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The Speech Obama Should Give on "Innocence of Muslims"

Posted on the 18 September 2012 by Warigia @WarigiaBowman

My colleague Nivien Saleh, an Egyptian Professor of International Relations who works here in the US, has written a terrific article about how Obama should react to the movie "The Innocence of Muslims."
I highly recommend it. Here is an excerpt.
The current turmoil in the Muslim world  that has unfolded over the YouTube video clip Innocence of Muslims offers the U.S. what educators call a “teachable moment:” an opportunity provided by circumstance to explain an idea that the audience might otherwise find abstract and irrelevant.
The idea is freedom of expression. . . .
Citizens of these nations do not appreciate how valuable freedom of speech is in protecting them from the very dictatorships Tunisians, Libyans, Egyptians, and Syrians have struggled so hard to overcome. But right now, they want to hear from the United States. If President Obama keeps his silence, this moment will become a memory of insult and murder. In fact, the seeds for this may already be germinating: In Egypt, an Islamist member of the Shura Council – part of the country’s legislature – announced that a group is forming that consists of young people from various Islamist persuasions. Its aim is “to defend the Prophet by producing documentaries about the history of Christianity and Judaism.” In other words, some of Egypt’s young Islamists believe that tit-for-tat, insult for insult, is the appropriate answer to Innocence of Muslims.
If, on the other hand, Obama speaks to the video and its consequences, explaining that listening to obscenity once in a while is the price that democrats are willing to pay for their ability to participate in the political process, he may be able to heal some of the injury to the American psyche from the killing of U.S. personnel. He also might succeed in convincing many of the 1.6 billion people in the Muslim world that even though the United States does not penalize offensive speech, it understands the injury that it can cause.
And in the process, he just might open a few minds to a truly revolutionary idea.
The Speech Obama Should Give About the "Innocence of Muslims" 

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