Fury over a US-made anti-Islam film has spread across the Muslim world, with protesters marching on US embassies and torching US flags.
Demonstrators in Iran, Sudan, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia and many other Muslim states came out after weekly Friday prayers to value their faith, condemning the blasphemous movie produced in the United States that was insulting to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Press TV has conducted an interview with Dr. Randy Short, a member of Dignity, Human Rights and Peace, from Washington, to further discuss the issue.
The video offers the opinions of two additional guests from London, Mohammad Saeed Bahmanpour, with the Islamic Center of England, and Peter Eyre, a Middle East consultant. What follows is a rough transcription of the interview with Short.
Can you address the question that [previous guest speaker] Mohammad Saeed Bahmanpour is posing there? Why isn’t the US addressing it in the way that it would calm things down? -If we could have a posturing, at least, that could be sympathetic, coming from the US president to the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
I can’t say that there’s necessarily a policy of appealing to the best wishes of people in the Muslim world. If we look at what the response has been, they’ve put soldiers in Yemen and they’ve got a fleet off the coast of Tripoli.
It seems as if there’s going to be any response, it’s going to come through the barrel of a gun. That seems to be the initial response and well as promises from President Obama of vengeance against the persons that have been alleged to kill the ambassador and the other three Americans there.
Whether people want to deal with this or not, American racism and white supremacy is a global problem.
If they’re not trying to deal with internal issues around religion and ethnicity and difference, and in fact you have more repression instead of rapprochement, it’s not a surprise to me if there isn’t a policy or program of winning the hearts and minds of people.
They seem to have those sheikdoms, or in Saudi Arabia or in Qatar, the places where they’ve got the kings in their pocket, and I think as long as they’ve got their elites and dictators and kings, they are willing to ignore the fact that Islam is a significant if not the fastest growing religion in the world. It’s one that has made a significant impact on all civilizations.
Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, has to be, if not the singular, one of the greatest of three people that have ever lived. Insulting him and not being able to do something to restrict the insult of such a significant personality and religion is by choice.
I assure you, if this had been something on the Jewish faith - on the Talmud which has some very interesting comments, if you just put up the words from the Talmud about certain things, you would get in trouble. You would get attacked for simply reprinting what’s in the book with no commentary.
There seems to be a lack of concern for people who are Muslim, black or brown, that are expendable. As long as the oil flows, the arms sales and transfers continue, unfortunately.
I wish that there was more of a compassionate understanding of the world and other religions that was in place.
I think that it will simply be the fist and the battleship, and the bomb and the drone will be the way they respond to the hurt feelings of our brothers and sisters in the Middle East.
As a Christian, I am so very sorry and embarrassed that someone Christian could do this.
What do you think? Do you agree with [the previous guest speaker]? Is that indeed the case? Because if it is then we can reflect back to the other incidents taking place.
That agreement? Yes, he’s on the point. I’m not saying this to be offensive to any group of people, some Jews or all Jews, but there’s a very strong presence in Western media, at least in Great Britain, the United States and Canada where many of the people that own, operate or are high-level happen to be Jewish.
I have to assume that maybe that perspective influences how we get a lot of our programming and news. It can’t be separate.
Of course, just saying that will make me look as if I’m a racist - and I’m not; you can document it.
But this is a kind of discussion we can’t have in the United States of facts. Imagine how little free speech we have where we can’t talk about what actually is; and yet, demonizing Prophet Muhammad, peace by upon him, is freedom of speech.
There isn’t a desire to understand Muslims or Islam nor is there a will to understand any people whose resources are being stolen, whose elites are buying billions of dollars worth of weapons to kill people and they also don’t want the people in the West to understand Islam.
I believe this film is a big diversion. Why? They are losing in Syria. The Syrians have held on and they have kept the Salafists and other terrorists out. They’re holding them down.
They are losing in Yemen.
They’ve stolen Libya from the Libyan people, and now they can’t control it. So now they have to put this out. They can’t control any of what they thought was an Arab Spring that they would manage through the National Endowment for Democracy and these other groups that were going to reengineer a new Middle East that they could control.
They can’t control it. They can’t control Nasrallah and Hezbollah, so now you need new things.
If you ask me, this major crisis in all the countries will be a justification for more boots on the ground the same way they’re ready to go into Libya now, the way that there are soldiers in Turkey to invade Syria now. It becomes a pretext to kill more Muslims, to steal more resources.
To say you’re doing this is in the name of peace, democracy, rule of law and below that to the people here, in the name of Christianity where everyone knows that the Bible teaches everybody to love neighbors as self, our neighbors are Muslims.