An amateur anti-Muslim video posted on YouTube triggered a riot in Egypt and Libya and gave cover to a militant Islamic militia in Libya to murder the US Ambassador to Libya and three other foreign service workers at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11th. There have been problems with reactions both politically and in general to the violence. The last thing we need to do is to censor the Internet or “turn the other cheek”.
They joined protesters outside the consulate who were demonstrating against an American movie that they believed denigrated the prophet Muhammad. But according to one witness, the new arrivals neither chanted slogans nor carried banners.
“They said, ‘We are Muslims defending the prophet. We are defending Islam,'” Libyan television journalist Firas Abdelhakim said in an interview.
The gunmen soon opened fire, entered the compound and set the consulate’s buildings aflame. Hours later, the compound was overrun and four Americans were dead. Among them were Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, 52, and Sean Smith, a State Department employee.
Mitt Romney and his campaign turned the tragic attack into a political issue against better judgement. It was a cheap shot on the backs of dead Americans. Luckily he is getting some blow back even as he doubles down on his stupid remarks. I was told that attacking the President while we are at war was treason. I guess that only applies if the President is Republican?
Some of the reaction to the violence on the social networks I read was “don’t stir up trouble” but I don’t subscribe to the abusive relationship mantra. People in a abusive relationship make excuses and try not to stir up trouble not knowing what will set off the abuser. The Islamic fanatics use the violence to silence dissent so if you don’t stir up trouble then you give them what they want.
Are you willing to die for your beliefs because those radical Islamists are. If you aren’t willing to die for your principles then you are not any better than an abused spouse and you deserve the abuse.
The difference between people who follow Islam and those who follow Christianity is Christians don’t normally murder dissenters. Killing abortion doctors, blowing up abortion clinics, and shooting up or vandalizing non-Christian places of worship are the exception and not the rule. Those who do those things are brought to justice in the legal system.
In Muslim countries one can be put in prison, executed, or outright murdered for going against the religion. That isn’t even with due process. Someone just has to report you and you get in trouble.
Some of my more liberal friends who have only been exposed to liberal Christians and freethinkers think the violence is just an anomaly that not all Muslims are violent and saying that Islam is not a peace loving religion is bigotry.
No religion should be exempted from scrutiny no matter the reason given. Fear of violence is exactly the wrong reason to hide one’s head in the sand when these incidents come up. If your first response to dissent is to murder the dissenters then your beliefs have no moral foundation to stand on and your actions prove it. People who don’t condemn it right away when it happens enable that irrational response. (As if any religion is rational…).
The response to stupid ideas is not censorship – it is more speech. The film that sparked the riots was a stupid movie made by an amateur. That person should be ridiculed not murdered.
Incidents like this is why we must keep church and state separate, stop censorship, and not allow religious dissenters or their supporters to be murdered.