Yesterday I wrote about the protests and subsequent riots in Cairo and Benghazi over some idiot’s low-budget film denigrating Islam and their prophet Mohammad. Several people died, building were set on fire, and the standard statements about tolerance of all religions were made by cooler heads in the wake of the violence.
A lot of what I write about in this blog involves people of various religions taking their beliefs to their logical – or illogical – absurdity, turning something about which we might philosophically disagree into something far more poisonous and potentially deadly. Whether it’s Christians who can’t be bothered to learn about hormonal birth control yet want it banned because it “causes abortions” … or Jewish rabbis who feel that performing part of every circumcision with their mouths is integral to their faith even if it ends up transmitting herpes … or mobs of angry Muslims going crazy because someone burned their holy book over the Internet 10,000 miles away … it’s pervasive and it transcends race, nationality, or culture.
The problem is that it also grossly overshadows the vast remainder of the people born into each religion who generally just use it as a convenient guide for being decent to one another … even if a good deal of cherry picking is required to make it all work out in modern society. Giving attention to them is just as important, showing that the actions of any dangerously vocal subpopulation doesn’t represent the whole.
In light of this, and in the same spirit as the students from Texas A&M, who formed a human wall to protect those who attended the funeral of Lt. Col Roy Tisdale from the protests of that gang of drooling sociopaths known as Westboro Baptist Church, the residents of the Libyan city of Benghazi came out en masse today to peacefully protest the violence and destruction that occurred the night before at the hands of a smaller, yet far crazier, few. Some photos are below, but the rest are on Buzzfeed.
I maintain, as before, that if your religion – or your interpretation of it – drives you to violence any time someone doesn’t give it the respect you think it deserves, then there’s something seriously wrong with both it and you. There’s nothing inherently bad about being offended or upset if someone’s mocking your religion; however, there are limits to the form that anger should take. It’s truly comforting to see that there are plenty of Muslims in that part of the world who so strongly feel the same way that they took to the streets to share their sentiments with the rest of the world. It should also be noted that last night, during the attacks, other groups of citizens – the ones who weren’t rioting – were trying to help the members of the American consulate to get them to safety.
It looks like Libya has a long way to go … watching the video leaves me with the impression even though the nation is an Islamic democracy, the bulk of their population to have a relatively moderate interpretation of their state religion. That’s as good a start as I can hope for, I guess.
In other news, apparently the actors involved in that film insulting Islam had no idea what they were really involved in:
The story of the Muhammed movie which sparked deadly protests in Libya and Egypt gets weirder. The actors who appeared in it had no idea they were starring in anti-Islam propaganda which depicts Muhammed as a child molester and thug. They were deceived by the film’s director, believing they were appearing in a film about the life of a generic Egyptian 2,000 years ago.
Cindy Lee Garcia, an actress from Bakersfield, Calif., has a small role in the Muhammed movie as a woman whose young daughter is given to Muhammed to marry. But in a phone interview this afternoon, Garcia told us she had no idea she was participating in an offensive spoof on the life of Muhammed when she answered a casting call through an agency last summer and got the part.
Oops. Maybe that was the only way the writers and producers were able to get as many actors involved as they did.
EDIT: This shit is going on in Yemen too? Seriously … enough.
Protesters angered by an anti-Islam film made in the US have briefly stormed the grounds of the American embassy in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.
Police shot in the air in an attempt to hold back the crowds, but failed to prevent them gaining access to the compound and setting fire to vehicles.