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BLOG: My Reaction to The Arab Protests

The wave of anti-American sentiment going through the Arab World has disgusted me.

I am an Arab-American. So I have had more than my fair share of disappointment. I have observed the many problems of the Middle East: the dictators, the endless violence, the loud voices of religious extremists whose radical ideas contrast with everything I was taught as a Muslim. With that being said, I have never experienced so much disappointment until recently. Because there used to be no hope. Most people agreed that the region was simply out of luck. It would be years, decades, possibly even a century before it went back on course.

These conclusions were shattered by the Arab Spring. My family watched with shock as the names “Mubarak” and “Gaddafi” were displayed on the news next to words such as “fallen” and “ousted.” The unthinkable had happened, and Arab nations finally had the opportunity to become great. Although we were hopeful, we kept in mind that it would still take much time for conditions to improve. I expected economic downturns and government instability. What has recently occurred, however, is much worse than anything I expected. The protests that continue to expand in Arab nations are absolutely appalling. Extremist groups have utilized the chaos to exercise terrorism, as we unfortunately witnessed with the deaths of the U.S. Consulate officials in Benghazi. I will not comment on the politics of this event. But as an Arab I express my complete condemnation of the protests.

I am Muslim. I understand how infuriating the video is. But the response to it was equally horrible. Many Arabs allowed one stupid video to provoke them and turn into the very animals the film claims we are. We should have ignored it. But instead, groups of self-righteous people are taking to the streets and acting violently. The protests have suppressed the voices of the Arab majority once again. They are helping the very cause of the movie's creator, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. Had it been ignored, the film would have gotten what it deserved: absolutely no consideration, and dismissal as a ludicrous production. Instead, it has gained massive attention. For that reason alone, I hope that Google does not censor the film. Obviously I wish that it was never made and that no religion is treated with such vile criticism. But the Arab radicals who unleash chaos every time something like this happens must learn a lesson. It is the same lesson all of us are taught about bullies: ignore them, because they want you to react. Reacting gives a bully more strength and makes them respond even more harshly. Similarly, acting like savages in response to a poorly made video or a Danish cartoon only gives critics of Islam more argumentation points. We must stop taking one step forward and ten back. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Charles September 15, 2012 at 02:46 AM
"I was taught as a Muslim....I am Muslim." What do you mean by "taught"? Why are you a Muslim? Why aren't you a Christian or a Hindu or a Jew? Is it a coincidence that you are a Muslim, or was it planned that way? What was the plan? How was the plan accomplished? Who wanted you to be a Muslim?
Charles September 15, 2012 at 05:44 PM
"I was raised that way. " "their families guide them along that path." "Most do not "choose" their religion." Almost reads like brainwashing. I wonder what the world would be like if these quotes above weren't true.
Frieda Wales September 16, 2012 at 06:13 AM
Oh please Charles, think your messages through. How else is any religion taught to younger members? How is this any different from the way Christian families or Jewish families (or WHATEVER religion) raise their families?
jon sm September 17, 2012 at 06:31 PM
When you’re raised as Muslim, Jew, or Christian it is simply meant that as a human you have a base and what you do after is your own choice. All three messages came with one common scheme: Peace, Love, Respect, Forgiveness, Honesty, and so forth. It does not mean you are brain washed or any of the non-sense. I agree with Kareem it is a shameful act what the Arab in the Middle East are doing. I understand it is a stupid movie and its main goal is to insult Islam. It is just simply stupid and non-sense to insult any religion regardless. I also agree with Kareem, I personally will not have even heard of the movie or the stupid director until what happen. One must remember that, you will find that in every race, you will always find the good, the bad, the ugly, and the few in between. I hope the whole issue is not politically motivated with our elections here in the U.S.
Charles September 17, 2012 at 10:55 PM
"All three messages came with one common scheme: Peace, Love, Respect, Forgiveness, Honesty, and so forth." There are other common themes too; For example, the insistence there exists an imaginary being who knows all, is all powerful, and created everything. All of these noble attributes above are independent of religiosity. Meaning, it isn't necessary to present fairy tale like superstitious stories to our children as a "base" to raise them as people of integrity.

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