I have been slow to respond to the riots in response to a disrespectful video about the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) affecting parts of the Muslim World, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Afghanistan, and now Pakistan. I needed time to think about it.
Mostly I feel sad. I feel sad that a Coptic Christian would embarass his group-- and Christians worldwide-- by producing such garbage. For those of us people of the book who reject this nonsense, I extend my apologies: this video does not represent us. I tried to watch the trailer, and it was really painful for me that someone could be so ignorant, and so hateful.
Of course, holding the US Government responsible for the acts of a private citizen also strikes me as unusual, and that is what the rioters are essentially doing by attacking embassies and affiliated centers. Of course, it is true that I was raised in the US. It is no secret that I advocate free speech. That being said, I have noted in this blog and elsewhere that that is a global value, enshrined by the United Nations, and with roots in the great philosophers of the world, including those of the enlightenment.
I have also expressed my admiration for aspects of Islam, as well as the rich, multi-cultural melange which has historically been the Arab World. I am worried that we are losing this culture's history of tolerance and understanding as Wahabis and Salafis attack Christians, Sufis, Shiites, and anyone whose views do not align perfectly with theirs.
I think that Salman Rushdie speaks for me in this piece.
Salman Rushdie Interview with Steve Inskeep, September 17, 2012
For more thoughts, Jeffrey Fleishman is a genius. What's Next in the Arab World
I also thought that since everyone is worried and depressed you might enjoy this.
"Muslim Rage" Explodes on Twitter, but in a funny way
Praying for peace, understanding and tolerance. . .