Mon, September 24, 2012
World > Americas > Surge of Islamic protests against U.S.

U.S. still grilled , France plunging in Islamic flames of fury

2012-09-20 02:30:55 GMT2012-09-20 10:30:55(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

By Li Hongmei, Special to Sina English

All these days, the world attention has been captured to the refreshed storms sweeping the Muslim world against the U.S., all triggered by a film, on the surface; but the root cause is far from what it looks.

The bewildered U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lamented that it is a regret that a country with the great help of the U.S, would turn against and take vengeance on it as a return.

Perhaps, the Libyan people have already replied to Mrs. Clinton, not only by protests and but in rhetoric. "It is not that Americans can trample upon our religion at will just because they helped us with the access to democracy and freedom," not a few Libyans have been cited as saying so, even if in different way. 

Cairo has urged the U.S. to extradite those who made the Innocence of Muslims video mocking Prophet Muhammad. In Egypt, the film-makers can face the death penalty.

Meanwhile, in the neighboring Palestine hundreds have marched to the Israeli border and attacked a checkpoint.

The Muslim world has a new reason for discontent: another Prophet Muhammad cartoon published in France. Paris realizes potential aftermaths of this, thus, all French schools, cultural centers and embassies in some 20 Arab countries will be closed September 21.

Today’s issue of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo had a front cover showing an Orthodox Jew pushing a Muslim in a wheelchair saying "You mustn't mock". The inside pages contained several caricatures of the Prophet including some of him naked. The cartoon was named "Untouchable 2" which is a popular French movie about a paralyzed rich white man and his black assistant.

This is an intentional provocation, which can result in sad consequences, believes senior Oriental expert, Irina Zvyagelskaya

"I feel no sympathy for those who do such things as they perfectly realize that any attempts to mock Prophet Muhammad are insulting for Muslims and can cause harm. No matter whether Muslims see these cartoons with their own eyes or they are told about them."

Charlie Hebdo's editor-in-chief Stephane Charbonnier says that the magazine adheres to the freedom of speech. He believes that if today the media ban Muhammad cartoons then tomorrow these could be humans or animals.

Maybe, the editor had different reasons-the magazine’s issue has already been sold out. It attracted even those who never read it before.

This is not the first scandal around Muhammad cartoons.

In 2005, Danish cartoons of the Prophet sparked a wave of protests across the Muslim world. Some Arab countries boycotted Danish goods and looted Danish embassies. The cartoonist survived several murder attempts.

However, then, some European media reprinted the cartons claiming the freedom of speech. Charlie Hebdo was among them.

Expert in Oriental studies Alexey Podtserob explains why Muslims react like this.

"For years, the Muslim world has been accumulating hatred to the West remembering colonization, tortures and massacres. The French killed millions of Algerians during the War of Independence, 10% of the population. Such things can never be forgotten."

The cartoon scandal also triggered a new trend in the European political life. Experts call it liberal xenophobia. Its supporters are not against aliens and back tolerance and diversity but think that European values should be protected from “barbarians” as the latter ignore them and try to impose their own. Thus, European far right politicians are gaining popularity.

Related news:

Afghan protest against France amid Mohammed cartoon

France to close diplomatic sites in 20 Muslim countries on Friday

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