After days of protests and related violence, concerns are growing that furor over an anti-Islam video could intensify even more Friday — threatening U.S. interests abroad and at home…
Worries about Friday, in particular, stem from the fact Muslims hold weekly prayers that day — and may congregate afterward and march on U.S. diplomatic missions.
“We are in a full-court press at every single one of the posts in the Middle East and anywhere else there is any chance of demonstrations after Friday services to make sure nothing bad happens. And to have the security in place in case bad things do happen,” one senior U.S. official said.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made clear on Thursday that the U.S. government had nothing to do with an anti-Muslim film she personally finds “disgusting and reprehensible” as protests over it spread to Yemen after assaults on embassy compounds in Egypt and Libya.
“The United States government had absolutely nothing to do with this video,” Clinton said alongside Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Saad-Eddine Al-Otmani at the State Department. “… We have the greatest respect for people of faith… this video is disgusting and reprehensible. It appears to have a deeply cynical purpose, to denigrate a great religion and to promote rage.”
Speaking to an international religious freedom conference in Washington Wednesday, Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough endorsed efforts to create “a world where the dignity of all people—and all faiths—is respected.”
According to his prepared remarks released by the White House, he then added: “This work takes on added urgency given the truly abhorrent video that has offended so many people–Muslims, and non-Muslims alike—in our country and around the world.”
[W]hy did I tweet that Bacile should be in jail? The “free speech” in Bacile’s film is not about expressing a personal opinion about Islam. It denigrates the religion by depicting the faith’s founder in several ludicrous and historically inaccurate scenes to incite and inflame viewers. Even the film’s actors say they were duped.
Bacile’s movie is not the first to denigrate a religious figure, nor will it be the last. The Last Temptation of Christ was protested vigorously. The difference is that Bacile indirectly and inadvertently inflamed people half a world away, resulting in the deaths of U.S. Embassy personnel…
While the First Amendment right to free expression is important, it is also important to remember that other countries and cultures do not have to understand or respect our right.
What, exactly, does Romney mean by “American values”? The embassy never apologized for free speech or diplomatic sovereignty. The only American offense it criticized was the movie’s “bigotry” and “efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.” Does Romney regard this criticism as an “apology for American values”? Is bigotry an American value? Is it weak or un-American to repudiate slurs against Muslims?
I don’t know where you were born, Mr. Romney (just kidding!), but where I come from, there’s nothing more American than recognizing the idiocy of a man’s views and, at the same time, his right to express them. If you can’t tell the difference between those two things, the main threat to our values right now isn’t President Obama, the Egyptians, the Libyans, or our diplomats in Cairo. It’s you.
Who are the idiots who made the video and put it on YouTube? When do we meet them? They should be charged with murder.
— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) September 13, 2012
YouTube will not remove a film clip mocking the Islamic Prophet Mohammad that has been blamed for anti-US protests in Egypt and Libya, but it has blocked access to it in those countries…
“This video – which is widely available on the Web – is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube,” Google said in a statement. “However, given the very difficult situation in Libya and Egypt, we have temporarily restricted access in both countries.”
I have to say it’s a little unseemly for our government to officially take a position on a YouTube video, even one that sparked an international crisis. It’s even more unseemly that our government is taking the same position on that film as the people who just killed our ambassador in Benghazi…
The West will not, cannot, change its laws to accommodate anybody’s emotions, especially not people on the other side of the planet who replace our flag with the Al Qaeda flag and murder our diplomats.The Internet will always be offensive and our First Amendment will not be repealed. The longer it takes for Middle Easterners to understand this and adjust, the more people are going to die.
It’s a modern marvel to witness how thoroughly the country’s journalists and commentators have, over the past decade, internalized false notions about Muslims, violence, and free expression. For instance, that depicting the historical figure of Muhammad is untenable blasphemy (see the Muhammad Image Archive for a repository of rejoinders); that the mere discussion about the proposed portrayal of a cartoon Muhammad bear-suit should be avoided at all costs in order to avoid a potential spasm of Mideast violence; and that retreating so abjectly from the defense of free speech will somehow make the world a safer place…
Which is ultimately why the embassy’s pre-emptive apology for private speech is so self-defeating. Not only are you encouraging the easily offended to lower their outrage bar still further—and thus perpetuating the cycle of stifled speech in the free and democratic West—you are reinforcing the pernicious idea that expression in the United States is sanctioned by the government until stated otherwise.
“[We are trying to] promote democracy in places that do not have any values for civilized societies, values like respecting minorities and women’s rights and an independent judiciary and rule of law. How much longer do we now support and fund Sharia democracy?”
Click the image to watch.