Muslim Culture Still Not Compatible with Liberty, West: U. S. Embassy and Consulate in Egypt and Libya Attacked

September 12, 2012

Yesterday, on the 11th anniversary of September 11th, “Egyptian protesters scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy . . . , tore down the American flag and burned it” (Reuters) and “U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was killed when Libyan militants stormed the U.S. consulate” (ABC News).  (Apparently three others were also killed.)  The first, and perhaps the second, was apparently prompted by the making of an independent film about Mohammed.  ABC:

The attack on the consulate in Benghazi came shortly after protesters in Cairo, Egypt, scaled the walls of the U.S. embassy and tore down the American flag in an angry demonstration against a movie about the life of the Prophet Muhammad, depicting the founder of Islam as a fraud and a womanizer.

. . .

The movie was made by Israeli producer Sam Bacile and has been promoted by controversial pastor Terry Jones, the Florida preacher whose Koran burning in March 2010 led to the deadly violence in Afghanistan.

Jones said Tuesday in a statement that the movie was actually titled “Innocence of Muslims” and was intended not to attack Muslims but to show the “destructive ideology of Islam.”

“The movie further reveals in a satirical fashion the life of Muhammad,” he said.

The U. S. embassy in Cairo, either in response to the attack or anticipating it, rushed to appeasement.  As of this writing, its press release is still available on its Web site; here is the text in its entirety:

U.S. Embassy Condemns Religious Incitement

September 11, 2012

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others

That is incorrect.  Official representatives of the United States should have said something more like this:

In our world, the government does not tell the people what movies they can make.  It does, however, kill their enemies.

In what has become a familiar pattern for those who offend Muslims, the filmmaker, Sam Bacile, has gone into hiding, in fear for his life—even in America.  God help us.

Here’s the Web site of Terry Jones, and here’s the fourteen-minute “trailer” for Bacile’s movie—not because either is any good (in my opinion, the movie looks awful, not to mention confusing, and certainly not G-rated—and I only watched half of this), but because we should all work to ensure that terrorism intended to silence speech instead results in more exposure for said speech:

As the South Park guys, of all people, point out (again, not G-rated), if we respond to terrorism by submissively changing our behavior and silencing speech, then terrorism works.

Incidentally, Mitt Romney got it right; here was his immediate statement yesterday:

I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi.

It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.

He also released a longer statement today.  Excerpt:

This attack on American individuals and embassies is outrageous, it’s disgusting. . . .

America will not tolerate attacks against our citizens and against our embassies. We will defend also our constitutional rights of speech and assembly and religion. We have confidence in our cause in America. We respect our Constitution. We stand for the principles our Constitution protects. We encourage other nations to understand and respect the principles of our Constitution because we recognize that these principles are the ultimate source of freedom for individuals around the world.

I also believe the Administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in Egypt instead of condemning their actions.

Hat tip to Jim Geraghty (free subscription in top-right corner of NRO main page).

Read more thoughts and information on yesterday’s events from Victor Davis Hanson, Elliott Abrams, Daniel Pipes, Andrew McCarthy, John Hood, Daniel Foster, and others at National Review Online, as well as Clare Lopez at Radical Islam .org.

Breitbart.com: “Obama Camp Condemns Romney Before Condemning Attacks In Egypt, Libya”

Hot Air indicates that Mr. Stevens might not have died if the Libyan security team whose job it was to protect him had not told the attackers where to find him.

More updates at Hot Air.

By the way, have you seen this video (hat tip to Disrupt the Narrative) from The United West?  Mob of Muslim children and teenagers persecutes Christians:

Notice where a policeman blames the Christians’ speech for the Muslims’ violence:  “. . . part of the reason that they throw things on someone is because you tell them stuff that enrages them.”

I won’t offer an opinion on whether this is the most helpful way to evangelize.  I will observe that whether you like the Muslim wrath and pride on display here or not, it seems clear that that culture cannot coexist with our culture.  This video is from America; perhaps this will always be what happens when an American city becomes something like one third Muslim.

Reuters observed after the attack on the American embassy in Egypt, “One slogan scrawled on the walls of the embassy . . . said: ‘If your freedom of speech has no limits, may you accept our freedom of action.'”  In other words, there can be no coexistence.

If there’s only room for one of the two cultures, I hope ours will have the will to be the one that survives the encounter.

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15 Responses to “Muslim Culture Still Not Compatible with Liberty, West: U. S. Embassy and Consulate in Egypt and Libya Attacked”

  1. Snoodickle Says:

    So let me get this straight, you are condemning the entire American Muslim population because of a few Muslims throwing stones at people?

  2. Joe Freeman Says:

    Snoodickle: No, you don’t have it straight, and I think you know it. The article is about Islam, not American Muslims. If you have to rely on distortions to make your religion seem right, then your religion is WRONG. How can you not see that?

    • Snoodickle Says:

      “I won’t offer an opinion on whether this is the most helpful way to evangelize. I will observe that whether you like the Muslim wrath and pride on display here or not, it seems clear that that culture cannot coexist with our culture. This video is from America; perhaps this will always be what happens when an American city becomes something like one third Muslim.”

      Did you miss that part Joey?

  3. Tevyeh Says:

    The global population of people who identify as Muslim certainly includes a violent, fanatical subset with values that are “Not Compatible with Liberty, West.” I hesitate, however, to conclude that this subset is fairly representative of “Muslim Culture.”

    “…but because we should all work to ensure that terrorism intended to silence speech instead results in more exposure for said speech.”

    So will you also be using your blog to provide a platform for neo-nazis? They frequently face violence and intimidation.

    Sam Bacile knew perfectly well that he was provoking Muslims (including their fanatical, violent subset) when he released this film. The same goes for the folks at the Dearborn Muslim Arab Festival. Bacile did it to produce a piece of filth; the Dearborn folks were at least motivated by a desire to share their faith, although I will not hesitate to “offer an opinion on whether this is the most helpful way to evangelize”: it isn’t.

    If I walk through Over-the-Rhine at 2:00 AM with a wad of cash hanging out of my pocket, I will very likely get robbed. When I tell you what happened, will your first reaction be outrage over the robbery? I doubt it. if you’re like me, your first thought would be to wonder why on earth I was walking through Over-the-Rhine at 2:00 AM with a wad of cash hanging out of my pocket. The word “idiot” might spring to mind.


  4. “The global population of people who identify as Muslim certainly includes a violent, fanatical subset with values that are ‘Not Compatible with Liberty, West.’ I hesitate, however, to conclude that this subset is fairly representative of ‘Muslim Culture.'”

    Questions of how big, proportionately, this or that subset is, and questions like whether violence or other elements are best understood as confined to a subset, as essential to the religion or culture, or otherwise, are interesting but, arguably, irrelevant: Be all those things as they may, the observed result is that people (even from within the United States) cannot offend Islam, or they must go into hiding in fear for their lives. At that point, however small the subset may be (assuming subsets are even the appropriate framework), what we can know is that it is big enough. Thus, Muslim culture is incompatible with liberty.

    “So will you also be using your blog to provide a platform for neo-nazis? They frequently face violence and intimidation.”

    If you can show me an example where “neo-nazis” were silenced by an act that can fairly be described as “terrorism”—and if you can show that the neo-nazis were not themselves also terrorists—yes, sure, I’ll consider it. But my blog isn’t exactly a non-stop information stream, and one factor weighing in my decision to use the limited time and space here for that purpose would be the fact that at this point Islam and the West seem to be in some kind of long-term existential civilizational struggle with each other. I don’t have to like anything about the movie in question to say that between those two, I’d prefer that my own culture (the West) survive.

    Your robbery metaphor is interesting, but let me amend it to make it more apt. Imagine that there are nuts on the other side of the ocean who want to ban money, for everyone. Imagine that, despite this, there’s a guy in California with a wad of cash hanging out of his pocket. Imagine that the nuts then commit acts of war against America and kill four of our diplomats. Am I really supposed to care more about the guy flaunting his cash than about the people making war on my country?

    Or if you think that it would have been more responsible and strategic for him not to make the movie, are you so sure that the behavior of the nuts can be predicted? As Mark Steyn remarked last week, “Okay, so it’s not just films, and cartoons, and dogs and teddy bears and Winnie-the-Pooh’s Piglet and decorative swirls on Burger King ice-cream tubs, but also non-sharia-compliant mustaches . . . .” (If any of those incidents is unfamiliar to you, I’ll be happy to rustle up some sources for you. None of them is made up.)

    And by the way, are you taking the position that only things with no redeeming value will offend the nuts? First they came for the bottom-tier movie producers, and I said nothing because I don’t make crummy movies. Then eventually they came for impeccably educated, serious commentators who nevertheless happen to say anything disparaging of Islam or Muslims, and by then it was too late; we had already ceded too much ground to hold any of what was left…


  5. […] news media do occasionally conspire—such as at a Romney press conference about the Benghazi killings, when they coordinated to make sure the narrative would be all about criticizing Romney’s […]


  6. […] is so much more to say about Benghazi and the Obama administration, but unfortunately I simply don’t have the time.  All I can say […]


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