got newspapers being picketed sometimes and challenged and the anti-Semite label is wearing thin.
So I agree in general because there are 67 pro-Israel Zionist organizations with big budgets; they can make anybody’s life miserable if they want to go after them and that is a fact of life over there and until the American public becomes more increasingly aware which they are in the process of doing, slowly, slowly, then that will disappear largely, I think.
But the double standard, yeah, it is obvious but remember, the Zionist organizations have been held to account for certain hate crimes committed against Arabs and Muslims also in the United States.
So that legislation only a few years old is important for avoiding the distinction, the double standard that you have identified.