Recent reports regarding the world-renowned anti-Islamic video “Innocence of Muslims” has spurred many protests and riots in the Middle Eastern region. The film portrays the Prophet Mohammad as a fraud and adulterer who authorized sexual abuse of children, among other immoral acts. The film has caused outrage in several predominantly Muslim countries. As many know, protests in Benghazi, Libya spiraled out of control and lead to the death of past American ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other embassy officials. The actions of the Libyan protesters have been misinterpreted by many. Some of which believe the Libyan protesters set fire to the embassy causing the death of the American officials. It has been suspected that terrorist actors utilized the protest as a distraction to carry out their guerilla attack on September 11, a day of remembrance and remorse for the American people. This video promoted by Pastor Terry Jones of Florida and supposedly funded by Jewish donors has given terrorist actors more reasons to take violent actions not only against the American presence in the Middle East region but other embassies around the world as well. Many Lebanese protesters shouted “Listen, listen Obama, we are all Osama.” With an already existent hatred demonstrated by many Muslims against America in addition to the recent attack, it only seems reasonable that Obama and the United States will soon take action. However, to what extent will the U.S. take countermeasures and will military force be utilized to prevent further attacks from occurring? Evacuation of staff from surrounding embassies has taken place while protests continue to move across the Middle East region, even into Lebanon.
More riots have continued to break out in the region, one being last Friday in Tripoli, Lebanon. One policeman was killed and 15 others injured as angry protesters threw rocks and collided with Lebanese security forces. It appears that security and its effectiveness has been a major factor in combatting the current uprisings.This video has caused unneeded out-lash by the Muslim population over this controversial video. Hezbollah leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, has also encouraged Shiite militant groups to organize protests in various parts of Lebanon although urges them to not attack embassies. Nasrallah’s statement to not attack embassies was most likely to prevent a fierce counter response from the American government or other state actors.
Unfortunately, American’s right to the 1st amendment (freedom of speech) has triggered further conflict and tension between the U.S. and the Muslim population resulting in death and destruction. Numerous individuals prove to be ignorant when speaking of and out about various cultures and religion. These non-pluralistic minded people need not generalize and understand that this chaos and devastation arises from small terrorist actors working within unstable countries rather than the entire country. U.S. ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly spoke to reporters saying,
“America has a history of religious tolerance and respect for religious beliefs that goes back to the founding of our nation. The U.S. is home to millions of Muslims and that the country rejected the denigration of religion. We must not allow a tiny minority of people to provoke conflict among religions, countries, and culture and all leaders must take a firm stand against violence, as Prime Minister Mikati and Foreign Minister Mansour have done today and as President Sleiman did yesterday.”
The United States took the correct action by apologizing and denying any relationship with the outrageous video that disgraced the entire Muslim population and their prophet. With tensions ever so high, another screw-up like this video could lead to serious consequences for the United States and maybe the world.
- Daily Star. (2012, September 14). THE DAILY STAR :: News :: Politics :: One killed in violent Lebanon protest over anti-Islam film . THE DAILY STAR :: Breaking News, Lebanon News, Middle East News & World News. Retrieved September 17, 2012, from http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2012/Sep-14/187902-15-lebanese-policemen-injured-in-protest-over-anti-islam-film.ashx#axzz26TERRwEB
- WRAL. (n.d.). Hezbollah urges protests against anti-Islam film :: WRAL.com.WRAL.com – Raleigh News, Weather, Triangle Traffic and NC Lottery. Retrieved September 17, 2012, from