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After recovering from the shocking news out of Egypt and Libya I had a moment to pause and reflect upon the events that occurred, and what impact it would have upon a world in transition going forward into the 21st century. The schema of these two attacks upon American embassies appear to have sprung from one coordinating trigger source, although the style of the attacks were different in Egypt than the bloody and possibly planned attack in Libya. It is the problem of the trigger source as a uncontrolled outlaw mechanism that I believe that the world must address. The discussion continues below following the orange squiggle.  

As a disclaimer I will admit that I have no statistical data to certify some of my observations which are grounded to my satisfaction in the connectivity of well-known facts and everyday common knowledge, something my mother used to call “Mother’s wit”. Now back to my analysis of the uncontrolled trigger source for Muslim mob outrage and rampage. Here is a factual observation: if a serious force exists in human society that is available to many people; and it can be manipulated with relative impunity, you can be assured that it will see ever expanding use until it is brought under unconditional control.  Let’s lay out some facts that are pertinent to recent sectarian violence in the Middle East.  
(1)    Arab Islamic populations will explode in mob directed violence in reaction to anything that they perceive as anyway disrespectful of the name, teachings and memory of the founder and leader of Islam, the Prophet Mohammed.
(2)    The invention and use of the Internet by western nations has spread across the world, its speed and accessibility breeching every border of every nation in the world.
(3)    The most significant revolutionary aspect of the Internet has been its use as the exclusive platform for social media, not just on an intra-nation basis, but on a worldwide inter-nation basis. The clumsiness of language translation is also rapidly falling away through the video and pictorial content of international social media, as transported by the World Wide Internet.

Given the three factual statements listed above it may be concluded that the Internet has been woven across the world covering virtually every nation – and this revolutionary new medium is available for independent unsupervised interactive use by millions of people – and finally the content of the material available is also uncontrolled (in most places) and uncensored and is also available to millions of viewers.

The power of the Internet’s social media websites was demonstrated as the tool which spread the flame of revolution across many Middle Eastern countries as part of the widespread insurrection which became known as the “Arab Spring”. The Internet’s social media was used to galvanize and coordinate the various resistance groups which were ultimately successful in overthrowing dictators throughout the Middle East. In the midst of the joyous celebrations that were observed by viewers all over the world, an ominous worrisome fact made its presence felt by its dire silence in the midst of the noisy celebratory occasions. This fact is simply that the social media platforms are essentially a two edged sword – under the controlled use of those fighting for peace and justice it is a powerful weapon. Likewise under the use of those who would publicize lies and deliberate incendiary misinformation designed to manipulate the emotions of certain sectarian masses to the point of explosive mob violence – this is the other side of the Internet’s social media sword. This is the side of the social media sword that we observed taking its toll in Egypt and Libya.
(I am continuing to include the American deaths and destruction in Libya even though the investigation as to whether the attack in Libya was a planned attack by some Libyan militant anti-American organization using the planning typical of al-Qaeda terrorist groups. It is a well-known tactic of al-Qaeda to launch multiple attacks simultaneously at different locations that are generally great distances apart. On 9-11 the al-Qaeda attacks took place in New York, and at the Pentagon. The third attack was targeted for the White House but the airplane was subsequently taken over from the terrorists by the heroic passengers onboard and never made it to its target.)

The problem that currently exists is with the uncontrolled other side of the Internet social media sword is that can be easily be used to foment mob rampages in Arab Muslim countries.  I am not specifying exactly how this despicable inflammatory movie “Innocence of the Muslims” was actually transported into the Middle East for Arab Muslim viewing. However with the availability of You Tube and other widely used video websites on a worldwide basis streaming video is likewise available. So the question becomes who should be responsible for “blunting” the other side of the social media two edge sword?

Looking further down the road it becomes crystal clear that the Muslim faithful have to be made insensitive to these types of shadowy attacks on their Prophet and Islam in general. The simple gist of the matter is this: the Muslim faithful need their emotional responses (which fiercely defend their religion) brought up into the technological realities of the 21st century. In times as recent as immediately preceding the age of computer engineering, the world’s boundaries were still effectively in place, and data/ information flow moved exclusively via physical transport, i. e., carried, shipped, or mailed to destinations. Such transport was restrained due to time and space constraints. So the mischievous creation of sacrilegious material designed to inflame thousands of Arab Muslims was never even imagined (except for the Hollywood screen writers who wrote the scripts for some of the Bob Hope/Bing Crosby “on the Road” comedy movies).  

The re-education of the Muslim faithful is the exclusive responsibility of the Imams and the Ayatollahs. I am sure that these wise men (and some women) are very much aware that this task must begin at some point for if no other reason than it is time for 21st century Islam. It is important to realize that the survival of all institutions require their adaptability to the times and the social evolution of the faith’s adherents. While it is true that all religious leaders are guardians of the essence of that region’s core values, they are also tasked with crafting the proper accommodation of the religion’s tenets so as to seamlessly adapt with the profound dynamics of human social evolution. This is the task that awaits the firm creative touch of teachers of Islam and as such will naturally achieve the “blunting “of the other side of the sword of the expanding Internet worldwide social media.  

UPDATE: Since I wrote this the anti-American protests have now spread to 17 countries across the Middle East. Currently worries about the security of our embassies are shared with a cautious hope that these demonstrations will slowly die out over the weekend. In this regard the world will continue to monitor the news emerging from this highly unstable part of the world.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sandbox
  •  I dispute point one (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDsg, Ex Con

    Not all Arab Muslism will "explode in mob directed violence in reaction to anything that they perceive as anyway disrespectful of the name, teachings and memory of the founder and leader of Islam, the Prophet Mohammed."

    They sometimes, like everyone everywhere for all of history, explode into mob directed violence when whipped into a frenzy by ideologues. The ideologues occasionally use "Mohammed has been insulted!" to chum the waters, but if there were no large segment of disaffected young Muslim men for them to prey upon, their diatribes would fall on deaf ears.

    When an outsider to a religion demands "re-education" it comes across as tone deaf, at best. This diary is an example of the sort of "Arab Muslims are all violent bastards!" propaganda that feeds the perception, in the Middle East, that Americans hate them and their religion.

  •  You assume that the internet and the film (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CJB, JDsg, Ex Con, Meteor Blades

    are the primary reason many in the ME are rioting.

    That may not be the case. See here:

    The Real Reason the Middle East is Rioting
    Food prices, more than some lousy video, are to blame for the violence sweeping the Middle East.
    In cases of broad social unrest, catalytic incidents are important insofar as they take the measure of people’s passions and attach a vivid narrative—a shot heard ‘round the world—to a mass movement. But wood has to be dry for a spark to catch; populations of people have to be primed for unrest. And in both the run-up to the Arab Spring and now, a research team at the New England Complex Systems Institute has demonstrated convincingly, that priming factor is skyrocketing food prices.
    http://www.psmag.com/...
    The study can be viewed here:

    http://necsi.edu/...

  •  Bull (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDsg

    You won't see Muslims insulting Jesus and his life. Mainstream Christian churches need to denounce dominionists who will do and say anything to spark Armageddon.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

    by Ex Con on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 01:28:05 PM PDT

    •  Go stand on a street corner in Karachi or (0+ / 0-)

      Medina and preach the gospels.  Have fun.  Religious fanatics are everywhere, in every faith group.  I also seem to recall some secular bad apples that caused some trouble in the 20th century.

      The sort of offensive material that supposedly caused this is always available.  You might ask why it suddenly became an issue now.

      We are not going to give up our free speech rights in order to appease violent radicals, Islamist or otherwise.

      Where are we, now that we need us most?

      by Frank Knarf on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 01:51:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Extremist imams are the problem, not the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sandbox

    solution.  Incendiary, hateful material about Islam (or about anything else for that matter) is always available on the web.  You should be asking yourself why this particular example suddenly became a flashpoint.

    Try this, for starters:

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/...

    Where are we, now that we need us most?

    by Frank Knarf on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 02:00:20 PM PDT

    •  We Muslims know why this particular... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shawn Russell

      ...example became a flashpoint, probably much better than you do, but the example you provide doesn't correspond to the point you're trying to make.  It seems that you think this TV host is some sort of "extremist imam" because his first name is Sheikh.  But "Sheikh" is both a name and a title.  I know of many children who are named Sheikh; that doesn't make them "extremist imams."  One of my friends calls me Sheikh, as many men over the age of 40 are also called as a title of respect; this title doesn't mean we are "extremist imams" either.  No, it appears this man is just a TV host, perhaps along the lines of one of the clowns at Faux News.  But that doesn't mean he's an extremist imam.

      Muslims and tigers and bears, oh my!

      by JDsg on Fri Sep 14, 2012 at 10:57:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Borderline racist (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDsg, Ex Con

    and non factual...

    Arab Islamic populations will explode in mob directed violence in reaction to anything that they perceive as anyway disrespectful of the name, teachings and memory of the founder and leader of Islam, the Prophet Mohammed.[sic]

    This is overly generalizing and borderline racist, it extrapolizes relatively puny demonstrations (compared to the total number of `arab islamic people`), whith a often local grievance to a general trait of Arab Islamic people who ever you mean by that...arabic islamic peoples did not explode in.And to state the obvious arabized moroccons and saudi`s are hardly comparable, it`s like comparing americans with australians. The danish cartoon riots led to demonstrations in morocco aswel, but the local driving force was that it was used as an opportunity for political islamic activist to show their strenght in numbers on the street VS the makhzen authorities without the government being able to do much about it, in fear of looking unislamic or soft... local dynamics where as important as the fake and hyped up outrage, opinions on the issue where likely very diverse, and one can find something insulting without having to erupt in rage. The overwhelming majority went on with their dailylives, the danish cartoon nothing but another tragic headline, seemingly far away from their daily worries and labor.

    Non factual in the sense that you parrot a myth about the influence of the internet on the arab spring, sure it had a role but so had sms and word to mouth.It was exceptional hard activism, dangerous political and journalistic work and political organizing that was critical.

    The re-education of the Muslim faithful is the exclusive responsibility of the Imams and the Ayatollahs. [sic]

    This quote is really ridiculous and misinformed, you overestimate the influence of the muslim clergy and scholars or imams and ayatollahs over their mosquegoers. The role of the ulema, the muslimscholar has declined, narrowing its scope of influence to that of theoligical jurisprudence, and some influence of matters of marriage law and it has some influence for example in egypt over some cultural issues/debates.True there is a phenomenon like the internetfatwas but muslims are free to follow anyones advice on the matter and disregard any scholars opinion without problem.Imams are lay clergymen, men of faith that know the koran but their influence is as weak as that of any priest over his congregants in this modern world. It`s insulting that you would deny muslims their logig, common sense and reason over the wish of just part of them be advised on matter of faith and life by their local priest. Does the fact that some catholics do penance/confession or get advice from  their clergymen proof of their blind allegiance to the opinions of religious men?As i said you overestimate their influence. The majority of mainstream islamic traditional islamic scholars do not condone violence  in response to provocations and slander.

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