The youtube sensation that insults the prophet Mohammed has caused worldwide violent outrage from Muslims, the death of an American diplomat, and rising justification for everyone in the West to think of Islam, indeed all Muslims, as very wicked indeed.


Or has it?


This is a very thoughtful article from Avaaz about all the things you haven’t heard, because they haven’t been reported, or have been glossed over. Some hugely important questions are raised about how the media can be used to manipulate people. It brings to mind Nazi propaganda about Jews in the 1930s (in fact, it makes me think that the Nazi propagandists were amateurs in comparison).


Here is an extract of the article from Avaaz:

‘1. Early estimates put participation in anti-film protests at between 0.001 and 0.007% of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims – a tiny fraction of those who marched for democracy in the Arab spring.** 

2. The vast majority of protesters have been peaceful. The breaches of foreign embassies were almost all organised or fuelled by elements of the Salafist movement, a radical Islamist group that is most concerned with undermining more popular moderate Islamist groups. 

3. Top Libyan and US officials are divided over whether the killing of the US ambassador to Libya was likely pre-planned to coincide with 9/11, and therefore not connected to the film. 

4. Apart from attacks by radical militant groups in Libya and Afghanistan, a survey of news reports on 20 September suggested that actual protesters had killed a total of zero people. The deaths cited by media were largely protesters killed by police. 

5. Pretty much every major leader, Muslim and western, has condemned the film, and pretty much every leader, Muslim and western, has condemned any violence that might be committed in response. 

6. The pope visited Lebanon at the height of the tension, and Hezbollah leaders attended his sermon, refrained from protesting the film until he left, and called for religious tolerance. Yes, this happened. 

7. After the attack in Benghazi, ordinary people turned out on the streets in Benghazi and Tripoli with signs, many of them in English, apologising and saying the violence did not represent them or their religion. ‘

**Bold highlighting is my own addition.

Please click the link above and read for yourself the rest of the article.


One of the comments on the article’s page echoes my own response: ‘Initially I was focused on the stupidity of the film. Then I became focused on the stupidity of the reaction to the stupidity of the film. Is this where we are as a species? Where a sleazebag film can drive International affairs? If so, then it’s just a matter of time before we become extinct.’


Quite. Let us educate ourselves and our children. I remember Jesus’ words:

“Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.”

Matthew 5:9

He also said to love yourself, love your neighbour and love your enemies, and continually responded to the manipulative, sometimes wicked, behaviour of those around him with informed rationality, authority-with-humility, and the peace that passes understanding. May we do the same.