Barbarians at the Gate

Mark Tapson, a Hollywood-based writer and screenwriter, is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He focuses on the politics of popular culture.


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Yesterday angry protesters scaled the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, tore down the American flag, and held up shredded bits of it to television camera crews. Welcome to the new democratic Egypt, a product of the glorious, Obama-inspired Arab Spring which sent so many thrills up the collective leg of the mainstream media.

The embassy had been cleared of diplomatic personnel earlier that day, ahead of the imminent threat. Shots were fired (by whom it isn’t clear) as a large crowd gathered around the compound. Egyptian police and army personnel attempted to prevent the demonstrators from advancing farther, but not before the protesters planted the black flag of Islam atop a ladder inside the embassy. On it was lettering that read, “There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger,” the profession of Muslim faith.

The demonstration was apparently in protest of a film which the crowd deemed insulting to their prophet Mohammed. It was unclear which film upset them – in fact, it’s probably unclear even to the protesters, who rarely need a specific reason to become insanely offended and rampage through the streets. Some took the opportunity to express their perceived grievances over U.S. policy, with the usual chanting of anti-American slogans. It’s difficult to imagine what they have to complain about where Obama’s America is concerned, since our President actively assisted the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise to power there and just signed off on a $1 billion aid package to the new regime.

CNN reported that several individuals claimed responsibility for organizing the demonstrations, among them Wesam Abdel-Wareth, the president of Egypt’s conservative Hekma television channel. Mohammed al-Zawahiri – the brother of al Qaeda bigwig Ayman al-Zawahiri – added that “we called for the peaceful protest joined by different Islamic factions including the Islamic Jihad, Hazem Abu Ismael movement.” By “peaceful” he means there was not yet any wholesale slaughter of infidel Americans or any unlucky Copts who might happen to be in the vicinity.

Al-Zawahiri added that “the film portrays the prophet in a very ugly manner, alluding to topics like sex, which is not acceptable.”  Sex, eh? Perhaps he’s referring to his prophet Mohammed’s marriage consummation with a nine-year-old, which would indeed be an ugly – yet truthful – portrayal. No wonder the crowd is upset – unlike a film about Christianity’s Jesus, a film that depicts Islam’s model for the perfect man in an historically accurate manner wouldn’t paint their religion in a very flattering light.

“I just want to say,” al-Zawahiri went on, “how would the Americans feel if films insulting leading Christian figures like the pope or historical figures like Abraham Lincoln were produced?”

The answer is that films insulting Christians and American historical figures are produced almost nonstop in the entertainment biz, and Americans don’t form spit-flecked, bloodthirsty mobs to storm Hollywood studios and threaten Bill Maher with death. Christians and patriotic Americans are routinely insulted in pop culture and most don’t even bother to shoot off an irate email to a TV network. But of course al-Zawahiri wasn’t expecting empathy; these mobs don’t want our respect – they want our submission.

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  • truebearing

    Radical jihadists attack our embassy, here on the advent of the Arab Winter — which will someday lead to a nuclear winter — and Obama fails to act as our Commander-In-Chief. Instead, he telegraphs to the insane, bloodthirsty Muslims that the US will stand passively while our nation is attacked, or the demonic forces of Islam attempt genocide in Israel.

    Right after offering Egypt a billion dollars to buy German submarines, and on the anniversary of 9/11, Obama refuses to meet with Netanyahu and passively accepts mob attacks against us. It seems to me that this is an irrefutable proof of his perfidy, Muslim loyalty, and fundamental evil.

    • israel supporting

      agreed that you need to press your president to assert the USA strength much more whilst he is still in a position to do so ,because like it or not,we in the free world, all rely on you to a greater or lesser extent, and a powerful USA is better for us all, I agree with you totally ref the israeli need for a president who accepts the need for israel to be protecrted at all costs, and no, I dont trust obama either, and am glad to be in england

    • akamaial

      Beyond any shadow of doubt, this faux POTUS is anything but an American patriot… we must flush this fraud as the stinking turd that he is before he further befouls the very air of freedom that this nation breathes that is the very essence of our being.

    • BS77

      The Barbarians are INSIDE the gate. We invited the Trojan Horse into our gates…and now moan in despair.

      My prayers to the family of the ambassador. When is the west going to freakin' wake up and get real ?

  • Schlomotion

    "When our own embassy in Cairo is under assault; the American flag is torn down and shredded, and another raised in its place; and our official response is to leap to the defense of the delicate sensibilities of the fanatics storming our embassy, then we are no longer a beacon of freedom and human rights in a dark land. We are appeasers and collaborators in their totalitarianism."

    I will see if you come "trotting out" this platitude when England storms the Ecuadoran embassy. I will also see if Advocatus comes trotting out with the same shibboleths.

    • MikeWood

      Schlo, there you go with your Tu Quoque fallacy again. Tu Quoque is a very common fallacy in which one attempts to defend oneself or another from criticism by turning the critique back against the accuser. Whether England storms the Ecuadoran embassy or not is completely beside the point here. It has absolutely no bearing on Mark's accusation that the US administration is collaborating with totalitarianism. I told you about this fallacy before but you obviously didn't listen.

      • Schlomotion

        Of course I didn't listen. The more important fact to me is that Mark Tapson doesn't hold everybody up to the same moral standard. On Tuesday, storming an embassy will be wrong, but on Wednesday, storming an embassy will be right.

        • Jim

          The difference IS that IF the Brits were to storm the Equadorean embassy, then I don't think we will be seeing rampant destruction and the murder of people as is so expected when these situations involve the followers of the so called "Religion of Peace"……You need to grow the hell up Schlo and smell the coffee….Unless that offends you? Tough…..

    • reader

      You are a barbarian too – in addition to being a troll.

    • advocatus

      Your sesquipedalian obfuscations of pseudo-intellectual perspicacity leave much to be desired in the way of substance, coherence, cogency and relevance as has been amply demonstrated by your myriad sorrowfully ill-informed, factually incorrect and morally dubious opinions, such as they are, on a wide variety of subject matters under discussion at this website in light of the obvious conclusion one must draw from your prodigious outpourings that the entirety of your worldview finds evidence, if at all but to all intents and purposes, in a hackneyed yet persistent denunciation of people of Jewish persuasion as well as, one must point out, in the regrettable tendency to peddle half-baked (pardon the colloquialism) conspiracy theories pertaining to a global takeover of the world's economic, political and cultural spheres by a shadowy cabal of Zionist schemers, plotters and conspirators.

      Carry on.

      • Drakken

        I am going to give this post a huge Amen!

    • Pontotoc Bill

      Do you understand that the invasion of an embassy is actually an act of war? Every embassy is soverign soil of the nation there.

      These Islamofascist morons have actually declared war on the US.

    • Ghostwriter

      I said it before and I'll say it again. Idiocy,thy name is Schlomotion.

  • Bamaguje

    “(US embassy) condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims… We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others” – US embassy.

    In other words, Muslims are perfectly justified to violent riots when their religion is criticized.

    • Sunbeam

      Just a film doesn't warrant this extremity. It caused four innocent American lives. This is outrageous.

    • Anon

      The Embassy was under seige; the Marines had not yet arrived. It would have been further suicide to say anything else. Jeez.

  • oldtimer

    And the demoncratic,leftist policies of 0 helped.

    • curmudgeon

      it is useless to try to blame the surrender of america on the america hating democrats. what the democrats do out of hatred for america, the republicans do out of greed and stupidity. the destruction of america was a bipartisan project. try as he did, the muslim in the white house could not equal the treason of george w bush, who, in response to the second "day of infamy", declared the attackers to be the "religion of peace", and refused to make the only reasonable response–the expulsion of all muslims, both foreign and home grown, from our country. due to that shocking surrender by the republican fool, the muslim in the white house is just an immitator who can never hope to equal the harm done by the master traitor bush..

  • V_O

    "Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy"

    This statement is remarkable in the face of the regular persecution of Christians in the region… (cant even specify Egypt, since it goes on everywhere) …and the deafening silence from our State Department that follows.

    And now our ambassador to Libya and 3 of his staff have been murdered. Are we still going to keep apologizing?

    • Jim

      Obviously so….Show how you feel come the election….Get the "I stand with the muslims" Hussein Obama OUT…along with the rest of his cronies…..

    • Soloview

      Why would anyone at this point expect the US State Department to stop talking stupid ?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mI7ldxcio0

    • Sunbeam

      We're not wrong in any way. Why should we apologized? If you apologized something that isn't wrong, this is to say you admit you're wrong. And this is absurd. It gives the perpetrators grounds over their unjustified evil action which is extreme beyond comprehension.

  • Schlomotion

    If it's the prerogative of the leader of the free world to glad-hand the newly elected leader of Egypt rather than assassinate him, and part of his strategy is to not flip out when other people flip out, yeah. I'm OK with that. Cooler heads prevail.

    I think someone is hijacking your identity now, because you are not speaking like yourself.

    No. I am not infuriated by mobs attacking an embassy. It takes a lot to infuriate me. Ripping up a piece of cloth and burning a few office chairs doesn't infuriate me. It sounds entertaining. The collapse of Moldova looked like great fun. If the Egyptians had murdered a bunch of people yesterday, yes, that would have been upsetting. Instead, all they did was provide a tabloid repast for Joseph Klein.

    • V_O

      So now that our ambassador to Libya and 3 of his staff have been murdered, over the same film, you might begin to be a little upset?

      • Schlomotion

        No. The embassadors to Libya can go hang. They just supported Al Qaeda in a coup as a personal favor to British Petroleum which just dumped oil all over the Gulf Coast. I hope it was painful.

    • Drakken

      Nice to see your commi leanings for your jihadist friends come out. Effing traitor!

  • Demetrius M

    My guess is the truth came a little to close to home for the followers of their child molesting prophet. Why is it the image of Jesus Christ can be put through the wringer and we are told to shutup and take it, but not so for those who follow the false ideology of islam? Must be a case of judging good as evil and evil as good – the Isaiah was right.

    • Jim

      I'd like to know how it can be insulting to show a few facts about Islams inventor?? As you state, the truth is a little unpalatable when it comes to Islam and its founder…..Oh well, worshiping the moon and holding up a murdering, raping, thief who married a little girl and screwed her when she was 9 as the "perfect" man is bound to ruffle a few feathers in the muslim world. After all, don't muslim men strive to be like him?? Just saying ;-)

    • israel supporting

      couldnt agree more, the truth hurts , and never more than when it is against a false ideology , never moind, we know the end result, and can only watch the LORD in amazement as HE brigs it all to pass, the 12 caliphate will never happen, and the only world wide peace to come now is the millenial kingdom, as the kingdom of thje antichrist will be a false peace for a max of 42 months, amen brother

    • Anon

      How much do we really know about the norms of that society in that era? It may have been acceptable to have sex with a 9 year old, especially a menstruating 9 year old, which is not unheard of. We ought not be judging Islamic historical figures by 21st century Infidel standards.

  • EthanP

    This will continue. The dominoes will fall. Why? Because true Islam supports it. Look at the history of the Muslem expansion. If not stopped, and soon, the whole Arab World, and likely the whole Islamic Wold will look like Egypt and Libya.

  • samemanagain

    Calm down everyone, I believe Obama has already issued an apology to the Muslim world. Don't forget to vote for him.

    • Spider

      Sure let's apologise to the scum for killing four of our dignitaries.

    • topeka

      same old,

      dude – issue a sarcasm warning or something – this post is so dumb I almost put my coffee through my nose… if it's not sarcasm … that's even funnier!

      LOL

    • mlcblog

      You are hilarious!!

  • tagalog

    I know it's silly of me to even consider this proposal, much less post it, but here goes: seems like it's time for the Obama administration to rescind the agreement to give these people a billion dollars in aid.

    I'm willing send them a dead skunk, a pigskin, or ten pounds of human excrement in a five-pound bag. That would be OK.

  • Spider

    Isn't it clear by now that Obama and the collection of incompetent clowns in his administration are all just Islamist enemy collaborators and are working to destroy the American and European culture that they despise so much??

    • Anon

      They need not be "Islamist enemy collaborators . . .working to destroy American . . .culture. . ."; they could just have a philosophy on how to deal with other nations and get along with them that differs from America's more recent philosophy. Obama and his followers may truly believe that making friends not being what they like to refer to as "a bully nation" is the best way to get along in the world. They may truly believe that nuclear bomb parity is the only "fair" way to have nuclear weaponry in the world. It really doesn't make a lot of difference, though, whether they are all Islamist enemy collaborators or merely naive and hopelessly wrong: the outcome for America will be the same.

  • ChrisLA

    The 14 minute trailer has been on the internet since early July, but the protest was launched on 9/11. What a coincidence! Protests in Muslim countries are never "spontaneous."

    Readers can view the trailer at this website: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/

    The film is a very low-budget project with bad acting and fake scenery, but each of the vignettes comes directly from the life of Muhammad. For example, the story of Muhammad burying his face in Khadija's clothing to determine if his visions were divine or satanic can be found on page 107 (paragraph 154) of Ishaq's "The Life of Muhammad," the most authentic biography available. Muslims cannot make the grim facts about Muhammad go away by staging protests. Sooner or later, they will have to recognize that their prophet, as depicted in their own sacred writings, was a profoundly flawed person by 21st Century standards.

  • Athiestforlife

    Where are our Marines? If anybody is coming over the walls of our embassy's then the armed guards should shoot them. That would be something they would understand. Hell, they couldn't get any angrier could they? This sensless killing has to stop. As Jack Nickolson said: "You want the truth? You can't handle the truth"

    • commwife

      The Marines are probably under the same criminal rules of engagement our other troops are. Also, 2 of those killed in Libya were Marines. They were probably told to stand down until it was too late

  • John

    Apparently Mr. al Zawahiri never heard of Monty Python or Abraham Lincoln – Vampire Slayer!

  • curmudgeon

    the enemy in not at the gate. our treasonous government, which should be manning the gate, has invited the enemy inside, and is paying the enemy to breed. if only the enemy was at the gate, we might have a chance. to survive as a free society, we must first defeat our own government, our own media, our own academia, a large cadre of chronic traitors–aka democrats and republicans– AND the vicious invaders the abovementioned traitors have allowed to infest our country. i dont see much possibility of that happening. i think i will purchase a prayer rug while they are still cheap and available. our nation has already surrendered to evil.

  • Iron Yank

    I think its time to quit pretending these people are not our enemies which they quite obviously are except to the braindead Liberals. Egypts aid should be ended immediatly and if they are going to side with Iran I would park an aircraft carrier off there shore to keep them in line. As far as Benghazi go's I think we should make good use of our airforce, find the approximate location of the radicals responsible for the murders and send a statement by dropping a daisy cutter on them. Of course all this president will do is apoligize to the Libyans for the ambassadors murder.

  • Andy

    I see nothing but opportunities in this. It costs very little to enrage muslims to form mobs and rave. Instead of simply executing specific operatives and leaders, for the same cost great crowds can be eliminated with bombs, flame throwers, etc. It helps bring to the surface that which could surprise us when we are not ready and it provides opportunities to hold governments responsible. Prime Minister Harper of Canada must be commended for closing his embassy in Iran. It is time for the entire free world to close embassies in all Muslim countries and to throw out theirs.

  • Soloview

    Anyone who believes that the mobs in Benghazi and Cairo laying siege to US missions on the anniversary of 9/11 were outraged by some dopey amateur video is a truly useful idiot. There was only one purpose to those events: to humiliate the USA and its impotent leadership. To assert 9/11 as a symbol of the victory of Islam over the Great Satan. The US embassy communique in Cairo is a confirmation that these intimidations work and guarantees their repeat. Any sane government would unreservedly condemn attacks on its diplomatic staff and sovereign territory and reject categorically any justification for the swinish acts.

  • topeka

    Great article…

    I would add – just as a drive by note – that the major outlets are again using the term "ultraconservative" to refer to these Islamists attacking our embassies.

    If Anti-American Islamists are "ultraconservative" then I suppose the State Department was right. That would make Obambam the "hyperconservative" and it would make Frontpage "Liberal."

    … of course if the Left did not control the ever changing dictionary – Frontpage would be liberal, at least according to Daniel Webster.

    • V_O

      Ha! You're so right….or do I mean wrong? : )

  • tagalog

    They kill our government agents because some private individual made a mocking movie about their religion.

    Then they get mad at us because we hold them in comtempt for being fools.

    Well, they may be fools but they sure are good at killing and destroying. Maybe we should be taking that into account when we consider diplomacy or drones.

    Another thing that we might take into account is that they don't see any distinction between a private moviemaker and a state diplomat when it comes to the U.S. Maybe we should think about that a bit in our dealings with Muslim states.

  • mlcblog

    Thank you for this. Seems straight thinking is at a premium these days.

    This reminds me of the cartoon released in The Netherlands and the ensuing apology/confusion which also set off a huge firestorm.

  • Paul

    It is time to demand that we sever diplomatic relations with Egypt and Libya. Expell their diplomatic missions. Cease as of yesterday all foreign aid to both countries. Demand reparations for the families of the American citizens killed and wounded. Revoke all Egyptian and Libyan visas( except those of Coptic Christians and Jews and other vulnerable minority citizens of the two countries). We need also demand a public apology for the savage behavior of their mob.

  • gman213

    "Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy" does that include the Catholic church? LOL so ridiculous its unreal!

  • Almarri

    The West (US and Europe) only has itself to blame. Those of influence cannot understand what is coming. The longer we wait to confront Islam the more painful it will be when we are forced to do so.The whole mentality of islam is that when confronted by a forceful response by a powerful enemy, is to back down. They, the islamists, mean it when they shout they will rule the world. Unfortunately our response is to laugh and say that this is the view of just a few extremists. It is not. It is the view of mainstream islam!

  • Bluffcreek1967

    This violent reaction was supposedly a result of an American film that presents Muhammad in a less than flattering light. So, in protest, the followers of the 'religion of peace' kill four Americans?! If Christians did this sort of thing in protest, we would see massive protests and rallies in the streets of our cities. Yet, when it comes to Muslims doing these sort of atrocities, Americans for the most part remain silent. We are afraid of them, and they know. So, they bully Americans and the entire world without fear of reprisal. When is this going to stop? How much more will we take?

    Americans should be in the streets protesting with large posters. The posters should depict the pedophile prophet in the most comical and demeaning manner – yet based in truth. Let us distribute leaflets in all of our cities mocking Muhammad with printed facts, rarely openly discussed, about the nature of Islam.

  • http://www.thereligionofpeace.com Porky's2istan

    The comments section at You Tube is burning up. They have added almost 4000 comments in just a few hours. If you want to see the video (or commnet) here it is:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iC6yGzpSvjU&fe

    It has also received over 30,000 views in just a few hours. It's truly bad moving making, but mostly accurate, which makes it even worse than bad. If you take drugs I suggest taking them before you click play. :P

  • Drakken

    Did anyone not see this coming? The muslims are on the march and the obummer administration is in denial, the state depart is falling all over themselves to bow, kneel and scape for muslim appeasement. This is going to get a hell of lot worse and obummer and company will try to bribe them with aid, God help us from these fools and traitors.

  • tagalog

    I am always amazed at the number of people who seem to be able to walk around these Muslim countries with their own rocket launchers, with plenty of rockets. And they decry America for allowing gun ownership.

    If I walked down the street of my town with an RPG, I'd be in jail in about five minutes.

  • Ghostwriter

    Somehow,I'm not surprised this would happen. Not a bit.

  • Asher

    The Middle East is becoming a Cauldron with warring factions of different groups. The deaths of 4 Americans at the Embassy shows us that these people will go off their rocker overy anything. This movie that they were so offended about is not the fault of the US ambassador or anyone that works there and the Jihadis took out there anger on them.

  • UCSPanther

    Good thing we closed the embassy in Iran. Just in time.

  • Sunbeam

    At the height of the uprising in Libya, the Libyan people sought the help of America to toppled its authoritarian leader Muammar Gaddafi. They wouldn't be able to take him down if not for the help of America. And since it;s all over, this is how they repay America. The same goes with Egypt. How ungrateful.

  • Sunbeam

    America in every sense should stop sending aid to these evil nations. During the uprising when they were loosing grip over the battle to ousted their authoritarian ruler, they sought the help of America. Without America's help they will get nowhere to overcome their tyranny ruler. NOW THAT THIS IS OVER, THIS IS HOW THEY REPAY AMERICA. They used America as something to be used but trample upon it as filthy rags when they don't need it. How ungrateful and outrageous. Just over a film deserves these extremity, even the murder of four American diplomats. They are insane.

  • Sunbeam

    These people are a hallucination. They are blood thirsty people. Killing people is just like killing chickens to them. They are horrible and worse than barbarians.

  • cynthia curran

    Well, Obama is weak on national defense but Ron Paul is just as bad. After Bush, the left usually pushes someone weak but some of the right tired of the wars pushed for Paul.

  • http://www.facebook.com/charliemoney3 Carlos Leal

    Once Obama is ousted in November it will defuse the idiot-Ismaels in the Middle-East and Americans can Focus on Jobs….America must STOP the Billion Dollars going to Libya…it makes no sense to send Big Dollars to barbearians that are killing our people and destroying our Ambassies. The Obama Administration should know that the policy of apeacement don't work , it only gives a green light to the Islamic-Fanatics. There is no way to reason with mad-dogs.

  • tagalog

    Threatening Bill Maher with death? Hmm…

  • drew

    "dhimmitude, pure and simple. When our own embassy in Cairo is under assault; the American flag is torn down and shredded, and another raised in its place; and our official response is to leap to the defense of the delicate sensibilities of the fanatics storming our embassy, then we are no longer a beacon of freedom and human rights in a dark land. We are appeasers and collaborators in their totalitarianism." BRAVO – well-said. Some truth and reason for once. Refreshing!

    …films insulting Christians and American historical figures are produced almost nonstop in the entertainment biz, and Americans don’t form spit-flecked, bloodthirsty mobs to storm Hollywood studios and threaten Bill Maher with death. Christians and patriotic Americans are routinely insulted in pop culture…"

    You nailed it again – still – we don't sweat it. Our faith can stand up to such abuse – but the Ishmaelites always have a murderous hissy-fit when there is a whisper of mockery to their bloody-minded beliefs. Sick of it all.

  • muchiboy

    I suppose one could make a case for calling the Arab Spring a failure.It could hardly be called an unqualified success,to date and at this point,anyway.But to be fair,such a judgment may be premature,given the undemocratic natures and histories of the region and states.Israel has the advantage of having been (arguably) occupied by the Diaspora.The European component of the Diaspora was often well educated and familiar with the democratic process.Indeed,the contribution of European Jews,and American Jews,latterly,to the development of various political systems,and the running of Democratic institutions in the West,was significant,giving them a real advantage in Palestine and the development of Israel,not unlike Rhodesia and South Africa.Only time will tell if the Arab countries will achieve the economic,social and other changes needed to foster democratic institutions.muchiboy

    • drew

      I'm no expert but it seems to me it comes down to what important texts you build your society on. Events continue to show that he Koran is a text which leads to tyranny and jihad-mentality. Our western democracies flourished (past tense?) because they were founded on New Testament doctrine and Enlightenment philosophy. The majority of the populace had faith and esteemed their Liberty highly – unlike the present state of affairs.
      Nonetheless I am glad for the hopeful outlook of your post here.