American embassies attacked in Cairo, Benghazi, one American killed, because of a film about Islam

Protestors outside American Cairo embassy

Protestors outside American Cairo embassy

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’.”

Bunglawala seems consumed by an obsession with JewsZionists and ‘Jewish power:

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.


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.

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16 Responses to American embassies attacked in Cairo, Benghazi, one American killed, because of a film about Islam

  1. Rob Harris says:

    Thanks, an iInteresting post Anne. The parallels are interesting. It seems Westerners aren’t even allowed engage in normal academic exercises anymore when it comes to discussing the history of one major monotheistic faith. I predict that many pro-Pal folks will blame the ebil (sic) Israeli’s for all the anti-US violence, as per their usual strategy – note the mention of the supposed nationality of the film maker

    BTW I’m of two minds about Terry Jones. I think what he did was dangerous to American troops but at the same time I wonder do we need people who are wiling to truly stand up and make such gestures, not to provoke but to insist on our right to criticise “The Religion of Peace” (TM: all media).

    • anneinpt says:

      I agree completely with your assessment Rob. It is absurd and dangerous that no one, neither Westerners nor Muslims, are allowed to take a critical look at Islam. The threat of violence is so pernicious that it is stifling all academic freedom. And look what that stifling has brought to the Arab world. Backwardness, poverty and ignorance.

      I agree about Terry Jones – that’s why I wrote that I don’t really approve of his actions. However, in a democracy, one is supposed to “defend to the death your right to say something offensive”. It shouldn’t entail anything worse than peaceful protests and letters to the editor. Not mayhem and murder.

      • Rob Harris says:

        Indeed and it is interesting how apologists of Islam on forums etc. are blaming Jones etc. for the violence. They are also minimising the significance of what went on. The very popular salafist movement is behind much of the trouble if reports are to be believed. Now the media where I am is saying the violence may have been a parallel to the protests, and citing the rather dubious Quilliam Foundation which blames Al Qaeda! Yet the local media featured a lot of content about the offending film, whilst religious leaders also condemned the content. I find the latter particularly interesting because that act muct have truly fanned the flames – their condemnation would of course increase the probability of intensive violence a la the Mohammad cartoons, which were also motivated by high level condemnations. Odd then that the only religious figure blamed is Jones!!

        BTW no disrespect to Mark as I agree with his views to a fair extent but I don’t think the Jewish diaspora can be blamed on Arabs or Turks be blamed for inventing genocide.

        • Aridog says:

          You both apparently know little or nothing about blabber mouth Rev Terry Jones. Name one thing, just one, that the gutless weasel has ever done to enhance any potential for peace? I’m not going to bother going on, except to say he is NOT, repeat NOT, about free speech or criticizing anything…he is a riot started of the kind who ducks away when the rocks and bullets fly. I promise you that if I ever run in to him in his unwelcome but frequent visits to my home town, I will drop him to the ground by any means necessary, then kick him until he ceases wiggling. He’s not a freedom fighter, he is a punk, self aggrandizing, and doing it on my turf and my expense more or less.

          • Aridog says:

            And, no, I am not about to apologize for my apparent divergence from the principles of free speech. Jones is the guy essentially hollering fire in a crowded theater, repeatedly and where there is not fire. He fails the “clear and present danger,” “bad tendency” and “imminent lawless action” tests and such speech is not protected, by the First Amendment of the US Constitution, per several rulings by the Supreme Court of the United States.

            Jones tries to provide violence. He does it intentionally. He doesn’t care which side begins the violence. When violence eventually finds him, personally, with any luck, justice will prevail. He can go back to Florida in a bag for all I care.

            • Rob Harris says:

              LOL Ari. I don’t know much about Terry Jones personally other than listening to an interview he gave where he was adament that he supported the right for Muslims to worship freely and peacefully on US soil. I don’t know enough to say what his intentions are, and maybe he is as bad as you say. I was merely making a broad point that some people should stand up to the aggression that surrounds the response of any meaningful criticism of Islam. So many are already cowering with self-censorship. Worse still, some think that response is right, that Islam is the exception above all other issues!

              Many Muslims are peaceful law abiding individuals but a substantive number are not (as attested to in surveys), and very few are willing to stand up and criticise the abhorrent acts of other believers. Meanwhile the demographics in many parts of Europe are rapidly changing – less so in the US. A point not raised AFAIK but critical nonetheless is what do we think will happen when there are a very substantive number of Muslim immigrants and converts within a given society? Some Muslim societies and nations are peaceful enough but the great majority of sectarian religious conflicts today involve Islam. Are we not importing a time bomb, and too afraid to even tackle its wiring (tendency to extremism and isolationism) at this early stage? If some events bring out the seemingly-inherent ugliness of the faith then I suggest it could be what you guys call “a teachable moment”.

              My point is this: maybe there really is a fire in the theatre and Jones is just fanning it a bit.

              • Aridog says:

                Yes, a teachable moment. Nothing for Rev Jones to do with his backwater sewer Florida sniveling speech making. He’s a gutless wonder who will shrink in front of any real threat, but is quite happy to foment it then hide back in his little shit hole 29 person church in Florida…about 1000 miles away from here. A newby here flew an Al Qaeda flag from the front stoop, breifly a while ago….I went to talk to him and he understood what I intended if he didn’t lose the flag. If there’s a small fire in the theater, you stomp it out. if it a larger fire, you call the firemen. You do not need jackass preachers who know nothing of the neighborhood or the people living in it.

                When you seek to teach those who do not fully understand you, you do NOT begin by slapping them upside the head and punching them in the cultural mouth. You up front explain what is acceptable and what is not. I’ve been a military advisor in two countries far far away and trust me, ‘teachers’ like Rev Jones would have been dead in less than 24 hours. He’s the kind of guy you’d not stand near…because the satchel with the C4 and nails was going to fly at him sooner than later.

                I have no use for CAIR and neither do most of my neighbors. Now CAIR is a threat and our government continues to kiss their butt. You tell me where the “problem” is, eh?

                • Rob Harris says:

                  Ari I take your point that one shouldn’t slap someone upside the head if they do not fully understand an issue. However, I’m not sure your point takes into account the weakened cultural climate in the West which has led to any debate being virtually silenced at almost every level except the unregulated “Interweb” to some extent. Look at the response to this very event. They are not so much blaming the killers themselves as laying the moral responsibility at the hands of the filmmaker. “The “Innocence of Muslims,” the film blamed for provoking the violence….” – It leads me to wonder how a society can have an honest discussions with Muslims when we (not you personally) in the West can’t be honest about the matter generally.

                  Indeed governments are a problem, which developed from an entire cultural milieu in the West but Islam is the prime mover here. I don’t know much about Jones as a character but it now seems that he wasn’t involved anyway as Anne suggested. Shit stirring is destructive but it’ll happen and all we can do is insist on the right to shit stir in the face of a vast threat of intensive sectarian violence and terrorism (cf. “a billion Osamas”). It has already had a real impact on limiting hard earned freedoms that took centuries to gain. It is ONLY in the face of such threat that people like Jones gain power. ”Sam Bacile” is actually a Copt,7340,L-4281000,00.html and his backers appear to be from the same background so the film could also be seen as a visceral response to an abiding oppression in the Islamic world rather than the actions of a shit stirrer.

            • anneinpt says:

              Let’s wait and see if Jones was really involved. There has been a lot of research going on about who this “Sam Bacile” is, and it turns out he’s not Israeli and probably not Jewish. If he lied about his identity, perhaps he lied about Jones being involved.

              Not that I’m approving of Jones’ irresponsible actions. But let’s wait a bit before throwing around accusations.

  2. Mark Bernadiner says:

    “Great” arab inventions. Obama’s Cairo speech

    Muhammad, founder of Islam and author of Koran, was mentally sick psychopath and pedophile, he had married a 6-year old girl and raped her when she was 9. Muhammad could not read and write. While in seizure, he uttered disjointed phrases, which his followers represented as Allah divine afflatus. This is the history of Islam that muslims and “honest and free” western media would not like you to know. These facts show that islam is not a religion, but a cult.
    Read: “History of Middle Ages” Professor Nikolay A. Osokin, Textbook (in Russian), Publishing house: Imperial University Printing Office, Kazan, 1888, 771 pp.; Publisher: ACT, Harvest, Moscow, 2008, 672 pp. (reprint)
    In his Cairo speech, Obama accredited to arabs all fundamental inventions human race made over centuries. None of the Obama mentioned is true, as every person graduated from credible high school knows. However, it does not mean that arabs, great nation with centuries of history, has no inventions critical for human life. They have and here they are:
    1. Ethnic Cleansing – invented centuries ago, implemented over 2000 years ago in Israel when they occupied Israel and disseminated Jews around the world; from 1948 through 1953 arab countries expelled a million Jews and stole their properties; in 1974, Turkish armed forces invaded Cyprus, captured 36 percent of its territory, partitioned the island, implemented a policy of “ethnic cleansing” and sent close to 200,000 Greek Cypriots southward as refugees who lost their property, desecrated churches and cemeteries, and in 1983 declared the northern Turkish Republic of Cyprus; in 1999, Kosovo Liberation Army stormed homes of the last 15 Jews in Kosovo’s capital, who had to clear out, with just the clothes on their backs; recently, Jews in Yemen were under attack and have been relocated to Britain.
    2. Genocide – invented by Turks and implemented in 1915–1917 in Armenia: over 1.5 mln. Armenians, including children, died.
    3. Holocaust – invented by Haj Amin al Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem, in 1920s in Palestine (occupied territory of the State of Israel); implemented in Palestine in 1920s-30s; in 1941, Haj Amin al Husseini brought the Holocaust idea to Hitler and helped him to implement Holocaust in Europe 1941-45; he organized in Europe two islamofascist brigades that operated under SS control, had their own concentration camp, and killed tens of thousand of Europeans, including Jews.
    Islam is based on three fundamental principles:
    1. Stealing
    2. Killing, and
    3. Lying
    Koran says:
    “Slay them wherever you find them. Fight against them till idolatry is no more and God’s religion reigns supreme” (Sura 2:190),
    “Seek out your enemies relentlessly” (Sura 4:103),
    “Make war on them till idolatry shall cease and God’s religion shall reign supreme” (Sura 8:36),
    “When the sacred months are over slay the unbelievers wherever you find them. Arrest them, beseige them and lie in ambush everywhere for them” (Sura 9:5),
    “Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you” (Sura 9:121),
    “When you meet the unbelievers on the battlefield strike off their heads” (Sura 47:3),
    “Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal sternly with them. Hell shall be their home, evil their fate” (Sura 66:7).
    Koran is Islamic Mein Kamf. Islam is fascist cult and must be eliminated from the earth.

    • anneinpt says:

      Thanks for your comment Mark. It is indeed terrifying when one takes a deeper look at Islam – something the West has been frightened away from doing.

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  4. peteca1 says:

    Anne .. US media have carried major reactions tonight (Wed) to some of these incidents. I have been surprised that more Americans were not paying a lot of attention to the news from Egypt and Libya. The burning of the embassy employee inLibya is deeply troubling. So is the assassination of our ambassador. There was a time in history when the USA would have made a very strong response to these kinds of provocations. I certainly do agree with you that the overall US response has been flaccid. It does not bode well for Americans (as individuals), particularly those living in the ME, in the coming months and years ahead.

    It appears that in this election year the current US administration is attempting to steer a “middle of the road” policy in the Middle East – an attempt to avoid offending anyone. However, in an environment that is becoming more and more polarized, I’m not sure it will work.

    • Aridog says:

      Regrettably, I agree with you……the overall US response has been flaccid. It does not bode well for Americans (as individuals), …

      Technically, no one should pay attention to anything more I say, and I plan to say little. I am ashamed of my government and way too angry about it be rational.

    • anneinpt says:

      There was a time in history when the USA would have made a very strong response to these kinds of provocations.

      I was thinking those exact thoughts this morning, Pete. Times have changed sadly.

      I’m sure the election campaign is influencing the Administration’s actions, but these actions are hardly different to what they have been throughout Obama’s tenure. If he’s reelected I don’t see any change for the better in the Administration’s foreign policy.

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