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Update: Protests and Rage Spread Across Arab World into Global Muslim Communities

24 Sep

Iran protests 2012

Anti-American Protests in Iran

Its been about 12 days since I last wrote about the protests, many evolving into full on riots with death tolls in the Middle East over the anti-Islamic film “The Innocence of Muslims”. Unfortunately since that post developments have not been positive and they are continuing today, nearly 2 weeks since they began, with 21 people dead in Pakistan so far.

From Libya to Egypt the protests spread throughout most of the Middle East and spread to Muslim communities across the world. In the spread of the protests other countries embassy’s were targeted as well, as other anti-Islamic groups in parts of Europe continued to re-translate the film into multiple languages including German and French.

Here is the most comprehensive list I could make of places the protests took place, sourced from the hours and hours of news I watched on the events as they were taking place:

Pakistan police protect the US Embassay

Middle East:

Egypt- Cario: Among the first protest cities

Libya- Benghazi: Among the first protest cities

Yemen- Saana


Tunisia- Tunis

Lebannon- Tripoli, Baalbek, & Beirut: Government has supported quiet protests

Afghanistan- Jalalabad, Kabul & Ghanzi: Mostly quiet protests

Israel/Palestine- Jerusalem

Pakistan- Mardan, Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar: Protests in Mardan reached between 60-70,000 people. So far 21 have died at the governement supported “quiet” protests

Jordan- Ahman


Iraq- Basra

Anti-American rally in Pakistan, where 21 have died so far fro the government supported protests

Protests in Lebannon have also been supported by the government.

Other parts of Africa:

Sudan- Khartoum: Attacks on US, UK, and German Embassy’s in the capitol. Among the first to target embassies other than the US.


Protests in Khartom, Sudan where the US, German, and British emabassys were all sacked

Other worldwide Muslim communities:

S. India- Chennai

Kashmir (Indian controlled)- Srinagar

Indonesia- Jakarta, Surabaya,  Medan, & Makassar


Malaysia- Kuala Lumpur: Quite protest outside US embassy of around 200 protestors

Bangledash- Dhaka

Sri Lanka- Colombo

Germany- Freiburg: Where the film was translate to Duestch and handed out at mosques

Norway- Oslo

England- London: Protests outside US, French, and multiple other embassays

Muslim protesters burn an American flag during a protest against an anti-Islam film produced in the United States in Makassar, South Sulawesi province, Indonesia, Friday, Sept, 21, 2012. The U.S. has closed its diplomatic missions across Indonesia due to continuing demonstrations over the film "Innocence of Muslims," which denigrates the Prophet Muhammad. (AP Photo/Abbas Sandji)

Burning of American flag in Makassar, Indonesia.

Muslims protesting in Britain outside the French Embassay protests and riots across the world, causing unammountable damage, 51 recorded deaths so far, and yet another wedge between Western and Muslim relations have all been cause by an ignorant film. “The Innocence of Muslims” is garabage, to put it ever so simply and I am so disheartened that so many Muslim’s are upset and in the process a growing hate for America and Americans has gotten stronger. The man believed to be the filmmaker is the Egyptian-American Nakoula Basseley Nakoula aka Sam Bacile. Since Nakoula has been taken in to be questions by the feds, and according to the actors in the film he is an Egyptian Coptic Christian. [There has long been conflict issues between Egyptian Muslims and Coptic’s, who make up 10% of the population]. Since the films release the Coptic church has revered the film and condones anyone in the church from supporting the film. For many Coptic’s there was concern a backlash would be targeted to them. Since Pakistan’s minister has put out a $100,000 bounty for Nakoula, although Pakistan as a whole has rejected this.

This film has obviously disturbed Muslim’s across the world, and Muslim leaders are not exempt form this. Pakistan and Lebanon have both supported peaceful protests against the film. In US response there has been 10 ads bought to be put up in NYC subway stations that call Muslims terrible things which I wont repeat. How are leaders in nations across the world responding to this?

Barack Obama:

“The United States of America will never retreat from the world. We will never stop working for the dignity and freedom that every (person) deserves. … That’s the essence of American leadership. … That was their work in Benghazi, and that is the work we will carry on.”

Hizbut Tahir Indonesia:

A prominent cleric in Indonesia urged Muslims there to remain calm despite their anger about the film. But Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia, a branch of the international network that advocates a worldwide Islamic state, on its website blamed the U.S. government for allowing the film to be produced and released, calling it “an act of barbarism that cannot go unpunished.”

CNN Channel 9/14/21012 11:06am

Lebanon Secretary General Sayyed Hassen Nasrallah:

“We call for protests tomorrow in the southern suburbs (of Beirut) at 5 o’clock,” Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech. “Muslims and Christians must remain vigilant in order to refrain from sliding towards strife. Those responsible for the film, starting with the U.S., must be held accountable.”

Libyan Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur:

“This is not acceptable to the Libyan people; this is not acceptable to our values. We are taking this very, very seriously.”

Libya’s ruling General National Congress, Mohammed Al-Megaryef:

“We apologize to the U.S., to the American people and to the government and also to the rest of the world for what happened yesterday. And at the same time, we expect the world to cooperate with us to confront to what is meant out of this kind of act of cowardice,” al-Megaryef said.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki

He urged a “quarantine” of “the racists” (behind the clip) in order to “stop them from spreading … their dangerous thoughts.” He then said that people should “refrain from resorting to violence and exercise the principles of Islam and its civilized values.”

Many leaders have made comments along the lines of:

US’s policy of free speech does not make it OK for someone to make a film against all Muslims

So I leave on a final thought:

An American can say what every they want under free speech, but should they be held reposibles for how people react?


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Update: Egypt and Libya Protests Linked to Pro-al-Qaeda group

12 Sep

As the news continues to cover the Egyptian and Libyan protests, specialists have drawn closer to the conclusion the the attacks in Libya specifically were not only planned, but linked to a Pro-al-Qaeda group.

The deaths have reached a rumored 14, 10 Libyans while providing security for the Embassy, 1 Ambassador Chris Stevens and 3 Embassy staffers. The Ambassador Chris Stevens was the first to be killed in the line of duty in 33 years. Below is a link to a video discussing those who believed so much in peaceful relationships they devoted their lives to the cause.

Click image for link

Today Libyans in Benghazi responded to the 9/11 protests, offering their condolences to the US and the families of those killed. With signs saying:

  “This is not the behavior of our Islam and Profit” 


What I ask of all Americans, is that we offer Libyans and Egyptians the same respect they are offering us on the behalf of our ignorant film-makers, and their raging radicals. Lets move forward together and not let the actions of the two hateful groups of people on both sides drag us all into their misery.


Image Sources

Current: Uproar in Egypt and Libya over anti-Islamic film, American diplomats targets of rage

12 Sep

Seeing EASky is being made to help better understand Arabic and Middle Eastern cultures, discussing US-Middle Eastern relations seems the obvious thing to do. For me personally our relations is what intrigued me with Middle Eastern culture in the first place. Breaking out on Sept. 11, 2012, was an uproar of anger from protesters in Egypt and Libya over an anti-Islamic film that was made in the US. This film, which I have not yet seeked out to watch, belittles the Prophet Muhammad and has enraged Muslims in the region. What the US State Department fears is that this anger, and backlash (at the wrong people) will spread throughout the Middle East and to other Muslim populations.

Its been reported that one American diplomat was killed as protesters in Benghazi, Libya scaled the walls of the embassy where shots and explosives were set off, among the protesters were a radical Islamic group Ansar al-Sharia. Guns, rocket propelled grenades, looting, and lastly a fire that destroyed most of the consulate after the 3 hour protest and ambush. In the height of the ambush in Cario Egypt, the American flag was taken down, and replaced by a black Islamic flag.  The irony of these attacks and the 11th anniversary of 9/11,  for some depends on if these protests were or were not coordinated.

My thoughts, starting with the attack of the US Embassy, is that it a true shame and sign of disrespect. Not only that Americans were attacked and one murdered, but that they were diplomats. Now I understand that as diplomats they are representative of the US, but as diplomats they are interested in peace. Personally I don’t think any Embassy in any country should ever be attack, I see them as one of the few political reminders (after the wars, arguments over oil, blame, cultural misunderstandings and disputes) that we as humans do hope for peace someday. Every country and every person is on this Earth, and as of the 21st Century there isn’t the moon to opt-out quite yet. As diplomats are representative of the US, this anti-Islamic garbage that was made by an ignorant and intolerant group of people within the US is NOT. What is unfortunate, is that the very consulates that were threatened, attacked, and one murdered, is that they are perhaps the most tolerant Americans as they are willing to live in a foreign country, culture, and language for the sake of good will.

With the attacks aimed at the nearest Americans and symbol of US culture and politics, I want to know why this film was perceived as an American ideal rather then a group of peoples ignorant opinion. What exactly did this film say or portray about Americans? Parts of it were translated into Arabic and posted on Youtube, which is how the message was received in Egypt and Libya. On Youtube I once came across a VERY offensive video about the “Alarming spread of Islam”, if the video wasn’t offensive enough the comments posted below supporting the video were just disgusting. Have people seen similar comments on the particular anti-Islam video in question?

A topic I will later devote an entire post to, is how this is being understand and acted on in the US. Are people especially mad because of the salt in the would of 9/11? How do Americans understand the actions and reactions of the Middle East. To be frank, some Americans have a foul stereotype of bomb throwing men in the desert. Reading how this news was presented by CNN and Huffingtonpost, there are phrases both appropriate to the situation and ones questionable. It seems that Middle Eastern news coverage and media has developed certain vocabulary and phrases, that seem to be especially attached and exclusive to Middle Eastern events. The Huffingtonpost article mentions “bombs going off” and “ultraconservative Muslims”. As I said some appropriate, some also questionable..Read the article for yourself and see if you can find any examples. HUffingtonpost’s article seemed more interpretive, and I found CNNs more report-ive, as it talks mostly about what Hillary Clinton said and the State Dept’s next actions.

Lastly, I am curious how this film and the events of today mean for future cooperation from Egypt and Libya, especially with leaders of both countries having been taken out of position. Will this sentiment towards Americans dissipate? Will Americans sentiment grow with anger?

This national breaking news is sure to have political correspondents running and debating for the days to come. My hopes are that this remains an isolated, terrible misdirection. Apologies be made, and arriving at an understanding on both sides.