To judge by news coverage you would think that the whole Muslim world has taken to the streets, violently protesting the crude anti-Islamic video that was filmed in the United States. It is the lead item most days in the news, with daily updates on the latest riot.
Right wing talk radio is even more incendiary, using the latest uproar to prove once again that “we” are at war with Islam, and that the fanatics will stop at nothing short of a caliphate and the imposition of Sharia law in the US. Jim Quinn, of the “War Room” show this morning exceeded his usual idiocy- quite the feat- by claiming that everywhere Muslims are acting violently and “spreading hatred of Christ”. Of course no Muslim would dream of such a thing, as Christ is highly revered by Islam; not as the Son of God, certainly, but as a great prophet.
But in fact what is going on?
In the riot that took the life of the American ambassador and three others there were “hundreds” of rioters. This, in Benghazi, a city of some 680,000.
In Kabul a couple of days ago several hundred protesters grew violent. Kabul has 3 million people.
In Cairo “thousands” rioted, in a city of 6.76 million.
And in Karachi Pakistan yesterday around a thousand rioted. There are 18 million people in Karachi.
If the Muslim world were really up in arms you would expect demonstrations with hundreds of thousands of people, even a million or so in Cairo or Karachi.
But you get a few hundred, maybe a thousand?
Spare me. While violent fanatics make headlines, the media and the pundits have betrayed their duties by not noting this perspective.
I hope that most Muslims are not reacting violently because they have googled the video in question, which- while crudely offensive- is really stupid. It looks like a Monty Python skit, or maybe one of the B- movies that Joel and the ‘bots ridicule in a Mystery Science Theatre 3000 episode.
But at any rate to portray these widely scattered relatively small riots as perpetrated by anything but a tiny fraction of Muslims would be laughable if it were not for the fact that so many take this seriously.