Mulsim protests target U.S. embassies
Digamber Eslampure | Collegio Writer
From Morocco to Malaysia, from Tunis to Khartoum, anti-American protests have erupted and mainly target U.S. embassies.
The protesters claim the main reason for their actions is the film, “Innocence of Muslims,” which was created in America. This film denigrated the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, and the Islamic community perceived the film to be blasphemous.
However, the severity of the protests and attacks indicates that the motives go far beyond the film. If the reason is that the film was made by an American, then why is it necessary to attack the embassies of Britain and Germany?
The protests initially started in Egypt, where an angry mob gathered in front of the American embassy to protest the film. Later, some protesters reportedly climbed the embassy and tore down the U.S. flag, replacing it with an Islamic flag.
Soon after, the violence spread to Libya, where protesters attacked the embassy in Benghazi. However, there is much speculation about this attack, which claimed American Ambassador Christopher Stevens’ life and the lives of three other Americans.
The gunmen who attacked the embassy gained control within minutes. There was also speculation that the attack was executed professionally and it appeared to be premeditated. The reasons for this attack go far beyond the film.
According to www.debka.com, an Israeli news website, the assault was a well-organized attack by at least 20 members of a well-trained al-Qaida team. That team operated and executed under the orders of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the current leader of al-Qaida.
The Quiliam, a London-based think tank for counter extremism, strengthened the above argument by stating that the attackers were equipped with heavy weapons. They then added further speculation saying that this attack was a well-planned revenge attack by al-Qaida for killing of one of their leaders, Abu Yahya al-Libi, three months earlier in an American drone attack.
In Sudan, protesters attacked German and British embassies in Khartoum. In this attack three people were killed and protesters called for the expulsion of diplomats.
In Afghanistan, al-Qaida attacked a U.S base and claimed two lives, though the actual target was Britain’s Prince Harry.
No one could have imagined the hidden threat the video held. How can the people in the embassies be held responsible for the video?
Perhaps, the only mistake these people might have made was being Americans. What do you get if you attack the embassy of some other country? Nothing but enmity between the nations.
No matter the religion, any action that defames another religion should not be acceptable in any society. However, this doesn’t mean that people should be allowed to assault other religious people who express their views on another religion.
No society is perfect and every society, every community and every religion has some extremist elements. These extremists create trouble for others.
Is there any reasonable justification for the American citizens losing their lives while serving their nation overseas, because of a film created by another American?
These incidents raise questions about the use of the Internet without proper censorship on the content. They indicate the potential threat of the Internet.
Who is responsible for this situation? The protesters and attackers are as responsible as the video creator.
The ghost of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks still haunt Americans. The attack on the American Embassy in Libya happened on Sept. 11. Americans supported the Libyans in their fight for freedom, rights and dignity and supported allowing the Libyans to form their own government through elections. All these efforts didn’t seem to matter to the attackers.
The protest later spread throughout the Arabic nations and into Northern Africa. The attacks mainly targeted U.S. companies and embassies.
In a nutshell, it is clear that the motives of some of these attacks went beyond “Innocence of Muslims.” The attacks and killing of the American ambassador and others are barbaric and unjustifiable. However, we should be careful about creating and sharing blasphemous videos and other Internet content that insults the sentiments of any religion.
This incident demonstrates the potential threat of uncontrolled Internet sites, and proper measures should be instituted on Internet usage. It is also necessary that the companies that upload videos and other materials should verify them properly.
Creating a video and expressing views is a freedom of expression in America. However, people in other countries may take it far differently. To prevent this kind of mishap, the companies that upload this video should scrutinize the videos before they release it in other countries.
In this case, YouTube administrators banned the video in Arabic nations after the protests. They should have done that much sooner.