“Innocence of Muslims” reminds some of “Horseman Without a Horse,” a 41-part miniseries that first aired, in 2002, on Egyptian state television. According to the Anti-Defamation league, the series was based on a Russian forgery known as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which describes a Jewish conspiracy to rule the world. It includes such timeworn falsehoods as the notion that Jews kill Christian children and use their blood to make matzoh. And it’s one key to understanding how an obscure YouTube video could launch international riots. Free speech may be harder to understand on the Middle Eastern street, when some of the most virulent bigotry does, in fact, come sanctioned by the state.
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