Riots, Murder, and Theocratic Screechings

I am always happy when one of our participants at my blog, Israel Thrives, writes enough interesting material that I can front page it, because it spares me the necessity of doing so!

Dan Bielak gives us a few pertinent facts and asks a few pertinent questions around the recent riots and mayhem and murder and theocratic screechings coming out of the Arab Middle East.


– This film was on the internet for several months before these riots.


– There are many instances of videos and images and writing which crudely and rudely criticize Islam.


– Islamic supremacist organizations have been demanding the release of detained Islamic terrorists and have stated that these riots are part their demanding the release of detained Islamic terrorists.


– These rioters were mobilized en masse simultaneously in many Muslim countries.


– Many of these Muslim rioters were carrying mass-produced pre-made placards.


– These rioters are presented as rioting — and killing — in response to a film; a film.


– These riots occurred on 9/11.


Why has this c-grade crudely-produced amateur particular film made by “a nobody” — “an unknown” — a non-famous, non-prominent, person — and posted on the internet for several months been used by Islamic supremacist organizations as the pretext to launch these riots?


Why has the Obama administration fervently explicitly said that these Muslim riots are not a response to any policies of the U.S. government, and that, “of course”, these riots are not a response to any policies of the Obama administration, and that these riots were caused by this film, and these riots were caused solely by this film?


Why has U.S. news mass media mindlessly repeated these absurd lies, and fervently propagated these absurd lies?


Why has the response by the Obama administration to these Muslim violent riots been to verbally condemn this film, and to verbally condemn the maker of this film, and to say that “Islam is a great religion”, and to arrest the maker of this film, and to dramatically stage their arrest of the maker of this film?




And, btw, although the film was crudely made, and although the acting of the film was bad, and although the film is unpleasant, and although the film may feel offensive to some people, the film was factually accurate.


And, in any case:


The United States has something called the U.S. Constitution and something called the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution — and, therein, something called freedom of speech.


The Obama administration should never have suggested, or implied, that the riots and the mayhem and the murder and the violent theocratic screeching coming out of the Arab Middle East on 9/11 was due to some shoddy 15 minute video.

To suggest that Arabs are so crude and stupid as to riot merely because of a video made by some “nobody” is deeply racist and insulting to Arabs and Muslims. What I would submit is that the true cause of these riots is something much deeper and more reflective of the dysfunctional relationship between the west and the Muslim world.

It has much more to do with the fact that for centuries the Islamic empire was the very height of human culture, but has since been overshadowed by their European rivals. There is a great deal of resentment toward Jews and Europeans because in this “clash of civilizations” we have, for the moment, won. It’s a simple equation, but scholars tell us that the failure of Islam to either conquer the west, or prevent the western incursion into Muslim lands, is the very source of radical Islam.

The youtube video was simply used, for political reasons by the Jihadi movement, to whip up hatred against the west and against us evil Jews, but it is not the root cause of anything. In the internal Islamic struggle between Jihadis and moderates, the Jihadis always gain an advantage when they can create hatred in the hearts of their fellow Muslims.

And that is precisely what this is really all about.

In truth, it has much more to do with their internal politics than it has to do with us.

About the Author
Mike Lumish is a PhD in American history from the Pennsylvania State University and has taught at PSU, San Francisco State University, and the City College of San Francisco. He regularly publishes on the Arab-Israel conflict at the Times of Israel and at his own blog, Israel Thrives ( He has in recent years given conference papers on American cultural and intellectual history at The International Society for the History of Behavioral and Social Sciences in Dublin, Ireland, as well as at the Western Historical Association in Phoenix, Arizona and the American Cultural Association in New Orleans, Louisiana. Lumish is also the founding editor of the scholarly on-line discussion forum H-1960s. He can be contacted at