Egyptian analysts seem to be more in agreement: Many protesters outside the U.S. Embassy were genuinely offended by the film. But the real driving force behind the protest – in Cairo and Benghazi – were radical Islamist groups who know how to exploit rage for political gain.

“There are still a lot of questions that need to be answered,” said Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian journalist. “For instance, why after two months of being on YouTube did this film suddenly explode on the anniversary of 9/11? That is political manipulation and manufactured outrage that the right wing is all too happy to use.”…

“A lot of people went to the U.S. Embassy not just because of the film, and after the film died down, it wasn’t about the film anymore,” Eltahawy explained. “They went because of anti-U.S. sentiment, because they know in this region how easy it is to fan the flames of anger.”