Terry Jones Didn’t Cause Any Riots

Radical Islamist animals stormed our Libyan and Egyptian embassies. Four Americans, including our Libyan ambassador, are dead as a result. The designated fall guy for the latest example of violent, intolerant radical Islamists acting like violent, intolerant radical Islamists is: Terry Jones.

Protesters angry over an amateurish American-made video denouncing Islam attacked the United States Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Tuesday, killing a State Department officer, while Egyptian demonstrators stormed over the fortified walls of the United States Embassy here.

…The mobs were set off by Egyptian media reports about a 14-minute trailer for the video, called “Innocence of Muslims,” that was released on the Web. The trailer opens with scenes of Egyptian security forces standing idle as Muslims pillage and burn the homes of Egyptian Christians. Then it cuts to cartoonish scenes depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a child of uncertain parentage, a buffoon, a womanizer, a homosexual, a child molester and a greedy, bloodthirsty thug.

The trailer was uploaded to YouTube by Sam Bacile, whom The Wall Street Journal Web site identified as a 52-year old Israeli-American real estate developer in California. He told the Web site he had raised $5 million from 100 Jewish donors to make the film. “Islam is a cancer,” Mr. Bacile was quoted as saying.

The video gained international attention when a Florida pastor began promoting it along with his own proclamation of Sept. 11 as “International Judge Muhammad Day.”

In a statement on Tuesday, the pastor, Terry Jones of Gainesville, Fla., called the film “an American production, not designed to attack Muslims but to show the destructive ideology of Islam” and said it “further reveals in a satirical fashion the life of Muhammad.”

He said the embassy and consulate attacks illustrated that Muslims “have no tolerance for anything outside of Muhammad” and called Islam “a total deception.”
Mr. Jones inspired deadly riots in Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011 by first threatening to burn copies of the Koran and then burning one in his church. He also once reportedly hanged President Obama in effigy.
In Benghazi on Tuesday, protesters with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades attacked the United States Consulate and set it on fire, Libyan officials said. Some news reports said American guards inside the consulate had fired their weapons, and a brigade of Libyan security forces arriving on the scene had battled the attackers in the streets as well.

First of all, let me note that I’ve never had much use for Terry Jones. He’s a small time preacher who wants to become a big man by being needlessly offensive and seeking attention. That’s what I thought of him during his Koran burning stunt and nothing has happened since then to change my mind.

Additionally, I haven’t seen the video in question, although my assumption is that it is probably as offensive to Muslims as Piss Christ was to Christians. That being said, if you want to see it, here it is.

Of course, those last two sentences get to the heart of the matter, don’t they? Christians didn’t riot because of Piss Christ. In fact, if Christians reacted as violently as radical Muslims when were offended, most of the newspapers, TV stations, and Hollywood studios would be in ruins today. However, we’re much more tolerant than that. We also understand that part of the price of living in a free society is putting up with things we find grievously offensive.

On the other hand, there are radical Muslims all across the world who believe that NO ONE ON PLANET EARTH has a right to say something that offends them on pain of violent reprisals. If radical Muslims aren’t murdering people because of a film that depicts Muhammad negatively, they’re murdering people over a book that offends them. If they’re not murdering people over a book they don’t like, they’re murdering people for being Christians. If they’re not murdering people for being Christians, they’re murdering people over cartoons.

Do you see a pattern here?

The whole idea that Terry Jones could “cause” murderous riots in Afghanistan by burning a Koran or “cause” riots in Libya or Egypt because he supported a YouTube video is pure insanity. Once you go down that road and accept that way of thinking, where does it stop? Are we allowed to express our honest opinion of Muhammad? Are we allowed to criticize Islam? Are we allowed to oppose Sharia? Can we even promote Christianity anymore or is that no longer allowed because Islamic radicals don’t like it?

The problem isn’t this film or free speech: it’s violent Islamic radicals and OUR GOVERNMENT’S DECISION not to gun these animals down. If people want to cast blame, that’s where it belongs.

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