By Jeffrey Goldberg
… Much of the rioting could be attributed to the exploitation of religious sentiment by radicals affiliated with Salafism, the extreme, puritanical, anti-Western and anti-Semitic strain of political Islam from which al-Qaeda draws much of its ideology. Salafists are competing with secularists and more moderate Islamists for power (only Salafists could make the Muslim Brotherhood appear moderate), and so they look for any opportunity to highlight their anti- American bona fides. This video, like the Danish cartoons mocking Muhammad that set off protests in 2005, was merely an excuse.
So why won’t the administration acknowledge this fact? Because that would mean acknowledging that the killing of Osama bin Laden and the withdrawal of troops from Iraq didn’t bring to an end the unhappy U.S. entanglements in the Middle East. It would mean acknowledging that Obama hasn’t charmed radical Islam into submission, and that American counterterrorism policies, especially drone strikes, sometimes cause as many problems as they solve. It would mean acknowledging that the aftermath of the Arab Spring is messy and ambiguous, and that anti-American resentment in the Muslim world is often a byproduct of deeper dysfunctions of culture, religion and politics. We are sometimes vain enough to believe that hatred of the sort we see on the streets of Cairo, Karachi and Tunis is wholly about us.
For more on this story, visit: ‘Muslim Rage’ Has Little To Do With Dumb Video – Bloomberg.