Angry mobs, buildings burning, voices screaming and people being slaughtered: these are the images of the anti-American protests which have been occurring across the world since Sept. 11, 2012.
Protests have been exploding in the Muslim world following the release of an American anti-Islamic movie trailer which aired on Egyptian television. This film is credited with igniting already hostile feelings toward the Western world in many Islamic countries.
The film, titled “The Innocence of Muslims,” portrays the prophet Mohammed as a psychopathic murderer, womanizer, homosexual, fraud and child molester. To many Muslims, any depiction of the prophet is considered blasphemous no matter the context. An overtly offensive one is just that much worse.
The protests began outside an American embassy in Cairo, Egypt. In Egypt, an angry mob attacked security forces, hurling stones. Protestors scaled the walls and tore down the American flag, replacing it with a black Islamic flag. There have been a reported 224 people injured in the Egyptian protest.
Also on Sept. 11, an attack against the American consulate in Libya was initiated. Protestors fired rocket-propelled grenades into the consulate, killing US ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. In Tripoli, Lebanon protestors burned down several American fast food chains, including Hardee’s, KFC and Krispy Kreme. President Obama was burned in effigy in Afghanistan.
These protests have erupted in over 20 countries across Asia, Africa and Europe. Many of the protestors were heard chanting “Death to America and Israel” and vocalizing support for Osama Bin Laden. Not all of the protests have resulted in violence, however. Many countries have just seen peaceful demonstrations against the film that has so outraged the Islamic population.
In response to the attacks, President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have both denounced the violence perpetrated by the individuals responsible in the various attacks. Leaders in the Muslim world have also denounced the acts of violence, instead insisting that theirs is a religion of peace and the bloodshed is unnecessary.
Whether or not students realize it here in America, we are part of a global community. The protestors are angry at Americans in general because of a movie most Americans had never even heard of before the protests began to occur. All of us as Americans are objects of this outrage across the world.
An attack on an American embassy is an attack on the United States of America. Officials from our own government have been killed while working abroad. These attacks are very important to us as a nation as it is part of a much larger picture going on in the tension between the West and the Arab worlds.
While officials will continue to condemn the violence and security is heightened across U.S. embassies, it is almost certain these protests will continue across the world.
It seems the anger felt by so many Muslims across the world will continue to make itself known, whether by peaceful demonstration or otherwise.