Thursday, September 13, 2012

Letters from Egypt: Talking of Mohammed Signs Death Warrant



Remembering those Americans that lost their lives in the Libyan attack

I once heard someone say something to the effect, “It’s not like we’re scared to talk about Islam, we’re just scared for those of you that do.” Meaning retaliation will likely follow. And why wouldn’t anyone think that? Just look at the past few days throughout Libya, Egypt and Yemen. Remember the Dutch man, Theo Van Gogh, who was brutally murdered after he released his 10-minute film “Submission” (for a description of the short film, please see “The Murder of Theo Van Gogh”)?

How about the Danish newspaper that ran a political cartoon that depicted the Prophet Mohammed? Four men were sentenced to 12 years for their conspiracy to plot a terrorist attack on the newspaper’s offices. The men were either born, or had parents born (according to the BBC) in Egypt, Lebanon and Tunisia.

And now so-called American Sam Bacile (although his nationality as well as name is in question since he is in hiding) released a film on 9/11, spanning two hours, titled “Innocence of Muslims.” This sparked riots outside US embassies across the Arab world. Christopher Stevens, the US ambassador to Libya, along with three other American diplomats were killed when suspected extremists stormed the US Consulate in Benghazi on September 11. Very few people had heard of the video that also resulted in angry Egyptians storming the US embassy in Cairo, burning the American flag and attempting to raise an Islamic flag.

And now the ruling Muslim Brotherhood has called for a million-man march in Egypt for tomorrow (September 14) to protest this obscure video. I suppose while the rest of the world is tired of hearing about the same, mundane protests taking place every other day throughout the Arab world, the Arabs didn’t get the memo. How is it that the Arab world knew of this video, but hardly any westerners did?

I received a phone call last night from a judge here in Cairo expressing his sincere condolences as he went on to denounce the actions of those trying to desecrate the embassy. He said, “They cannot understand that you can’t prevent everyone from discussing Mohammed and they also do not understand that the actions of one man does not represent an entire nation.” However, that can also be said for the actions of a few Islamists committing these crimes and other people blaming the entire religion and/or nationality.

But the actions of the Muslims that have carried out these attacks only serve to further Islamaphobia. Why is it that Mohammed is the only religious figure that no one can talk about openly (unless yelling his praises) without signing their death warrant?

And while I’m all for people being able to talk about the Islamic prophet without dying, why did “Sam Bacile” release such a version of hate on the anniversary of one of the biggest attacks on the US? If his movie had been a love story between Mohammed and Aisha with fictional connotations, it would be a different ballgame. I would support his right to make a film, but I feel that he released hate propaganda and for that he should be held accountable. He has single-handedly placed those of us that live in this region in danger, posed a threat to national security and is now in hiding. You have the audacity to spark such hate, but you go off the grid once sh*t hits the fan?

Read about the controversy surrounding the most recent anti-American incidents:

Source: The Blaze

Source: International Business Times (a New York Times publication)

I am not a good source to tell you if there is a heightened animosity toward Americans or foreigners at this time because I simply haven’t been out. However, what I can tell you is that I’ve had business contacts and other Egyptians that have reached out to say how ashamed they are at what’s taking place. Yet the question remains, why is Mohammed the only religious leader that no one is allowed to discuss?

In other related news:

US Embassy – 1 Muslim Brotherhood – 0
Source: Ahram

US calls out Muslim Brotherhood after group officials tweet one thing in English and another in Arabic regarding its stance on ongoing anti-film demonstrations

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