In the smaller scheme of things, the two-week shelf life of current events, shaped by our culture's contemporary attention deficit disorder, we see a wave of violence portrayed in our media as a "Muslim response" to the recent movie, produced in California, which insults the Prophet Mohammed.
The violence seems crazy, excessive ... some thirty people have died as of this writing in violence "related" to this idiotic hate movie. Killing people over cartoons, charicatures, or movie portrayals is extreme. But being amazed that this happens and pointing fingers at entire groups of people due to the actions of a frenzied minority is not only unfair ... it is dangerous.
Mob actions, riots, small-scale but destructive, have been conducted in several countries, Yemen and Tunisia among them. In four of the countries experiencing waves of violent protest, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, long-standing tyrannical rulers were actually pushed from power. Efforts to regain stability are underway but crisis of security exist in each. In what may seem to some to be an irony, in their pre-democracy days, these countries presented less of a "problem" to American administrations.
The dictators, Mubarak in Egypt, Ben Ali in Tunisia, Saleh in Yemen, and Gaddafi in Libya. ruled with iron fists and were corruptible. Of the group to date, Libya and Egypt presented the more striking example of rage... The murder Ambassador Chris Stevens and the three others with him, was a heinous and barbaric act and has no justification. It must be pointed out, however, that many of these countries have been the recipients of repetitive American drone attacks. Egypt, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia not to mention Afghanistan.
We may surmise, from that alone, that great anti-America sentiment PRECEDED this religious insults contained in this movie with very serious injuries, civilian deaths to be specific. In Pakistan alone, thousands of civilians have been killed by American drones. To be slack jawed when a mob forms ransacking an American Embassy, is to brodcast your ignorance of the situation on the ground in these locations relative to American intervention, ignorance of a very invasive and lethal foreign policy. As an experiment, make a movie in your mind about a reverse scenario.
A very aggressive and powerful Middle Eastern country has been flying drones over our country, purportedly to rid themselves of enemies of their state that are hiding here. Many hundreds of our citizens are killed ... women, children, old people who are clearly not combatants. To add insult to murder, a movie hits the Internet portraying Christ and Abraham as thugs, charlatans and womanizers ... Attacking the mainstream religions in the U.S. I think it is obvious that militant fundamentalist bigots would arise in short order and begin killing sprees directed both at dignitaries from this country but mores at anyone apparently a member of that countries religion.
It has happened already ... the recent Sihks slayings in Wisconsin were likely intended to be vengeful slayings of Muslims. Americans must stop categorizing groups of people based on the actions of extremist minorities or judging nations by the actions of the despots who have muscled and murdered their way to control. To draw conclusions about Islam is to express a myopic ignorance and forms the basis for a bigoted position.
As with Christianity and Judaism, Islam broke into various sects and within these maybe found significant divergence of view. Not all Muslims are orthodox anymore than all Christians are fundamentalists ... And many, in all faiths,wear their religion "lightly" ... it has limited effect on their daily actions. In brief, it is probably as impossible to conclude anything about a person by saying he or she is Muslim as it is to try to derive anything defiitive about someone by noting that they are Christians orJews. Single case in point... (forgive me) Hitler considered himself to be a Christian following an ordained plan.
He grew up and was schooled as a Catholic and originally intended to become a priest. his speeches during the war often contained "religious" justification and themes ... however twisted. I think that it is absolutely critical today to clean our glasses of the grime and filters of bias ... to look at all issues with an inevitable subjectivity that is disciplined by conscious effort to consider many sides of issues ... and to rise above knee jerk reactionary thinking wired to the surrounding few weeks, insisting on a longer broader view. Perhaps Simple advice isthemost profound ..."Walk a mile in their shoes," before judging others ... and before reacting.