Muslim Rage & The Last Gasp of Islamic Hate -Ayaan Hirsi Ali
For a homicidal few in the Muslim world, life itself has less value than religious icons, such as the prophet or the Quran. The riots in Muslim countries—and the so-called demonstrations by some Muslims in Western countries—that invariably accompany such provocations have the appearance of spontaneity. But they are often carefully planned in advance.
Utopian ideologies have a short lifespan.
After the disillusion and bitterness will come a painful lesson: that it is foolish to derive laws for human affairs from gods and prophets. Just like the Iranian people have begun to, the Egyptians, Tunisians, Libyans, and perhaps Syrians and others will come to this realization. In one or two or three decades we will see the masses in these countries take to the streets—and perhaps call for American help—to liberate them from the governments they elected. This process will be faster in some places than others, but in all of them it will be bloody and painful. If we take the long view, America and other Western countries can help make this happen in the same way we helped bring about the demise of the former Soviet Union.
We must be patient. America needs to empower those individuals and groups who are already disenchanted with political Islam by helping find and develop an alternative. At the heart of that alternative are the ideals of the rule of law and freedom of thought, worship, and expression. For these values there can and should be no apologies, no groveling, no hesitation.
It was Voltaire who once said: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” As Salman Rushdie discovered, as we are reminded again as the Arab street burns, that sentiment is seldom heard in our time. Once I was ready to burn The Satanic Verses. Now I know that his right to publish it was a more sacred thing than any religion.
The Video Didn't Do It -Lee Smith
White House spokesman Jay Carney told the world that the violent protests in Cairo and Benghazi and elsewhere were "not a case of protests directed at the United States at large or at U.S. policy, but in response to a video that is offensive to Muslims."
Carney's comments send the message to America's enemies that if you kill our diplomats and lay siege to our embassies, the first move the American government will make is to tell other Americans to shut up.
Virtually every description in our media of the movie was attended by various aesthetic qualifiers - laughable, crude, amateurish - as if the mobs and their organizers were motivated by considerations of artistic craft. To debate the right of an American to criticize religion does not indicate sophisticated sensitivity to the feelings of others but a willingness to turn tail and abandon our principles at the first sign of a fight.
Can A Trailer Really Be that Potent? -Jonah Goldberg
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney insists the attacks in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere were a "response not to United States policy, and not to, obviously, the administration," but were rather a spontaneous "response to a video, a film we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting."
It is simply a fact that Islamist radicals, the Arab street and the Muslim world have been angry at America for decades, under Republican and Democratic administrations alike. It's also true that demagogues and other opportunists have used things like this video as an excuse to attack America and the West for generations. But our public officials now treat attacks on Islam as especially offensive - more offensive than unremarked-upon near-daily attacks on Christianity, Judaism, Mormonism, atheism and just about every other faith and creed.
Muslim rioters get special treatment. And that's nuts. If these people are going to hate us, maybe we should just accept that fact and stand up for what we believe, without apology.
(Los Angeles Times)
Arabs Sense Weakness -Ron Ben-Yishai
- The wave of anti-West riots sweeping through the Muslim world will gradually subside, mostly because the regimes realize that this wave threatens them more than it does the West. When the riots erupted after the anti-Islam film was posted on YouTube with Arabic subtitles, the regimes in the Muslim countries displayed sympathy and understanding with the rage and violence of the masses. The street sensed that it had the government's support and went wild.
- Muslims have been experiencing a frustrating "cognitive dissonance" for the past 200 years. They are taught that Islam is a source of greatness and achievements in all fields - as was the case during the religion's golden age. The frustrating reality, however, is that despite their oil reserves, the Muslims cannot integrate into the modern world and succeed in it, while the heretics in the West boast unimaginable achievements in every field.
- Suddenly, the street became a dominant factor that imposes its will on the new Arab regimes, which are cautious not to anger it for fear they will meet a fate similar to Mubarak's. This is apparent in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Jordan and even in the PA. In the aftermath of the revolutions, the Arab street imposes its will on the regimes.
- The White House and State Department condemned the insult to the Muslim religion's values, which in the Muslim world was interpreted as an admission of guilt by the U.S. which, from the Muslims' perspective, legitimizes violence.
Insulted, Muslims Spread Hatred -Shaul Rosenfeld
The same Muslim society that turns violent whenever its holy figures are disparaged, revels in the horrific portrayals of Jews and Judaism in Arab media. Iranian movies and Egyptian television shows contain hateful anti-Semitic motifs, endorsed by respected Muslim academics, that the Muslim viewer "eats up" enthusiastically.
The people of the Levant can view an esoteric film as an excuse to launch a pogrom against the infidels from the West and at the same time accept fatwas describing Jews as the descendants of apes and pigs.
Redefining Freedom of Speech? -Alan M. Dershowitz
Religious fanatics who are easily offended by those outside of their religion who violate the rules of their religion cannot serve as censors in democratic societies. The threat or fear of violence should not become an excuse or justification for restricting freedom of speech.
People who have come of age in repressive regimes which do not permit any expressions disfavored by the government may not understand that by not censoring such speech, the American government does not place its imprimatur upon it. For example, when Iranian newspapers publish anti-Semitic diatribes, the views expressed in those diatribes are the views of the government. Not so with democratic states. It is probably true that more anti-Semitic material is published in the U.S. than in Iran, simply because so much is published and almost none of it is subject to any kind of censorship.