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Islam: Manipulated Outrage and Misplaced Fury

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by browntwn, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. #1
    Islamists stoke resentment of the West—and anger over the long decline of Muslim influence—to serve their own violent ends.

    The attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions this week—beginning in Egypt and Libya, and moving to Yemen and other Muslim countries—came under cover of riots against an obscure online video insulting Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. But the mob violence and assaults should be seen for what they really are: an effort by Islamists to garner support and mobilize their base by exacerbating anti-Western sentiments.
    Related Video

    Editorial board member Matt Kaminski on who's behind the protests in Egypt and Yemen. Photo: Getty Images
    SEMrush
    When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to calm Muslims Thursday by denouncing the video, she was unwittingly playing along with the ruse the radicals set up. The United States would have been better off focusing on the only outrage that was of legitimate interest to the American government: the lack of respect—shown by a complaisant Egyptian government and other Islamists—for U.S. diplomatic missions.

    Protests orchestrated on the pretext of slights and offenses against Islam have been part of Islamist strategy for decades. Iran's ayatollahs built an entire revolution around anti-Americanism. While the Iranian revolution was underway in 1979, Pakistan's Islamists whipped up crowds by spreading rumors that the Americans had forcibly occupied Islam's most sacred site, the Ka'aba or the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Pakistani protesters burned the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad.

    Violent demonstrations in many parts of the Muslim world after the 1989 fatwa—or religious condemnation—of a novel by Salman Rushdie, or after the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005, also did not represent spontaneous outrage. In each case, the insult to Islam or its prophet was first publicized by Islamists themselves so they could use it as justification for planned violence.

    Once mourning over the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and others subsides, we will hear familiar arguments in the West. Some will rightly say that Islamist sensibilities cannot and should not lead to self-censorship here. Others will point out that freedom of expression should not be equated with a freedom to offend. They will say: Just as a non-Jew, out of respect for other religious beliefs, does not exercise his freedom to desecrate a Torah scroll, similar respect should be extended to Muslims and what they deem sacred.

    But this debate, as thoughtful as it may be, is a distraction from what is really going on. It ignores the political intent of Islamists for whom every perceived affront to Islam is an opportunity to exploit a wedge issue for their own empowerment.

    As for affronts, the Western mainstream is, by and large, quite respectful toward Muslims, millions of whom have adopted Europe and North America as their home and enjoy all the freedoms the West has to offer, including the freedom to worship. Insignificant or unnoticed videos and publications would have no impact on anyone, anywhere, if the Islamists did not choose to publicize them for radical effect.

    And insults, real or hyped, are not the problem. At the heart of Muslim street violence is the frustration of the world's Muslims over their steady decline for three centuries, a decline that has coincided with the rise and spread of the West's military, economic and intellectual prowess.

    During the 800 years of Muslim ascendancy beginning in the eighth century—in Southern Europe, North Africa and much of Western Asia—Muslims did not riot to protest non-Muslim insults against Islam or its prophet. There is no historic record of random attacks against non-Muslim targets in retaliation for a non-Muslim insulting Prophet Muhammad, though there are many books derogatory toward Islam's prophet that were written in the era of Islam's great empires. Muslims under Turkey's Ottomans, for example, did not attack non-Muslim envoys (the medieval equivalent of today's embassies) or churches upon hearing of real or rumored European sacrilege against their religion.

    Clearly, then, violent responses to perceived injury are not integral to Islam. A religion is what its followers make it, and Muslims opting for violence have chosen to paint their faith as one that is prone to anger. Frustration with their inability to succeed in the competition between nations also has led some Muslims to seek symbolic victories.

    Yet the momentary triumph of burning another country's flag or setting on fire a Western business or embassy building is a poor but widespread substitute for global success that eludes the modern world's 1.5 billion Muslims. Violent protest represents the lower rung of the ladder of rage; terrorism is its higher form.

    Islamists almost by definition have a vested interest in continuously fanning the flames of Muslim victimhood. For Islamists, wrath against the West is the basis for their claim to the support of Muslim masses, taking attention away from societal political and economic failures. For example, the 57 member states of the Organization of Islamic Conference account for one-fifth of the world's population but their combined gross domestic product is less than 7% of global output—a harsh reality for which Islamists offer no solution.

    Even after recent developments that were labeled the Arab Spring, few Muslim-majority countries either fulfill—or look likely to—the criteria for freedom set by the independent group Freedom House. Mainstream discourse among Muslims blames everyone but themselves for this situation. The image of an ascendant West belittling Islam with the view to eliminate it serves as a convenient explanation for Muslim weakness.

    Once the Muslim world embraces freedom of expression, it will be able to recognize the value of that freedom even for those who offend Muslim sensibilities. More important: Only in a free democratic environment will the world's Muslims be able to debate the causes of their powerlessness, which stirs in them greater anger than any specific action on the part of Islam's Western detractors.

    Until then, the U.S. would do well to remember Osama bin Laden's comment not long after the Sept. 11 attacks: "When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse." America should do nothing that enables Islamists to portray the nation as the weak horse.

    Mr. Haqqani is professor of international relations at Boston University and senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. He served as Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S. in 2008-11.

    source
     
    browntwn, Sep 14, 2012 IP
    SEMrush
  2. Corwin

    Corwin Well-Known Member

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    #2
    I am sorry to have to write this, but...

    I have done business with many people, and the problem I have in doing business with Muslims is that they flat-out lie. Religions like Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism - all have a central rule based around honesty and speaking the truth. But Islam has no such central rule. And a person that constantly speaks lies suffers from low self-esteem, and deep anxiety of being found out as dishonest.
     
    Corwin, Sep 15, 2012 IP
    EdenAndrej likes this.
  3. Bushranger

    Bushranger Well-Known Member

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    #3
    Are you warning us about Obamanation? :)

    Now seriously, you surely can not tar a whole race or community with one brush. Then, when you think about the constant 'mistruths' given out by our government, military, real estate salesmen, car salesman etc. etc. You would be more precise saying 'everybody lies' as it's definately not a Muslim-only thing imho.

    I remember my mechanic pointing out how he liked me because I always looked him in the eyes when discussing my car. I had returned after something didn't work as it should. He said most of his customers tend to bullshit him about the repair trying to get a lower price but, he said, most liars will avoid eye contact.

    Everybody lies, usually to suit their agenda.
     
    Bushranger, Sep 15, 2012 IP
  4. babak44

    babak44 Active Member

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    #4
    yeah right, being honest is more depend on the person, culture and living condition till religion I guess. I think religion effect on it but not major rule.
    can some one help me to find the clip of "innocence of Muslims" please?
     
    babak44, Sep 16, 2012 IP
  5. Obamanation

    Obamanation Well-Known Member

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    #5
    Hey Babak. E

    [video=youtube;mjoa3QazVy8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjoa3QazVy8[/video]
     
    Obamanation, Sep 16, 2012 IP
  6. babak44

    babak44 Active Member

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    #6
    thanks a lot Obama nation. I guess none of protesters in front of your embassies saw this trailer. producer or director probably were Christian Egyptian and definitely were war maker! no country brave enough to let it show in theaters, anyway such theater has to be do it in high security.
     
    babak44, Sep 16, 2012 IP
  7. ApocalypseXL

    ApocalypseXL Notable Member

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    #7
    It's not about the security it's about the "racist" label that will get sticked to anyone who touches or comments on it . Being labeled "racist" is a death sentence for any business weather the accusation is true or false .
     
    ApocalypseXL, Sep 16, 2012 IP
  8. browntwn

    browntwn Illustrious Member

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    #8
    There is no movie, regardless of the subject matter, of this poor quality that ever makes it to a movie theater. This movie is a joke. As the article said:

     
    browntwn, Sep 16, 2012 IP
  9. Obamanation

    Obamanation Well-Known Member

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    #9
    Babak, have you seen this?

     
    Obamanation, Sep 16, 2012 IP
  10. ApocalypseXL

    ApocalypseXL Notable Member

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    #10
    Are you being stupid on purpose or is that your normal status ? Islam is a religion . Would you care to explain how Islam is a race ?
     
    ApocalypseXL, Sep 16, 2012 IP
  11. Corwin

    Corwin Well-Known Member

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    #11
    What a minute - Liberals do that all the time!

    That is most definitely NOT true. But it IS something that liars like to believe, because it tells themselves that others share their flaws.
     
    Corwin, Sep 16, 2012 IP
  12. Bushranger

    Bushranger Well-Known Member

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    #12
    So you had to cut off my sentence to make your attack work. Figures. I'm not playing that one today.
     
    Bushranger, Sep 16, 2012 IP
  13. Bushranger

    Bushranger Well-Known Member

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    #13
    Well I notice you're the one caught out lying here a number of times.
     
    Bushranger, Sep 16, 2012 IP
  14. babak44

    babak44 Active Member

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    #14
    your new avatar is nicer! lol
    yeah quite scary Obamanation but I don't think Iran willing to commit any attack in USA bases if Israel invade us. beside not sure Israel will do that. it looks like talking game but yeah situation is so fragile in the region and any mistake could rise conflict here.
    strait of Hormuz is so critical for us too and any conflict can starts doomsday here. our economy is in verge of collapse now. last year same day a dollar was equal to 1200 Iranian tommuns and right now exceeded over 2500 tommuns. I guess crash in banking and economy system is worse than a war.
     
    babak44, Sep 17, 2012 IP
  15. ApocalypseXL

    ApocalypseXL Notable Member

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    #15
    So is the economic crash helping the regime or is it slowly spelling it's doom ?
     
    ApocalypseXL, Sep 17, 2012 IP
  16. Obamanation

    Obamanation Well-Known Member

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    #16
    Thanks. It is a clip of the Prophet taken from a recent movie about his life.

    Wow. Sad to think about the impact these things have on every day citizens. Those having an offshore bank account held in dollars must be making a killing right now.
     
    Obamanation, Sep 17, 2012 IP
  17. Corwin

    Corwin Well-Known Member

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    #17
    Pot. Kettle. Black.

    Show me one time I was lying. No, you can't? O.K., you are lying!

    See how easy that works?
     
    Corwin, Sep 17, 2012 IP
  18. Bushranger

    Bushranger Well-Known Member

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    #18
    If I thought you were worth pulling down a peg or two I might just take up that offer. Truth is, I don't.
     
    Bushranger, Sep 17, 2012 IP
  19. Bushranger

    Bushranger Well-Known Member

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    #19
    Now that made me truly laugh!
     
    Bushranger, Sep 17, 2012 IP
  20. Corwin

    Corwin Well-Known Member

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    #20
    Proving you lied. Game, Set, and Match to Me! :):):)
     
    Corwin, Sep 17, 2012 IP