Friday, September 14, 2012

Cairo, Benghazi and beyond: Beware the false fury

An incendiary 'movie' should not allow fringe elements to co-opt and realign the trajectory of the Arab revolutions.

As Usual, A Good Piece
By Hamid Dabashi

Déjà vu: Beware the False Fury

The principle problem with this absurdity, however, is not its origin—but its destination: the riots and demonstrations in front of the US embassies that began in Cairo and Benghazi and have now spread all over the Muslim world.

Attacks on embassies and rage against insult to Prophet Muhammad in the Muslim world have a frightening echo in the ears of an Iranian—remembering the US Hostage Crisis of 1979-1980 and the Salman Rushdie affair of 1988-1989—two smoke screens under which militant Islamists in Iran (some of them now among the so-called “Opposition”) hijacked a revolution and categorically recoded it as “Islamic.”

The current catastrophe called “the Islamic Republic” and the entrapment of 75 million human beings in its theocratic snare is framed between those two smoke screens—two diversionary tactics made out of events that fell on Ayatollah Khomeini’s lap.....

The differences between 2012 and 1979

The same danger is now looming from Cairo to Benghazi to the rest of the Arab and Muslim world—for militant Salafis or Wahhabis to abuse this ignoramus film to derail a world historic succession of revolutions. But this time around Arab revolutionaries are far quicker in responding both to ghastly Islamophobia and the violent disrespect for the sacrosanct principle of diplomatic immunity. Demonstrations in both Benghazi and Cairo have categorically denounced the violence that has resulted in the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

It is imperative that these denunciations be amply noted—as indeed President Morsi put it succinctly: "We Egyptians reject any kind of assault or insult against our prophet. I condemn and oppose all who... insult our prophet. [But] it is our duty to protect our guests and visitors from abroad... I call on everyone to take that into consideration, to not violate Egyptian law... to not assault embassies.”.

This is the difference between Khomeini n 1979 and Morsi in 2012. Beware the false fury....."

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