published Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Behind the embassy riots

Americans trying to make sense of the wave of violent protests against U.S. diplomatic stations that have swept across the Muslim world in the past week are unlikely to find a singular explanation. The American-made film that debases the Prophet Muhammad and the Islamic religion clearly proved to be a ready ignition source: As many critics note, it's akin to shouting "fire" in a crowded theater. But angry Islamists were stoked for trouble well before the degrading, low-budget film, "Innocence of Muslims" -- and more specifically, the trailer on YouTube --provided focus for the latest tinderbox reaction.

Religious and cultural misunderstandings are partial answers. Muslims in a score of countries from Africa to the Middle East to Southeast Asia generally are unaware of, or don't understand, the basic rule of freedom of personal speech that prevents the U.S government, and governments in many other western countries, from imposing harsh strictures on citizens' free-speech rights. In most Muslim-ruled countries, citizens don't enjoy such rights. Their individual liberties are curtailed or denied by strict or tyrannical governments, and offenses bring punishment.

Control of government aside, many mainstream Islamists adhere to larger social and religious tenets that restrain ridicule of different religions outside their own country. They would not feel at liberty to debase another religion elsewhere, so they don't understand why debasement of their religion is allowed by western countries.

Mainstream governments in many Islamic governments, to be sure, allow plenty of street antagonism and suppression of minority religions. Yet however hypocritical, observant Muslims still find it alarming that the United States and other western countries don't appear to honor or protect Muslims' group values in behalf of their religion. And that plays into their group defense of the Muslim religion, which in their view is a higher calling than defense of individual liberties.

There's also more than a decade of poisonous U.S. history in American wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and perceived meddling and interference other Muslim countries from Yemen to the Arab Emirates to Pakistan and beyond. Muslims readily cite the dismal abuse of Muslims in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, U.S. soldiers' debasement of Muslim corpses in Afghanistan, denigration and burning of the Koran, drone strikes in several Muslim countries that kill innocents of all ages, and mistreatment of Muslims in Guantanamo Bay.

Other factors cited by Muslim observers as fodder for the protests include frustration on the street with the failure of the Arab Spring movement to bestow democratic reform after the fail of tyrannies; and incitement by rebels, terrorists and al Qaida to stir protests among disgruntled, disillusioned reform advocates. Libyan officials report evidence of the latter in the attack last week in Benghazi that killed four Americans.

President Obama's quick response to shore up military defense of embassy and consular offices and to secure support from host governments appears to be quelling the violent protests. But securing immediate safety is not a remedy for anti-American attacks. The larger problem is how to enhance tolerance and mutual respect for others' religious beliefs, both through foreign policy and at home.

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aae1049 said...

Planned 911 attack U.S. Consulate and the crime of murder, should not be overshadowed by religious extremism.

"The American-made film that debases the Prophet Muhammad and the Islamic religion clearly proved to be a ready ignition source: As many critics note, it's akin to shouting "fire" in a crowded theater."

This is a free country, let me repeat this is a free country. It is offensive that our Country found charges to arrest the film maker. If there was a problem he should have been arrested before the film, not a a convenience arrest.

In our country, Freedom of Speech should not be damped because of zealots.

The fact there is no uprising of Islam in the USA is not surprising at all. Machine guns firing and building burning is met with the National Guard and return fire in our country, and accountability called jail.

Focusing on the movie is offensive, rather than the fact than the crime of murder of our American Consulate and 2 others. We should not even attempt to appease people that justify murder in the name of religion, it is futile.

September 18, 2012 at 6:52 a.m.
Easy123 said...

JonRoss,

"The lefties obviously want sharia implemented in the U.S. There is no other way to interpret this. No other way."

There is no possible way that anyone could logically come to your conclusion. You talking out of your ass.

September 18, 2012 at 11:01 a.m.

aae1049, yet you'll find plenty on the Christian Right who do engage in such murders.

Huh.

I guess the problem isn't confined to a single religion, but is indeed a matter of other circumstance.

September 18, 2012 at 11:16 a.m.
aae1049 said...

Happy,

Please share with me a right wind Christian group that has murdered a Consulate and raped journalistic covering news.

September 18, 2012 at 12:41 p.m.
UjokinRIGHTQ said...

Easy123 said... aae,

http://www.truthbeknown.com/victims.htm

Don't forget more recent atrocities, Easy123. The Rwandan genocide, where the Hutu Tribe nearly wiped out the Tutsi tribe in a massive massacre, was primarily based on the story of Saul taken from the Christian Bible. Where it's believed some missionaries have purposely taught an extreme and more violent version of western and European religion to uneducated people in primitive and undeveloped countries. The west and Europe just use proxy-servants to commit the same atrocities. Those undeveloped and underdeveloped countries form of government may not be sophisticated and modern enough to have the likes of consulates, but they do have important tribal heads and leaders necessary for the continuation and survival of their people.

There's blood on the hands of powerful nations indirectly involved in all that's taking place in those regions. Baby Jesus Weeping

September 18, 2012 at 3:26 p.m.
aae1049 said...

I am not convinced that Anti Abortion violence is specific to Christians. That seems reaching. You guys don't have anything really.

September 18, 2012 at 6:08 p.m.
Easy123 said...

aae,

"I am not convinced that Anti Abortion violence is specific to Christians."

It is pretty specific to Christians. But what does that matter? No one asked for actions that were specific to Christianity.

"That seems reaching."

It's not reaching when there are facts to prove it.

"You guys don't have anything really."

Anything other than hard evidence and proof that Christians have been just as violent and Muslims since the beginning of those religions. Islam just happens to be the meanest dog in the yard currently.

It's highly amusing to watch to attempt to deny and dismiss evidence. Just because you aren't convinced of something doesn't mean it is up for debate or untrue.

YOU ARE REACHING BECAUSE YOU HAVE NOTHING. You're blind to the truth.

September 18, 2012 at 8:15 p.m.
Lanierlaw said...

Rioting over a video trailer or comic book self identifies one as a radical. We should consider such riots as a drone targeting opportunity!

September 19, 2012 at 1:53 a.m.
Leaf said...

If people rioted every time they saw something offensive on the internet they would be in a constant state of riot. For example every stupid thing JonRoss says.

September 19, 2012 at 2:38 p.m.
chatt_man said...

Well, the dust has settled. And while the lame stream media tried their best to protect the administration from it's well deserved criticism of it's abysmal foreign policy, the intelligent people knew the truth the whole time, as evident from the first post from this article, September 18, 2012 at 6:52 a.m

September 21, 2012 at 9:31 a.m.
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