The maelstrom of anti-western violence in the Arab world has little to do with an anti-Islam propaganda film released on YouTube.
It has more to do with decades of perceived western imperialism – and the organisational skills of the Salafis, known for their no-compromise, literal interpretation of the faith.
Such rightwing Islamists were wrongfooted by the Arab spring. For years, the jihadis and Salafis thought they had a monopoly on revolution and were the only viable opposition to the Arab dictators.
For more on this story, visit: Anti-western violence gripping the Arab world has little to do with a film | World news | guardian.co.uk.
That YouTube film – not made or distributed by the US government – was posted at least two months before ultra-conservative Salafists called for protests at the US embassy. Why? Understanding that the president, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, must now occupy that same middle ground as Mubarak did, the Salafists are all too happy to flex rightwing political muscle. Why else did they call their protest in Cairo on the anniversary of the attacks on 11 September 2001?
As an Egyptian-American, I want both sides of that hyphen to enjoy the forms of freedom guaranteed by the first amendment, as I want both sides of that hyphen to move beyond the deceptive simplicity of the question, “Why do they hate us?”
For more on this story, visit: I tell fellow Egyptians and fellow Americans that it’s about us, not about them | Mona Eltahawy | Comment is free | The Guardian.