Protests held in Houston, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. last Friday and Saturday accused Zionists of having a hand in the production of the anti-Islam film, Innocence of Muslims.
The rallies, which were sponsored by the Muslim Congress, a Shi’a organization founded in 2005, also featured placards and slogans accusing the America and other Western nations of harboring double standards regarding what constitutes freedom of speech.
Protesters at the Houston rally, which was co-sponsored by the Islamic Education Center (IEC), a Houston-based Shi’a mosque and private school with a record of employing stereotypical anti-Semitic narratives in its publications, held a banner that read: “Insult of Islam = Freedom of Speech? Inquiry on Holocaust= Antisemitism? Double Standards!” Protesters also chanted slogans blaming Zionists for the film’s production and held posters with “Yes to Moses, Yes To Jesus, Yes to Muhammad, No to Zionism” written on them.
Although they were billed as “peaceful protests” to “honor Divine Prophets, including Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad,” a Muslim Congress press release issued after the events called the film “a by-product of a culture created by … war-profiteers, and the Zionist lobby.”
The same release included a resolution calling for limits on freedom of speech and asked for “all Americans of faith [to] stand together against the plans of the Zionist to disunite us, as the Zionists respect neither Judaism, Christianity or Islam.”
Similar to the protest in Houston, protesters in front of the Los Angeles Federal Building held up posters denouncing the film and blaming the violence seen in several Middle Eastern countries on Zionism. One poster read, “Yes to Torah, Yes to Bible, Yes to Quran, No to Zionism.”
PressTV, the Iranian government’s primary medium for promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories to English-speaking countries, described the Los Angeles protest as a reaction to the anti-Islam film produced “thanks to Jewish donations totaling USD five million.”
The false claim that the film was the work of an “Israeli Jew” initially spread when the filmmaker said in interviews that his project had 100 Jewish backers who had invested $5 million to produce it. It was later revealed that the film was created, produced and promoted by several Christian anti-Muslim activists connected to a network of anti-Muslim organizations.