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.