Unfortunately, it looks like the provocateur who made the anti-Muslim film Innocence of Muslims has got the result he wanted, creating turmoil in the Middle East.
It turns out that the mysterious ‘Sam Bacile’, the self-proclaimed Israeli who was initially credited with having made the film with the support of 100 Jewish donors is actually a Coptic Christian from Egypt with a long history of aliases and criminal and shady activities now living in the US. Coptic Christians are a vulnerable minority in Egypt and are understandably nervous of revenge attacks against them due to his actions.
Koran-burning pastor Terry Jones seems to have entered late into the proceedings, agreeing to lend his notoriety to help promote the film. Another Christian activist named Steve Klein seems to have had a much greater involvement with the project.
Curiously it turns out that even the actors did not know what was happening. They were told that they were acting in a desert adventure film and their words were crudely dubbed during post-production.
So with one cheaply produced YouTube video of a trailer for a film (it is not clear if the full film even exists), this person has managed to set Muslims, Jews, and Christians against each other in many nations. It seems to be so easy to get religious people riled up enough that they will actually murder others over a video. So far the US government has admirably stood firm on the issue of free speech rights.
I suspect that most Muslims, like most people everywhere, do not react violently to perceived insults to their religion. Islam just happens to have sufficient people who are willing to do such things so that it goes beyond acts of individual rage and becomes seen as a collective response. Reader Hunter sent me this photo of an alternative response to the killings in Benghazi.
It may be that the murder of US diplomats is the tipping point, an event serious enough that it makes people realize that this kind of behavior can no longer be tolerated. One can only hope.