Is being thin-skinned part of the Muslim culture? In 2006, a Danish newspaper published twelve supposedly harmless cartoons depicting Mohammad. Almost immediately, Muslim protestors torched Denmark’s embassies in Beirut and Damascus.
In 2004, Theo van Gogh, writer and filmmaker, directed the film Submission, a film dealing with the violence against women in some Islamic societies. After the film was aired, van Gogh started receiving threats. The threats culminated with van Gogh’s murder in broad daylight by Mohammad Bouyeri.
In 2005, Newsweek Magazine falsely reported that U.S. interrogators desecrated copies of the Quran while questioning prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and tried to walk back the false report but too late . . . the false reportage sparked riots in Afghanistan and elsewhere: 15 people were killed and dozens injured when thousands in the Muslim world rioted.
Today, a poorly made film (one wag said the film was an indictment of filmdom) incited the Muslim world to the extent that at least four Americans were killed, most likely in a planned raid, with the Ambassador’s body dragged and abused. American embassies are under attack. Fouad Ajami, in a Washington Post article, asks, “Why is the Arab world so easily offended?”
I have to ask, why is the Arab world so easily manipulated? Almost immediately, Arabs in many rioting countries are carrying signs calling for beheadings for those who disrespect Islam or those who disrespect Mohammad.
During my lifetime, I have seen the crucifix in a jar of urine called “art. “ While I did not like it, this “art” was protected freedom of expression. I’ve heard atheists say the most vile (and stupid) things. Again the atheists’ comments were protected freedom of expression. Not once did I see Christians or Jews riot, burn flags or kill people in reaction.
Why then do Muslims react the way they do? Is it because the Quran asserts that insulters and mockers may be killed? Muslim behavior is of a more baser instinct . . . it is a herd mentality. Rationale thought is absent. Faouad Ajamami is correct in his thinking. “Modernity requires the willingness to be offended.” This requires rational thought, the ability to think. “And as anti-American violence across the Middle East and beyond shows, that willingness is something the Arab world, the heartland of Islam, still lacks.” All that is left is the herd mentality.
The film clip doesn’t need to be seen. Only someone needs to say, “I’ve seen it. Mohammad has been slurred.” Signs appear. Two people become four. Four become eight. Eight people zig right. Sixteen people zag left. Herd mentality. The irony is Muslims live within one of the most restrictive religious regimens in the world.
Add to the scenario, an American President who laid out a “new beginning” with the Muslim world in his 2009 Cairo speech. Now, it appears his outreach to the Arab world has backfired. Obama now looks weak. His foreign policy ploy has blown up in his face.
This is Obama’s most serious policy crisis and it challenges the very basis of his Mideast policy. Was his abandonment of Hosni Mubarak the right decision? Were his overtures to Mohamad Morsi, member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist organization involved in the assassination of Anwar Sadat, the right decision? More questionable are his appointments of members of the Muslim Brotherhood to his administration from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
The Arab Spring is over. The Muslim Brotherhood controls Egypt. Fundamentalists control Libya, Tunisia, Somalia, Niger, Algeria, and Yemen. This happened on Obama’s watch under Obama policies . . . leading from behind. The President must realize, at long last, that his mere “Obamaness” leaves much to be desired.