Sep 12, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
(THE BLAZE) The tragic events that unfolded on Tuesday in Egypt and Libya perfectly illustrate the ongoing stalemate between the West and much of the Middle East. The stark reaction to an anti-Islam film that was produced and shot in America led to violent protests and the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. Now, conservative Muslims here in America are responding — and very vocally — to the events that unfolded.
TheBlaze spoke with Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, author and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and Manda Zand Ervin, president of Alliance of Iranian Women. Both individuals expressed their dismay at the violent actions taken and called upon politicians and Muslims, alike, to step up to prevent such behaviors from unfolding in the future.
Earlier today, TheBlaze also provided in-depth analysis about the film that sparked the Middle Eastern rampages. Despite claims that the movie led to the violence, some officials suspect that the 11th anniversary of the September 11 attacks was chosen well before the violence unfolded. Regardless, an anti-Muhammad and anti-Islam film called “Innocence of Muslims” — a project that was written and directed by a U.S. real estate developer named Sam Bacile – is being dubbed the catalyst for the attacks.
While Jasser hadn‘t yet watched the film’s 13-minute trailer when we interviewed him, Ervin finished viewing it just moments before we spoke. The Muslim-American admitted that it was certainly poking fun at Islam, but she dismissed it as mere comedy. She told TheBlaze that we live in the 21st century and that people need to realize that, with free speech sometimes comes unpleasant commentary. “The way I looked at it — it was a comedy. It didn’t make any sense and so what,” she said of the movie in question. “I am a Muslim, but I am also an American and I have come to this country because of freedom of speech, freedom of assembly — all the freedoms that the 21st century is providing. Especially in this country.”
Modernity was a theme throughout her commentary, particularly when it came to the violent Middle Eastern response. Ervin lambasted the actions taken oversees and said that it showcases how the West is “failing to bring the Islamic world into the 21st century by catering to the lowest denomination.”
“I call it ‘cultural imperialism’ — that many, especially the left in this country, are catering to the lowest denomination,” she said, going on to claim that liberals don’t expect Muslims to understand free speech, so they end up protecting extremists and allowing the backwardness to continue.
“I think the attitude needs to be changed,” she added, giving her views on how to fix the situation. “Not catering to the worst, but helping and supporting the best — like us, the ones who are saying, ‘My religion is my religion, but I’m living in the 21st century.’”