Ah, those moderate peace-loving Muslims. It only takes a film to enrage and inflame them to such an extent that they will storm American embassies around the Middle East, and kill any available American that they can find.
In Cairo, protestors scaled the embassy walls, attempting to storm the building.
Main ultraconservative Islamist protesters climbed the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Egypt’s capital Tuesday and brought down the flag, replacing it with a black flag with an Islamic inscription to protest a video attacking Islam’s prophet, Muhammad.
Hundreds of protesters marched to the embassy in downtown Cairo, gathering outside its walls and chanting against the movie, which was reportedly produced in the United States.
“Say it, don’t fear: Their ambassador must leave,” the crowd chanted.
Dozens of protesters then scaled the embassy walls, went into the courtyard and took down the flag from a pole. They brought it back to the crowd outside, which tried to burn it, but failing that, tore it apart. The protesters on the wall then raised on the flagpole a black flag with the Muslim declaration of faith on it, “There is no god but God and Muhammad is his prophet.”
The flag, similar to the banner used by al-Qaida, is commonly used by ultraconservatives around the region. Almost all the embassy staff had left the compound before the protest, and the ambassador was out of town.
The protest was sparked by outrage over a video being promoted by an extreme anti-Muslim Egyptian Christian campaigner in the U.S., clips of which are available on the social website YouTube and dubbed in Egyptian Arabic. The video depicts Muhammad as a fraud, showing him having sex and calling for massacres. Muslims find it offensive to depict Muhammad in any fashion, much less in an insulting way.
The spasm of violence continued in America’s embassy in Benghazi, Libya, where a violent crowd of rioters killed an American official. The lily-livered response of the Americans to the violent attacks (highlighted below) and murder are almost incredible, and yet they are of a piece with the Americans’ flaccid attitude towards Iran and chime in with Obama’s grovelling speech to the Muslim world in Cairo at the beginning of his presidency.
From the Telegraph link above:
The attack in Benghazi, which last year was the launch-pad of the revolution which overthrew Col Muammar Gaddafi and is a seat of Islamist politics in Libya, took place later in the evening.
The mob there was armed and sprayed the Libyan security forces defending the building with gunfire, and even shot rocket-propelled grenades. Overwhelming the defences, they then proceeded to hurl small home-made bombs at the buildings, loot it and then set it on fire.
Staff inside were evacuated, though not before one was shot dead, Libyan officials said. Another was injured in the hand. A number of Libyan security guards were seen being taken to hospital.
The State Department’s initial reaction to the protests set off a political row. The initial statement by the embassy in Cairo, before the attack in Libya, condemned “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims, as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.”
The later statement, confirming the death of the consulate worker, by Mrs Clinton said: “The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation.
“But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.”
But Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, said: “”I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi.
“It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”
Mr. Romney seems to be the only one who gets it.
A similar story, with a different ending, has just occurred in Britain. In this case disaster was averted when UK TV Channel 4 cancelled the screening of a a film documenting Islam’s origins.
Channel 4 has cited concerns over security as the reason for cancelling a planned screening at its headquarters this week of a documentary film questioning the origins of Islam.
Islam: The Untold Story, which claimed there was little written contemporary evidence about the origin of the religion, sparked more than 1,000 complaints to Channel 4 and the media regulator after it was broadcast two weeks ago.
Its presenter, the historian Tom Holland, was also the focus of substantial criticism, as well as abuse, on Twitter.
The channel said in a statement on Tuesday: “Having taken security advice we have reluctantly cancelled a planned screening of the programme, Islam: The Untold Story. We remain extremely proud of the film, which is still available to view on 4oD.”
Taylor said media coverage was a factor in whipping up “a false storm of protest” over the programme, which she described as “a good bit of history by one of the most eminent historians in the country”.
“We have got to be able to discuss history. That is the western way. That is what we do here. Every other civilisation that Tim has written about has come in for the same treatment. Why should Islam be left out?”
Among those who criticised the programme was Inayat Bunglawala, who debated with Holland on Twitter. Bunglawala also blogged about the programme, accusing Holland of “bizarre conjecture About Islam’s birthplace”.
Holland and Channel 4 also posted an online response to the critics.
In case you were wondering who is this Inayat Bunglawala who protested the film, CiFWatch have an unflattering profile of him.
“Bunglawala is part of an organisation, Muslim Council for Britain – which tells the British public what it wants to hear on subjects such as the 7/7 terror attacks, but at the same time objects to Holocaust Memorial Day, campaigned against the law on the glorification of terrorism on the grounds that it was “unfairly targeting Muslims and stifling legitimate debate” and opposed the publication of the ‘Danish cartoons’.”
Interestingly, Channel 4 made a rather offensive film about the sinister “Israel Lobby” in the UK which received many complaints, and also a highly partisan, anti-Israel 4 part documentary entitled “The Promise” dealing with Israel and the Palestinians. Despite the hundreds, if not thousands, of complaints and protests by Jews worldwide, you did not see one British embassy or TV station attacked, stormed, nor anyone killed. Why cannot the Muslim world conduct itself in the same peaceful manner as the Jewish community?
This Ynet link contains the controversial video itself if you wish to see what all the hysteria is about. I admit that I haven’t watched it, nor do I have any particular wish to see it. I’m not sure that I even approve of making such an offensive film. Certainly Pastor Terry Jones is a foolish and offensive provocateur.
However, if the Muslim world cannot act in a mature way about an offensive film – not any physical action or physical attack or discriminatory laws, just a movie – then what hope is there for any kind of normal peace between Israel and the Arabs, or between the Muslim world and the West? If the Jews had reacted in a similar fashion to every offensive film and book ever made about them, there would be no one left alive in the world.
***** WARNING: GRAPHIC PICTURE AHEAD ******
The attack in Benghazi was a lot more horrific than one would imagine from the vague story in the Telegraph. This Twitter link is rather stomach-churning.