Okay, before we go any further, let’s ask ourselves a couple questions here. First of all, just who are these protesters who have gone off the chain about a cobbled-up YouTube film/trailer/whatever it is? Does anyone here think their average household has a personal computer? Maybe they’re subscribed to FaceBook or have a Twitter account? Do you suppose their kids watch Justin Bieber videos on YouTube when they’re not doing their homework? Could I get any more absurd here without flirting with becoming totally ridiculous?
More than likely, these people are the same ones who got all bent out of shape when “Everyone Draw Mohammed Day” came to town, the same way that they got bent about the Danish cartoons and Theo van Gogh’s film. So how do they know about events happening thousands of miles from their hometowns? The answer is as simple as it is pernicious: Friday prayers at the mosque. They go there to do obeisance to their god and learn from the local imam … who very likely IS hooked up, both to the internet AND to others of his ilk. The imams are the focal point of this whole business. With one well-loaded homily about the Great Satan and the evils done in its name, they can work their congregation into such a state that ANYTHING the imam suggests as an action to be taken becomes the will of Allah to the crowd. Once turned loose, they become a formidable and dangerous force, if for the time, a not very well focused force.
It is possible that there are some of these numbers who are the same that gave rise to the Arab Spring of a year ago, but I suspect not many. While I don’t have any demographics to back me up, my suspicion is that the root of those events was in more educated citizens of Libya and Egypt and Tunisia. These were the college students and more sophisticated adults, who were connected by cell phone and internet, who clearly saw the depredations of their governments and finally grew tired of them to the point of being willing to take action against them. Their protests were, for the large part, far more civil, far more focused and far more effective, whereas those stemming from Draw Mohammed Day or the films or cartoons amounted to a large, dangerous, public temper tantrum.
What worries me is the long-term goal of these imams and just what they mean to do with this considerable resource of protesters. Certainly, one obvious goal is the creation of more jihadis for their wars against the infidel, more grist for Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Another possibility, though, might be creating a mass force large enough to bring down a government, though not in the coherent way with which the Arab Spring was accomplished. This would be a coup by chaos and anger, aimed at a weak administration, such as that of Pakistan, and with the ultimate goal of installing a fully Islamic government. Such an action would truly put the imams who fomented it in the proverbial catbird seat, and in the case of Pakistan, in possession of nukes.
My point is that the protests we’ve seen to date regarding perceived insults to islam are by no means spontaneous or grass-roots uprisings by citizens who are individually insulted by this or that occurrence in the West. These protests are very likely orchestrated by men who are supposedly “holy,” but whose motives are anything but. My worry is what will happen when these imams collectively set a goal for themselves and bring their faithful to action as cannon fodder to their ends. Indeed, this may have already happened in Libya, where rioters may have provided cover for the terrorists who attacked the US embassy there and were responsible for the death of Ambassador Stevens and others. I don’t know that it’s true; I also don’t know that it isn’t.
I just know that these are questions in need of answers.