It may be instructive to examine some excerpts from recent remarks by US Government officials concerning the film at the center of recent violence in the Middle East and elsewhere in the Islamic world. The first excerpt is from remarks made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a recent Eid (end of Ramadan) dinner at the State Department:
There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind. And we look to leaders around the world to stand up and speak out against violence, and to take steps to protect diplomatic missions from attack. Think about it. When Christians are subject to insults to their faith, and that certainly happens, we expect them not to resort to violence. When Hindus or Buddhists are subjected to insults to their faiths, and that also certainly happens, we expect them not to resort to violence. The same goes for all faiths, including Islam. When all of us who are people of faith – and I am one – feel the pain of insults, of misunderstanding, of denigration to what we cherish, we must expect ourselves and others not to resort to violence. That is a universal standard and expectation, and it is everyone’s obligation to meet that, so that we make no differences, we expect no less of ourselves than we expect of others. You cannot respond to offensive speech with violence without begetting more violence. And I so strongly believe that the great religions of the world are stronger than any insults. They have withstood offense for centuries. Refraining from violence, then, is not a sign of weakness in one’s faith; it is absolutely the opposite, a sign that one’s faith is unshakable.
In addition, Special US Envoy to Muslim Communities Rashad Hussain told Pajhwok Afghan News in an interview:
“It is a disgusting and reprehensible video. It is important to remember that the United States government has nothing to do with its production,” ……Not only the US government, but also communities of all faiths, including Christians, had condemned the production of the video, he said. ‘As a Muslim myself, I would understand why it would cause people to get upset. I understand the place of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Islam, but at the same time, I also know that violence as a way of reacting to this offensive video is not consistent with anything.’ Rashid said he had read the description of the video, but he decided against watching it. It was clear from experience that attempts to stop people from posting this type of offensive content in the modern world did not always succeed, he added. ‘We also have as a value in the United Stated freedom of expression, which is important and allows people to speak their mind, allows people like me to practice my religion freely as Muslim,’ the diplomat remarked. The envoy, who has been to Afghanistan several times and has travelled extensively in the Middle East and North African countries, said basically a small group of minority extremists was using the video as a catalyst for anti-US propaganda. ‘Unfortunately, there are people in the world, still in minority, who use these types of videos to try to provoke outrage and violence. Because that is something that is rejected by all faiths, it is important that people do not fall victim to that,’ Rashid argued. ‘The more and more people are able to discuss these issues in an intelligent way, the more and more people are able to learn about various religious faiths through dialogue; the more they would understand that those who would use violence are totally wrong,’ said the official.
Notably absent from Ms. Clinton’s list of faiths that have been under attack is Judaism. Since June 2007, the GMBD has cataloged a near constant stream of anti-Semitic invective emanating from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood as well as the global Brotherhood organizations. Recent examples include an Egyptian cleric who has given two recent sermons on Al-Aqsa TV in which he said he has met people all over the world who “thirst for the blood of the Jews” and that Jews have entered Egypt in order to commit crimes including deliberately infecting Egyptian girls with AIDS, an article posted on the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood website titled “We can make peace with Israel, if you can make peace with cancer” and articles recently posted on the Egyptian Brotherhood site with antisemitic motifs, including Holocaust denial and descriptions of the “Jewish character” as covetous, exploitative, and a source of evil in human society. Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, recently appointed to an Egyptian national board of senior Islamic scholars, is a noted anti-Semite who has called for the death of all Jews. It does not appear that any official of the U.S. government has ever publicly held the Brotherhood accountable for this vitriol, described it as “disgusting and reprehensible”, or condemned it in any pubic forum.
Rashad Hussain, the Obama administration envoy to the OIC, was for a short time embroiled in controversy after the GMBDW reported both his associations with the US Muslim Brotherhood and remarks that he had made in 2004 about the prosecution of convicted terrorist Sami Al-Arian that were later deleted from the publication that reported them.