YouTube Restricts Access To Anti-Islam Movie Trailer In Egypt And Libya

from the head-meet-sand dept

Unless you have been living under a rock the past few days, you're likely aware of the violent protests in Egypt and Libya on American missions which have resulted in several deaths, including that of US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. The apparent flashpoint for these protests was a movie trailer on YouTube for what is by all accounts a horribly offensive and insensitve film about Islam and the Prophet Mohammed. We've seen similar stories in the past over website content, but this incident takes things to a whole new level.

Today we learned that YouTube has taken the step of restricting access to the video in question in both Egypt and Libya. When asked about it, YouTube responded with the following statement.

“We work hard to create a community everyone can enjoy and which also enables people to express different opinions,” YouTube said by e-mail. “This can be a challenge because what's OK in one country can be offensive elsewhere.

This video — which is widely available on the Web — is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube. However, given the very difficult situation in Libya and Egypt we have temporarily restricted access in both countries.”

While I understand why YouTube is doing this, I think it's misguided for two reasons. First, stupid and hateful as the video in question reportedly is, blocking access (potentially seen as taking it down in Egypt and Libya) can be interpreted to mean that the fault for what's happening is in part with the video itself. It isn't. The guilt for this violence is not in some stupid video. It isn't even in the massive protests in the Muslim world against the video (though I'd probably suggest they learn about the Streisand Effect). The guilt for the violence and death belongs on the thugs and murderers who committed it. End of story. This is especially true when the company has acknowledged itself that the video does not violate YouTube's terms of service.

The EFF agrees.

It is easy to understand why YouTube might feel compelled to act in response to the rioting over this video, especially after three U.S. embassy employees were killed in the Libyan city of Benghazi, but the blame for the violence lies not with the video, but with the perpetrators. Once YouTube has made the decision to pro-actively censor its content, they start down a slippery slope that ends in YouTube Knows Best moral policing of every video on their site. It is disappointing to see YouTube turn its back on policies that have allowed it to become a such a strong platform for freedom of expression. We hope that this new-found enthusiasm for pro-active censorship is a temporary aberration rather than a sign of things to come.

The second reason is that YouTube's move is almost certainly equal parts too late and ineffectual. As the company's statement itself noted, this video is and already was all over the internet. Censoring the video now is a bit like covering your ears and eyes as your house burns around you. The problem of religious intolerance and violent reactions to it is going to exist whether you acknowledge it's there or not. Nobody is served by trying to pretend the hateful attitudes in the video don't exist. And it isn't like the protests have ceased now that YouTube has restricted access in those countries. The cat is already out of the bag. All you've done now is open the door to blocking videos based on people deciding to be offended with little to no effect on the violence at hand. So what was the point?

I'll be clear again: every description of the video in question suggests that it is cartoonishly crafted and inflammatory bigotry. But it doesn't violate YouTube's TOS, it is speech, and taking it down was a poor decision made in fear. That isn't the way I expect a company like YouTube to behave.

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Comments on “YouTube Restricts Access To Anti-Islam Movie Trailer In Egypt And Libya”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The peretrators are to blame…

Ah yes, and who are they?

Those caught up in the blow back or those that have the gun?

Could it be US policy that is the real problem? No, it must be the film you say.

but… do you believe that video games and movies cause violence too? Or would you say it has more to do with the individual, their upbringing and society?

The reality in these countries that are demonstrating against the US is that they have been bent over and fucked for their brent or other interests so that the western world can live beyond its means (at least for a short while).

We are the bully. We have picked many fights. When you fight somone they often have friends who are willing to fight for them.

We will get more and more of what is due in the coming years. Not that you have much of a choice, but you are complicit in torture and murder being done in your name.

…and the US holy war continues, for the benefit of…

Anonymous Coward says:

Youtube can and should delete the video. If corporate actors don’t act responsibly, how can we expect government to stay out of our free speech rights?

The fact is youtube is private property and if they wanted to make a stand against hatred and bigotry, they could.

If there really nothing in youtube’s service agreement against hate speech and incinting violence maybe they should change the TOS.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re:

So the government needs to stay out of our free speech and to do that we need corporations to censor our speech for them? I’m sure I’m not the only one to see a problem with this.

And yes, Youtube does have parts of it’s TOS pertaining to hate speech and inciting violence. Thus this video is not about that, it just pisses people off. You don’t get to censor people because they piss you off.

DataShade (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

The news articles about people like Steven Klein and “Sam Bacile” AKA Nakoula Basseley Nakoula make a pretty strong implication that if the film wasn’t designed as hate speech, it was designed to instigate attacks from muslim terrorists (albeit “secret cells” of muslim terrorists in California, not active militants in Libya).

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

i believe i can legitimately claim that the millionth idiotic ‘movie’ made by Big Media about secret-agent-assassin-hit-men-vampires who are pushed beyond their limit, and go on a righteous killing spree, is an attempt to incite me to riot against Big Media and kill everyone involved in such crap…

that is the only *logical* explanation i can give for them to perpetuate such crap: they *WANT* me to (righteously) kill them all ! ! !

…say, that would make a great movie ! ! !

art guerrilla
aka ann archy

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Youtube can and should delete the video. If corporate actors don’t act responsibly, how can we expect government to stay out of our free speech rights?

So your idea of corporate responsibility is for corporations to control our free speech rights?

The fact is youtube is private property and if they wanted to make a stand against hatred and bigotry, they could.

Yes, they can do so. If they are going to do it, why only with this video? Why not eliminate all videos that contain bigotry and hateful speech? Should they remove all content which contains derogatory comments towards any religion? What about to any racial or social group? What about any derogatory political speech? Where is the line? Who gets to decide?

Hiding bigotry and hatred does nothing to stop it. It should be viewed and criticized, mocked, and denounced. Only in doing so can it be lessened.

Anonymous Coward says:

YouTube’s reaction is intentionally ineffectual. They pointed out very clearly that it’s widely available on the web, and still on YouTube, meaning anyone in Libya and Egypt who knows how to use a proxy or Google will be able to find it. They also stated very clearly that it’s within their community guidelines, meaning they’re only blocking it in Libya and Egypt due to pressure, likely governmental, from those countries. If their governments are now trying to censor the web, they’ve made it clear to their citizens that they’re no better than the Qaddafi and Mubarak governments that were just ousted. This was probably the best decision YouTube could have made, given the circumstances.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Because of the events that transpired, the film is now needed as documentation of the film. Youtube is as good a place as any. No need for them to play social monitor any more than the phone company.

At the same time, people on both extremes are further radicalized by the film. Terry Jones actually shows the film to a small group (!) One suspects he is a hater. Of course the Southern Poverty Law Center also shows it to a small group. With a better motivation.

And Youtube shows it one at a time to users who have no pre-determined motivation (or every possible motivation). That’s freedom. Just don’t throw stones.

Incidentally, it looks like the actors have a case against the filmmaker for fraud and damaging their reputations.

It is really different from the Jylland cartoons. Some of those were insulting. A few were funny even to anti-racists. You can’t be PC all the time.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Dhimmitude

What film? The meth cook who claims to have produced it only has a couple of crappy trailers available. He’s been shown to be a well known liar and felon.

Piss Christ got giant reactions from some Christians.

This video is being used by a few on both sides to create havoc and larger divides in society. The extremists are lapping this up and using it to further their agendas, be it Al Queda or Terry whats his nuts from Florida and his 10 followers burning Korans.

One needs to understand that humans are limited in their thinking assuming that everyone has the same life experiences. The concept of freedom of speech and freedom of religion do not exist in many places. They assume that a video on YouTube is an entire nations view of them.

I understand people protesting, I do not understand the people urging them to violence they merely fall into the stereotype and let people make claims about them that are untrue for a majority of them… on both sides.

Oh and poor “Christians”… as soon as they stop telling me how to live my life, trying to murder me, impose their will on everyone else, we can move on in the world… otherwise they seem to behave like the just Muslims you seem to be butthurt about. Haven’t seen many Muslims bombing abortion clinics to get their way or advocating the murder of doctors.

Beta (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Dhimmitude

Could you post a few links to prominent Muslim clerics and Islamic organizations across the middle east (and Europe, and the U.S.) denouncing the violence? It would help when people of good will try to argue that Islam does not condone these thugs. (I took a quick look and the best I could find was “let’s not use violence when we protest this outrageous film,” which really isn’t good enough.)

If those authorities spend all their breath denouncing the video and not the murders (as they spent their breath denouncing the Danish cartoons and not the murders), then Islam does tacitly condone the murder of blasphemers.

DNY (profile) says:

Re: Re: Dhimmitude

Naturally in any online forum, some nitwit will try to make a moral equivalency between Christianity and Islam to drag the discussion away from the topic at hand to launch attacks on his or her own crabbed view of Christianity.

Have you lost sight of the fact that the producer of the trailer is a Copt, as are the vast majority of Christians in Egypt? Since the seventh century Copts have had to live with persecution by Muslims, sometimes the persecution-lite of paying the jizya, not being able to build churches or fix their churches, having their testimony in courts count for less than the testimony of a Muslim, not being able to answer insults no matter how puerile hurled at them by any Muslim, sometimes the full-on persecution of rape, murder and pillage.

Apparently the producer of the trailer (I, too, doubt there’s a full film) is a bit of a low-life, but low-life or not, I can hardly blame him for giving back a bit of the sneering and abuse his ancestors (and perhaps he, if he emigrated here from Egypt) endured now that he has the freedom America offers. The opening, the Coptic family hiding from Muslim fanatics while the police stand by doing nothing, is a representation of a reality of life in Egypt even before the Muslim Brotherhood took over.

Oh, but no, he’s a Christian, and according to you because some Christians misbehave in defiance of the basic teachings of their faith and bomb abortion clinics; or because Christians (like everyone else, religious or not) want to see their concept of right and wrong codified in law; or maybe because in defiance of the teachings of Jesus, Christians fought wars of religion almost as bloody as the wars between the Sunnis and the Shi’ite back in the day; or because Christians launched a series of defensive wars called “the Crusades”, or [fill in the rest of the list of standard post-“Enlightement” complaints against Christianity here] he should shut up. And, what’s more the poster to whom you replied, who drew a valid distinction between the reaction of Christians and Muslims to insults to their respective faiths has no argument because he’s drawing a distinction in favor of those awful Christians.

Jay (profile) says:

Just my thoughts...

After watching parts if the trailer on the news, I can say that it wasn’t very good. That said, this movie was just the tenderbox which had lighted a fuse. Another example would be the Rodney King beating which spawned the LA riots. The history behind the actions is ignored. Over 4 generations of suppression eventually get released and it’s doubtful that all of that raw emotion will be good for the US and its interests. I’m sad that we lost a good ambassador, but maybe it’s time for building schools and giving medicine instead of dropping bombs and installing dictators.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“I feel that the EFF tends to live in a fantasy world of theoretical stuff, rather than the real world where people actually get killed over shit. Free speech is fine, but at some point the end results has to be looked at as well.” This is a perfect example of why the terrorists have won. They are willing to die for what they believe. We are only willing to kill for what we believe in and expect the government to protect us. Home of the brave my ass.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re:

> Free speech is fine, but at some point the end
> results has to be looked at as well.

I’m not willing to let a bunch of rampaging psychopaths on the other side of the world define the limits of my freedoms here in the US– and more importantly, neither does the Supreme Court.

YouTube is free to take the video down– they own the servers, they get to decide what’s allowed on them– but when it comes to the wider issue of free speech and whether people should be allowed to make films like this, there’s really no debate from a legal and constitutional standpoint. The answer is a resounding yes.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:

They live in a world where free speech and freedom of religion aren’t everyday concepts.
You then tie this to the US’s great history in the region, 1 week supporting a dictator then helping that dictator go meanwhile the people are screwed over.

We have people in the US who think men and dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time, that the earth is only 10,000 years old, that a woman’s body can stop pregnancy from occurring from a “legitimate” rape. Some of them used to bomb clinics and shoot doctors. They launch into tirades against other countries they dislike for following a different religion, they show up and protest burn holy books, shoot their rental cars… they might be slightly more refined but this is not a unique idea limited to 1 area.

DataShade (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It’s looking more and more like there were two groups: angry but nonviolent protesters from the local area, and armed militants from as far away as Pakistan who used – and possible took action to create – the mob as a diversion.

I don’t suppose there’s a chance that information and speculation puts your rhetorical question into context as ignorant and shameful?

joe says:

Re: Movie Trailer

Yeah, doesn’t anybody else see the irony of a bunch of people getting mad about a movie trailer saying that there leader and prophet was a murderer. And because they are outraged that you would even suggest it, they go and murder someone. I mean duh!! That kind of proves the point and pretty much confirms that they are out of control mentally.

Anonymous Coward says:

i remember when Life of Brian came out

Christians were protesting like mad. my mother would tow the religious line about how evil it was and how it should be banned. Then, 20 years later, she saw it and said it was sweet and funny. Now, idoubt this film is that, but you can’t ban films just because one group currently finds it upsetting. On another point, i got a daft email i guess about this film early this week. This is a deliberate ploy . i wonder who will gain from this.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: i remember when Life of Brian came out

Anyone pushing the line that all Muslims are terrorists.
Anyone telling Muslims all Americans are out to get them.
Anyone wanting to pass a law to keep citizens “safe” while eroding their rights.

So many agendas, all of them able to use the same crap trailer to support their position.

Rekrul says:

Re: i remember when Life of Brian came out

i remember when Life of Brian came out, Christians were protesting like mad. my mother would tow the religious line about how evil it was and how it should be banned. Then, 20 years later, she saw it and said it was sweet and funny. Now, idoubt this film is that, but you can’t ban films just because one group currently finds it upsetting.

Life of Brian was actually a good movie. Based on the 10-12 minute YouTube trailer, this film looks like it was shot by high school students. It uses green screen for all the outdoor shots, the acting is horrendous and the dialog is laughable.

DataShade (profile) says:

So, who remembers this story from last month?

A massive migration of persecuted ethnic minorities was sparked by what was later determined to be hoax/prank-ish social media messages; preying upon fears of racial violence sparked by a protest the month before where police had killed a few and injured many.

It made me wonder if the protest mob was a deliberate diversion … which is now making the rounds as a possibility:

So, in that light, I’m prepared to look at YouTube’s actions as more like trying to take the megaphone out of the hands of the guy yelling fire. In most cases, the antidote to improper speech is better speech, but let’s mop up the blood first and then let the crazy guy go back to shouting insults.

Ninja (profile) says:

What I find it amusing in the whole thing is that the Islam is living now what the Catholic Church lived in the Middle Ages. As bad as the video might be (haven’t watched) it is no reason to get worked up and possibly vent in innocent bystanders as they always do. They could instead issue an official note from the Islam Community condemning it and that’s it. Act civilized and with tolerance as most religions seem to preach nowadays.

I’m sure they will evolve at some point but till they reach that evolution it’s just pitiful.

As for Youtube, Google has been doing it wrong for a while now. I guess it’s yet another symptom of a company that became too big and insensitive.

The video itself… Well if it’s as bad as people say (I won’t bother watching it) then I also pity the makers as they are as underdeveloped as the people they want to “criticize”.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re:

What I find it amusing in the whole thing is that the Islam is living now what the Catholic Church lived in the Middle Ages. As bad as the video might be (haven’t watched) it is no reason to get worked up and possibly vent in innocent bystanders as they always do.

Yes, because the Catholic church handled dissent so well during the Middle Ages. How many wars were waged? How many tortured? Was northern Ireland the last gasp of a 600+ year conflict, or am I forgetting somewhere else that is still a warzone between Catholics and Protestants?

ch'kody (profile) says:

My version

You can claim YouTube was wrong to do as it did on this issue or not. Please let me supply another theory as to why things appear to have done incorrectly may not be so in another realm. Here’s a likely scenario: Some [YouTube] employee, not too high up on the chain, was ordered to take it down. This person may very well share the same view as the author of this article but this employee’s hands are tied. The person ultimately responsible for this decision may not be totally aware of the situation in Libya or Egypt. We don’t know. And that’s the thing, the actions of some company we deem to have gone about it the wrong way, as in this case, could very well be catering to someone or something else. The issue at hand may be bigger than what the media is supplying to you. My bet is on politics and it often trumps logic alone.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:

How do you feel about the lying to the actors and redubbing dialogue, damaging their reputations and making them appear to have views they do not have?

The “filmmaker” or meth maker as the case seems to be, has every right to express his views, he however does not have the right to drag others down with him who did not sign onto the project as delivered.

People are taking advantage of the noise to push their own agendas. I find it sad that such xenophobia exists today, but its totally his right to be a xenophobic douche, up until the authorities get ahold of him and he is arrested AGAIN for having used the internet violating the courts order.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Bad people made sure this video was seen, so people would protest.
They slipped in with the protestors and killed people.
They were shopping for cover, not motivated by moral outrage.

Trying to boil this down to, they killed people because they lied about Islam just feeds the xenophobic, jingoistic rhetoric where we assume every brown person is the devil. How is that working out for us?

Is they were in the wrong place an excuse for murdering an innocent family with a missile while sitting in a control center half a world away? Please do not pretend they are the only ones who kill people in this fashion.

Anonymous Coward says:

Watch the raw footage of the protestors being interviewed the youtube video doesn’t come up. They showed up to protest USA policies specifically on 9/11 and were chanting ‘we are all Osama’ the video is a state dept scapegoat/ psy ops response because they do not want it to come out that much of the Muslim world supported Osama and grieved the day he was killed. This isn’t about a youtube video and there is not enough apologizing you can do to make them happy as long as you let your women drive and are not beheading those who do not immediately convert to Islam. plain and simple

Anonymous Coward says:

Fuck the apology BS from our goverment. “abuseing free speech rights to hurt feelings’ is the most absurd satement ever.

Free speech rights are precisely for speech others will be offended by.

If it was only for speech no one found objectionable then free speech wouldn’t be talked about because then even china, mexico and north korea could be said to have free speech.

quawonk says:

“That isn’t the way I expect a company like YouTube to behave. “

I don’t understand why you don’t expect this. Google, who owns Youtube, has a history of cooperating with governments to censor the Internet. They did it for China, they do it for the U.S. corporations, and now they’re doing it for Egypt and Libya. Standard practice. The do no evil motto only applies if it doesn’t affect Google’s own interests.

Anonymous Coward says:


The Muslim’s PR would have you believe that their religion is about peace…maybe they think it is, but their actions speak volumes about their stupidity.

They want me to respect their religion, but this type of behavior does nothing to promote it in a positive light.

As long as they allow these extremist witch doctors to lead them down this path they will get NO respect from me.

Tunnen (profile) says:

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t

Now this is likely because I’m not a very religious person, but I can’t understand how people could think that even though someone on the other side of the world made a video that they thought was insulting, that the right course of action is to storm the embassy of that producer’s country and kill their ambassador.

Rekrul says:

Re: Re:

Now this is likely because I’m not a very religious person, but I can’t understand how people could think that even though someone on the other side of the world made a video that they thought was insulting, that the right course of action is to storm the embassy of that producer’s country and kill their ambassador.

Because when Islam is insulted, Allah demands blood. And since Americans are infidels who all deserve to die anyway, attacking the American embassy was a natural choice.

See? It makes perfect sense…

PT (profile) says:


There are different kinds of free speech.

I could, for example, say “I suspect (ie, my opinion is) my neighbor runs a meth lab in his basement”. That’s free speech, but it could result in a SWAT team kicking his door in at 5am and shooting his dog (note, I wouldn’t do this, because SWAT teams have a history of getting the address wrong). My right to free speech clashes with his right to be secure in his property. Which is more important?

Regarding the right to put movies up criticizing religions, I have no issue as long as they are fact or opinion, but not when they’re deliberate attacks disguised as history. Suppose someone made a movie purporting to tell the story of how a conference of Talmudic Jews wrote the Protocols of Zion. Does anyone think that would have stayed on YouTube more than ten minutes? Would anyone criticize the decision to take it down?

The person who posted the movie in question knew exactly what he was doing and what the reaction would be. It was done with the deliberate intention of poking a dangerous hornet’s nest, and now we will all get stung. His right to free speech has infringed my right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. By all means defend him, but you and he both should be willing to go to Cairo, Tripoli or wherever, stand in the street and defend it in person.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re:

> By all means defend him, but you and he both
> should be willing to go to Cairo, Tripoli or
> wherever, stand in the street and defend it
> in person.

Why in the hell should I have to go to a place where free speech is not allowed and risk being killed in order to defend the fact that free speech is allowed in the US?

That doesn’t make any sense.

> I have no issue as long as they are fact or
> opinion, but not when they’re deliberate attacks
> disguised as history.

There’s no truth meter on the 1st Amendment. Historical lies are just as protected as historical truths. The only exception would be if the lies actually defamed someone in particular.

JMT says:


“Does it really hurt to take a step that may diffuse an inflammatory situation that has already cost American lives?”

Except that removing or blocking the video from YouTube would not diffuse the situation in the slightest, because the video is spread all over the internet. Did you even read the article?

“YouTube is a private company they have no free speech obligation.”

There’s a difference between obligation and standing up for the principles you believe in.

rakees mohomed says:

YouTube Restricts Access To Anti-Islam Movie Trailer In Egypt And Libya

This is very offensive video against Islam. Those all who were involved in producing this very derogatory film should be hacked to death as Koran says. Our brethren in Libya who killed 03 Americans should be congratulated but they should have hacked them to death as we should do to Infidels! Allah u Akbar!

Mitch says:

send Google's execs to man the embassies

How many lawyers does it take to obscure the fact that the U.S’s “freedoms” are not appreciated elsewhere? How many are making money pontificating about this? It takes only one lawyer to remove a copyright infringement on Youtube. But here we have a whole team of money whores belching the values of freedom and the sanctity of the private corporation. Google’s executives should immediately man and protect the embassies.

R.H. (profile) says:


I know what you mean here but…didn’t the US and other NATO countries just HELP Libya free themselves from a dictatorship without trying to control the government that formed afterwards? I’d think that would have given our government a positive look in their eyes.

Also, do any of these rioters understand that, while our government is elected by our citizenry, it doesn’t have to specifically approve of everything ‘we the people’ actually do? We have the right to say really offensive things. Our government, and its public servants, have nothing to do with it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

It was a dictatorship that the US set up, until they were no longer a useful to us.

The rioters may understand how our government works better than most US citizens

I agree, we can say what ever we want, but when you stick your head right next to the ear of a dog that you have beaten, kicked, tied up and starved… my guess is that it will bite you regardless of what you yell

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:


And your condemnation of every follower of a religion based on the actions of a few, who might not be as devout as they claim, shows a very narrow view of the world.

Using your playbook you hate all Christians, because while their god is love, some of them blow up abortion clinics and murder doctors. So get out there and persecute Christians as a whole for the actions of a few.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Broad brushstrokes are stupid.

Let us cover the facts that people don’t want to actually deal with.

1 – A video was made that was offensive to some people.
2 – The people offended went out and protested.
3 – Some people used the protesting as cover for their own agenda of killing Americans.

Not everyone who protested was a violent murderous thug, but many people are trying to pretend this is the case.

We watched video of of police officers slipping into occupy protests, they tried to rile the protestors up and committed violent acts to make it appear that ALL occupy protestors were violent thugs. For the most part it worked, it is a pity that so many people are willing to be sheep and lead to the answer that keeps them from thinking they are being idiots condemning a huge group of people for the acts of a few.

Some people protested, they might not have been all peaceful but they were for the most part nonviolent.
Some people used the protests as cover to carry out their holy war against America.

If you condemn every person who protested, your as bad as those who kill people for the “crimes” America commits.

If you find yourself unable to understand these things were separate from each other, you might need to turn off Faux News and work on your critical thinking skills.

Austin (profile) says:

Two things

First, a correction: there were 4 killed, not 3. This is the price we pay for get-the-story-before-the-other-guy journalism.

Second, not only were the attacks apparently committed by a totally separate group from the protesters, it was pre-planned in advance for quite a while (based on past attacks and how relatively sophisticated this was, 2-3 months of prep is a fair guess here) so the fact that they just happened to coincide with the protest is becoming more and more coincidental by the hour.

That said, I do wish people would stop trying to place the blame on one specific religion. Islam isn’t the problem. Neither is Christianity or Judaism. The problem is religion itself. When you live your entire life, from your speech to your clothing to your day-to-day actions and even police your own thoughts for irrational reasons, it should be no surprise that some of those “believers” take it too far. When your words, actions, etc. are based on nothing butt logic and reason, violence cannot ensue because, by its very nature, violence is never the most logical or rational solution.

So…is this Islam’s fault? No. Is this something that reflects badly on a religion of otherwise mostly nice, kind people? Absolutely! However, if, rather than making decisions based upon the threat of eternal damnation, we did whatever we did in life because it just MAKES SENSE, I’m willing to bet this sort of thing would never happen at all. So really, the fact that a religion is mostly peaceful – ANY religion – doesn’t excuse the fact that religions are by their very nature irrational, and thus, their followers are always going to be predisposed to irrational conduct.

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