It’s Too Easy to Lay All the Blame on a Crude Video

Margaret Wente, The Globe and Mail, September 18, 2012

I nearly drove into a tree when I heard liberal commentators on the radio blaming a crude anti-Islamic video for the widespread outbreak of violent street protests by angry Muslims. “We have to remember that speech has consequences,” one of them warned. The protests spread to more than a dozen countries, including Somalia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and even downtown Sydney in Australia, where a young child held up a sign that said, “Behead all those who insult the Prophet.”

But I was stunned when the U.S. administration blamed the video, too. “What sparked the recent violence was the airing on the Internet of a very hateful, very offensive video that has offended many people around the world,” explained Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, on a Sunday talk show. The line was that the protests were directed against the video, not the U.S.—which might come as a surprise to the folks who were burning American flags and chanting, “Obama, Obama, we love Osama.”

Well, I guess blaming the video is easier than facing the facts. Back in 2009, President Barack Obama went to Cairo and promised to reset the U.S. relationship with the Arab world. Unlike his predecessor, he sympathized with Muslim aspirations. Muslims were anti-American because of bad American policies, and he would fix that.

Things didn’t quite work out as planned. Back then, 70 per cent of Egyptians had an unfavourable opinion of the U.S. Today, 79 per cent do.

The U.S. doesn’t have much influence in the Arab world these days. As Syria goes up in flames and the Arab Spring turns into a series of messy power struggles among countless rival factions, it’s clear that the transition from repressive dictatorship to moderate democracy will be a long time coming. The infamous video seems to have been a handy pretext for riots organized by radical factions who want to make the “moderates” look bad. If not for that pretext, there would have been another one.

In the wake of the protests, many Western commentators have pointed out that we all have extremists in our midst, and although there’s no excuse for violence, it’s reprehensible to rile people up by insulting their religion. This fake equivalency ignores the essential point, which is that the Muslim world abhors the crime of blasphemy far more than it values religious freedom or secularism or free speech. Any challenge to the Prophet or the Holy Book is cause for outrage.

In Western culture we insult religion all the time and think nothing of it. We fight for people’s right to put a crucifix in urine and put it on display and call it art. This difference in values is profound. If somebody accused Jesus Christ of violating little boys, few Western Christians would protest, storm embassies, burn flags or wave signs calling for the accuser to be beheaded.

Of course not all Muslims are intolerant. But if we value our freedoms, we are bound to offend a lot of Muslims a lot of the time. We can’t do much about it and we probably should not apologize. Should Salman Rushdie have apologized for writing The Satanic Verses? After all, millions of people were offended by that, too. Muslims have also been offended by a handful of obscure newspaper cartoons and by an obscure Dutch film. Last month, they were offended by a historical documentary aired on the BBC that dared to question the authenticity of some of the stories in the Koran. “Islam is a legitimate subject of historical inquiry,” objected the filmmaker, Tom Holland, who got so many threats that the BBC called off a private screening for security reasons.

Too many liberal intellectuals—and now, unbelievably, the U.S. administration—seem to think it’s partly our fault when Western insults to Islam lead to riots in the streets. But maybe there’s a bigger cause. Although it’s deeply unfashionable to say so, maybe what we have here is a clash of civilizations.

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  • Easyrhino1

    Bottom line is Muslims don’t like being bombed or occupied and when you throw in the US’s hypocritical double standard with regards to our relationship with Israel you have a recipe for disaster.

    Smartest thing the US can do is pull all our troops (and funding) out of the ME and central Asia and leave them to themselves. 

    • The__Bobster

      And then deport all the muzzies.

    • Puggg

      The bottom line is that Muslims are stuck in the seventh century.  I don’t want troops in the ME or us supporting Israel any more than you do.  But even if we do all that, and we should, Muslims will still act this way.

      Western civilization has experienced and beat back the Muslim onslaught twice before, and in both times there was no Israel.

      • blight14

         I’ll take my chances, sever our unholy relationship with ‘the only democracy in the middle east’…….

      • As I see it, the whole Israeli-Arab conflict is nothing more than Semite vs. Semite. One side says, ‘we’re the good Semites and they’re the bad Semites’. We’re caught in the middle because we have taken sides in their centuries old Semite vs. Semite conflicts.

    • blight14

      Well stated and 100% correct……while simplistic, ‘we didn’t have an enemy in the middle east until we had an friend in the middle east’……our ‘friend’ will likely be our downfall…..

    • Yes, there is that. Muslims don’t like their territories occupied by westerners. We shouldn’t be there and we should leave. No minority should be where they’re not wanted just to prove a political point.
      They’re also stuck in the past dedicated to a religion that only seems to hold them back. If some Arab states didn’t have oil money to buy western technology, they would still be parading the desert on camels, living in tents, and using their left hand for toilet paper. Indonesian Muslim countries seems to have embraced a more open, less militant version of Islam and have the sense to adopt a western model for their economies.
      For me, I don’t plan on watching every word I say just to keep Muslims from rioting. I’m not going to adjust my life to accommodate them which is what they want. They want control over us and will use any excuse to riot and kill. There is no appeasing them or living with them.
      The only reason they move to western nations instead of living in their Islamic paradises is that they want to use our own tolerance against us. We are being infiltrated so they can destroy us from within.  

      • Bantu Education

        Indonesia is a very fertile country which can grow all the food it wants and more. This is the big difference – radical Islam seems to thrive in deserts.  Maybe some philosopher can explain why this is the case?   

  • Puggg

    Yes, it’s “easy” to lay all the blame on a cruddy YT video that hardly anyone watched before the beginning of last week.  But the left has no choice to do that, because not doing it means they have to admit that:

    1.  Obama did something bad

    2.  There is no racial equality, non-whites are not merely white people with darker skin that all aspire to Jeffersonian democracy.

    I hear that the Egyptian government, our “friends,” has issued an arrest warrant for Terry Jones.  Party like it’s 1979.

    • Bad_Mr_Frosty

      They can’t even understand Jeffersonian Democracy.

      “Ali! Stop raping that child and pay attention! Why is separation of powers and a system of checks and balances necessary in a Federal Government?”

      • Puggg

        Now a French magazine published “cartoons,” and the seventh century denizens are going nuts.

        Meanwhile, nobody was murdered after “P*** Christ.”  All we wanted is for the Federal government not to fund such “art.”

  • WmarkW

    In fairness of the people of the Islamic world, I don’t recall them rioting over the works of Robert Spencer, Ibn Warraq, Ayan Hirsi Ali, Daniel Pipes, Geert Wilders or Wafa Sultan.  They do seem to understand the difference between responsible criticism and silly stunts like burning a Quran.

    • The__Bobster
    • Puggg

      And they didn’t really riot over this video, either.  I guess I have to repeat again:  AQ hit timed to 9/11.  I’m sure they’d like you to think the video was a cause, in order to sucker the American government into vicariously adopting Sharia.

  • jedsrael

    God will violent Muslims to punish White evangelicals for replacing the Virgin and Jesus with Rosa Parks and MLK.

    As bad as the child rapers can give it to us, they can’t give it as bad as we deserve it…

  • brew730

    Seeing the roving bands of hundreds of thousands of rioters in all of those peace-loving countries reminds me what Mark Steyn has said about the Muslims in the US.   The Muslims in the US
    haven’t shown their true colors yet simply because they don’t have sufficient numbers.  Wait until the US is 10-15% Muslim.  Then they will tip their cards and riot in America over this type of BS like they are doing in the Middle East and Africa.  They are just biding their time here.

  • Detroit_WASP

    That vid had little to nothing to do with the violence. 

    I’ll bet we don’t hear Joe Biden say, “Osama Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive” anymore!  That’s what started all this….lol.    Never tick off a religious nut!

    • LaSantaHermandad

      What freaks me out is how Biden can spout one idiotic statement after another and there is no comment from the Blue people.  If Obama loses the election, he can grab Joe by the face and kiss him on the lips and say “Fredo, uhm, uh I mean JOE! I know it was you. You broke my heart.”

      Dan Quayle was crucified for “potatoe”

      • The__Bobster

        It used to be spelled that way. That’s why the plural has an “e” in it.

        That school had some damn old flash cards.

  • MekongDelta69

    Islam is not the ‘religion of peace.’

    Islam is the ‘religion of pieces.’

    It is totally incompatible with Western Civilization and always has been.

  • LaSantaHermandad

    Open the Keystone pipeline,  bring all the troops home get Hell out of the Muslim world, stop the billions in aid. Deport all the suspicious ones whom we’re been surveilling and  let them  all kill each other over there.. Let’s forget about American Empire building and take care of things at home. Eisenhower warned us about the Military/ Industrial complex. There’ something in Afghanistan that we find valuable. It hasn’t a damn thing to do with democracy and the freedom of the Afghans. They preach all that s–t while they slowly and deliberately abridge our (the productive segment of society) freedoms here. I’ve read that Afghanistan has valuable minerals and gold. 
    If ONLY Ron Paul had a little more “GRAVITAS”. Voting for him would only assure BHO a victory although it seems that Romney has been doing that as well.

    • Bad_Mr_Frosty

      Minerals and gold? Yea right, try Opium. The CIA controls (or at least “regulates”) the international drug trade.

  • I agree with the headline of this article, that the crude video is getting too much of the blame.  It *is* a clash of ivilizations, and that shouldn’t be whitewashed.

    But who is orchestrating the Clash?  In other words, why is the video so very crude?  Who bothers to make a movie like that??

    Bibi Netanyahu just happens to have a bunch of talk show appearances in New York scheduled when the embassy attacks break out?  So he can seamlessly break off this riff?:”They put their zealotry above their survival,” Netanyahu told MTP host David Gregory. “It’s the same fanaticism that you see storming your embassies today. You want these fanatics to have nuclear weapons?

    And lo and behold, the former US ambassador to Israel says today that a strike on Iran is “coming in early 2013”.

    Of course we know what fanatics already *do* have nuclear weapons.

  • JohnEngelman

    We have to care about what they think of us. Thirty-nine years after the OPEC Oil Boycott of 1973 we are more dependent on Arab oil than ever before. 

  • anarchyst

    “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” would be good advice for ANY foreigner that comes to MY country.  If they don’t like it here, LEAVE. . .I used to put up with the diatribes of foreigners . . . I was able to “put them in their place” by stating to them” If life is so good in your country, WHY did you come here??”  “Go back to where you came from”.  The look of shock on their faces and the dead silence was priceless.That being said, BOTH zionism and islam are political systems masquerading as religions . . . I would require all zionists and muslims to register with the U S State department as “agents of a foreign government”.  Any subversive acts (which HAVE already happened and should have been prosecuted) would be punishable under federal law and would subject these (and other like organizations such as the $PLC, ADL, etc.) to sanction, indictment of their officers, confiscation of all property and assets and a one-way trip OUT of MY country. . .Fellow travelers would also be eligible for the same treatment. . . .
    For organizations such as CAIR, ADL, $PLC and others, assets should be frozen, their officers indicted and arrested. Mass deportations should take place. I don’t care what others think. Islam and muslims are incompatible with the United States of America and have no business here . . .WE ARE AT WAR . . . the islamists and their fellow travelers are using our own Constitution against us. . . THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A “MODERATE” MUSLIM. This is evidenced by the lack of criticism (and outcry) from the so-called “moderate” muslim community.

  • blight14

     Strange, youtube has refused to remove the ‘offensive’ video yet submit one that is 0.002% critical of Israel and it will be yanked in about 1.2 milliseconds……hmmmm, that seems fair……

  • From all the Twilight Zone episodes I’ve seen, I know the consequences of making a deal with the devil.

  • Bad_Mr_Frosty

    Violence is, typically, not our first reaction. I doubt Whites would riot on their own. I think the first White riots will be counter-riots. Once we get a taste for violence and all PC silliness evaporates, it’s over for our current Lefty ruling class.  

  • Bad_Mr_Frosty

    No we don’t. The globalists need a reason to keep the US involved in the ME. Our manufactured addiction to oil is their reason.

    Look up the documentary “Gashole”. We have technology to use petroleum far more efficiently, but it is excluded from the market. We also have several alternative fuels (bio-diesel, hydrogen, natural gas) that are, again, excluded from the market. Everything must run on petroleum so the (globalist) oil companies have the US by the balls.

  • Howard W. Campbell

    Just another day closer to nukes flying around the middle east.

  • There are some who believe Obama is a Muslim.  That would explain his soft approach to the Middle East.  I do not know if he is a “card carrying” Muslim, but he certainly seems to support them.