Whatever the nature of the film that has set the Islamic world on fire, what responsibility do Muslims have for reacting to it the way they have? This editorial from Algeria’s Le Quotidien d’Oran comes down hard on Muslims for allowing themselves to be habitually manipulated by others, and for failing utterly to ‘put reason over emotion – and emotional manipulation.’
The Le Quotidien d’Oran says in part:
We all know that in the process of this irrational and violent reaction, people may die – Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Europeans, or Americans. But that only contributes to the power of marketing “Islamic rage” or “Islamic fanaticism.” Insulting the Prophet pays off big. In a supposed attempt to criticize Rached Ghannouchi, who won the Tunisian presidential election, a Parisian newspaper chose to depict him as the Prophet. There was no report to go with the cartoon, since evidently, basing criticizism of an Islamist politician on his ideas or plans doesn’t sell. It is better to attack the Prophet as if he were a candidate. The same was the case for the Danish cartoons.
If they chose to, the cartoonists could have taken it out on bin Laden, but they knew this wouldn’t have resulted in a reaction that brings celebrity. Depicting the Prophet of Islam as a murderous terrorist – that’s a good trick. It’s foolish but unfortunately, it works! We know, too, that the loudest Islamists, not the most sensitive or clever, will silence anyone who seeks to diffuse the situation and ignore the morons. Unfortunately, from experience, it has become clear that reasonable men and women can do nothing. All they can do is witness the repeated failures of their calls for reason. Crass manipulations of the sacred inevitably end up succeeding. All that is needed is an obscure individual to decide that he wants to become famous by planting the seeds of insult and denigration of the Prophet of Islam. From across the Atlantic to the far-reaches of Asia, the terrain is fertile.
In the case of the film, the provocation does not appear to have taken hold until a clip was translated into Arabic and posted on the Net. And now, because an anti-Islam Coptic living in the United States decided to promote the film, Islamists in Egypt have seized on it to blacklist the Coptic community.
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