Violent Outbursts In The Muslim World

September 17, 2012

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Last week, there were violent outbursts in the Muslim world.  The cause of this explosion was reported to be an internet video that is insulting to the Prophet.  This is hard to support since the video was weeks old and unknown to most of the world until an Egyptian television station broadcast it.  Somehow, this video provided an excuse to attack the United States, protesting at American facilities, storming American consulates and embassies, and killing of Americans including an Ambassador.  A video that was never condoned by any official of the United States, never broadcast by or in the United States, possibly not even made in America or by an American, is an excuse to burn and kill.  If this standard was held for all speech, then when Rachel Madow said that the Westborough Baptist Church was wrong to protest at fallen servicemen’s funerals, the Belgian Embassy should have been torched rockets should have been lobed into the economic mission of Nepal, after all, there is probably someone in those countries that do not like Baptists.

Last year I wrote an article defending the President for his decision to not intervene in Egypt.  I also wrote an article questioning his decision to intervene in Libya.  I also wrote an article questioning the media outcry to intervene in Syria.  I am grateful to the President for resisting that call for action.  In all of these situations, American intervention would have justified the people of those nations fighting America to keep their own identity.  The activities in Libya may actually be more closely related to our intervention than to the video.  The other outbursts show a culture that is too ready to be insulted and to ready to resort to violence at the slightest context.  That these events occurred on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks on the United States and the graffiti stating that there are thousands of Osamas attacking America would betray that the video is of no consequence.

So what is the reaction to these attacks?  First, the embassy in Egypt put out a message that the United States did not condone the video and condemned the violence in Libya.  The media only looked at the first part of this message, the right condemning it as weak and the left as an explanation of the violence.  Currently the United States is intervening.  We are arming the Marines who guard out embassies (why they guard without bullets is something that cannot be understood).  We are calling on host nations to protect our sovereignty and our people.  We are calling for the arrest and punishment of those people responsible for damage to property and life.  All of these are responsible reactions to the crimes that were committed against America.

What else can be done?  Evaluations will have to be made to test the intent of host nations.  If they are honestly trying to bring criminals to justice, then the United States should work with them.  If they appear to be supporting the criminals and concentrating on demand that the United States change their basic believes to shut down free speech, then other actions can be taken including cutting off financial support.  There have been calls for cutting the support without investigation, that would be irresponsible.  There has also been harassment of the supposed producer of the video, this is also irresponsible. My suggestion to anyone who is insulted by a video is DON’T WATCH IT.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kosmo
    Sep 17, 2012 @ 10:37:16

    A couple of thoughts:

    Irrational reactions? That’s certain not something completely unknown in the U.S. Look at the violence against people of certain ethnicities following 9/11. Some of the people targeted weren’t even from “enemy” countries, but simple had somewhat similar skin tones. And in nearly all cases (perhaps even 100% of cases), the victims weren’t terrorist sympathizers.

    And remember all the anti-France backlash? Freedom fries and all? Boycotting fries really hurt nobody, other than perhaps Idaho potato farmers. Boycotting French wine? OK, that hurts the vineyards … but are they setting foreign policy for the country.

    I’d also argue that there is a US link to the film. The spokesman for the film is a California insurance agent, and the guy who funded it is apparently US-based, although of Egyptian heritage.

    Does the US government agree with the sentiments of the film? No … but for a moment, look without the lens of a US citizen. In many countries, the government actively censors a lot of content, such that the lack of government censorship equates to tacit endorsement. If you’re in one of those countries, would that be your mindset? Not everyone assume that freedom of speech exist – because in many cases, it’s a completely foreign concept.

    As for the spontaneous nature of the riots, I’ve heard a couple of things. First is that some of the rioters were paid. Money talks. Give me enough money and I’d bet I could create a pretty good riot. $200 (tax free) per person per day? I think I’d get a few takers on that offer.

    I’ve also heard news reports that the storming of the embassy in Libyan was planned by an organized terrorist cell who simply took advantage of the situation – not a spontaneous group of citizens.

    I’m not saying that this explains all the actions, and I’d certainly never condone violence in these case, but sometimes American can have a somewhat limited view of world events.


  2. Martin Kelly
    Sep 18, 2012 @ 09:42:23

    From what I am finding now (and of course this is subject to the light of day to prove) is that this producer is a con man. He made a trailer and gathered money to make a movie, but never did. Still, even if he did, no one should have died.

    The same is true for the people who suffered after 9/11 just because some idiots whated to fight and used 9/11 as an excuse to bully others. In my community, Chrisitan Lebenese who run several resteraunts were targeted (luckily just calls for boycots of their food).

    It does appear as more information comes out that the Lybian activities were driven by pro-Kadafi people (I don’t know if we can call them terrorists if they are fighting one half of a civil war). The other protests still look like they are using the idea of this film as a reason to riot.


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