The Outrage Cycle


Mohamed El Dashan dreams of a more reasonable response to anti-Islam speech from the West:

Is the film insulting? Yeah, sure. But the best reaction would have been to ignore it completely. There is no virtue in displaying lethal outrage (as in Benghazi) whenever anyone throws a feeble punch at Islam and Muslims. Doing so is only a display of weakness, a fear that our religion cannot withstand even the silliest of skits. This idea is insulting in itself. Bring on the insults, I say — bring on the hatred, the mockery, the piques, the spitballs. The amateur films, the Danish cartoons, the Geert Wilders, and the like. There is little harm than can befall Islam as a faith. It has withstood, over the past fourteen centuries, infinitely worse attacks, yet it has neither weakened nor vanished.

Dan Murphy acknowledges the cycle:

In some ways, [the aftermath of the Danish Muhammad cartoon] was the beginning of an era of manufactured outrage, with a group of fringe hate-mongers in the West developing a symbiotic relationship with radical clerics across the East. The Westerners deliberately cause offense by describing Islam as a fundamentally violent religion, and all too often mobs in Muslim-majority states oblige by engaging in violence.

Murphy reports that the protest and attacks in Egypt were sparked by a religious TV station there:

Jones and Mr. Bacile cannot be blamed for the violence and death of the ambassador. That blame goes to the perpetrators. Who whipped them up? Ground zero for bringing attention to the movie in Egypt appears to be Al-Nas TV, a religious channel owned by Saudi Arabian businessman Mansour bin Kadsa. A TV show presented by anti-Christian, anti-Semitic host Khaled Abdullah before the violence showed what he said were clips from the film, which he insisted was being produced by the United States and Coptic (Egyptian) Christians.

A reminder of the real victims in this whole saga:


(Bottom photo: Libyan civilians help an unconscious man, identified by eyewitnesses as US ambassador-to-Libya Chris Stevens, at the US consulate compound in Benghazi in the early hours of September 12, 2012, following an overnight attack on the building. Stevens and three of his colleagues were killed in an attack on the US consulate in the eastern Libyan city by Islamists outraged over an amateur American-made Internet video mocking Islam, less than six months after being appointed to his post. By STR/AFP/Getty Images.

Top photo: The outer wall of the United States Embassy in Egypt covered in graffiti, the morning after it was vandalised by protesters during a demonstration on Septmeber 12, 2012 in central Cairo, Egypt. By Ed Giles/Getty Images.)