Militant Islamic violence: Response to a video, or ideology?
SAN DIEGO — "Islam is a religion of peace.” We’ve heard that repeatedly since 9/11. This past turbulent week, the point has been driven home again: "Islam is a religion of peace.” How do we know that? Because Muslims keep telling us it is. "Moderate” Muslims visit TV and radio talk shows during violent uprisings to set the record straight.
Non-Muslims also defend Islam. Obama has given his fair share of lectures. So did George Bush. So do political pundits and college professors.
World news doesn’t help sell the case. There are many peaceful Muslims, but their "stabilizing influence” is eclipsed by coreligionists who scale embassy walls, burn American flags, riot, murder, and engage in other acts of violence that have erupted like Vesuvius across the Islamic world. Last week, the lava flowed through Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Tunisia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other Islamic countries.
While many (including Libyan Interim President Al-Magariaf ) believe these acts were planned, coordinated attacks deliberately set for the anniversary of 9/11, the Obama Administration initially insisted that the riots were spontaneous, sparked by Sam Bacile’s crude portrayal of the Prophet Mohammad in a 14-minute YouTube trailer for his film, Innocence of Muslims.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called it "a film we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting" (Los Angeles Times, September 18, 2012).
Was this video the real cause of the explosion, or just an excuse to justify an uprising that was going to happen anyway? Two completely different groups are trying to benefit from the video theory. They make strange bedfellows. Radical Islamist terrorist groups are always salivating at a new excuse to spread their cause. Obama’s spokespeople seem eager to produce a theory which distracts us from an obvious question: If these demonstrations were coordinated in advance, how did the Administration not see it coming, especially during a countdown to the eleventh anniversary of 9/11?
On Tuesday, the White House walked its position back a little claiming, "The FBI is investigating, and that investigation will follow the facts wherever they lead."
Undoubtedly, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Riots and vandalism would have happened anyway, but the convenience of a hot-button video helped fan the flame.
Innocence of Muslims appears to be a horrible movie. The trailer looks like it was made on a budget of $12.00. The humor is stupid and awkward. The sexual scenes are disgusting. As if this "work of art” weren’t bad enough, new information is trickling in about the director’s shady background. His actors insist they did not understand the true purpose of the film and that the word "Mohammad” was actually dubbed in later.