By Hale Yavuz
On the anniversary of September 11, after the release of an anti-Islamic movie on YouTube, ‘another Muslim assault’ took place in Libya resulting the death of US ambassador to Libya and three other embassy officials.
The timing of the movie, the geographical importance of the attack, the uncertainty of the movie director and makers with the confusing remarks coming from actors and actresses who played in the movie raise suspicions. All these question marks have been interpreted as signs of a bigger picture. It is not yet clear whether the aim was to remind the World of so-said ‘Islamic Terror’ or set Middle Eastern Muslims and Christians and Jews against one another by increasing the feeling of hatred and anger.
The attack got different comments from Turkish media. Although many scholars and columnists agree on the provocative goal of the movie, and curse the attack, for others the anti-Muslim movie was the last straw to break the camel’s back and the anti-Islamic movements need to be stopped.
Veysel Ayhan, editor-in-chief of daily Zaman, drawing attention to the extreme and inappropriate reaction of Muslims has stated “Violence and terror cannot be a way of reaction and protest. Once again Muslims are engraved in the minds of people as aggressive violence prones. As in the case of caricature crisis, nothing is gained from the violence attacks and it casted a slur on Islam.”
Daily Milli Gazete published the news as “Innocence of Dialogue” (refers to the movie) putting the blame on wrong dialogue policy conducted in recent decades. The newspaper puts emphasis on the ongoing violence attacks against Muslim society around the world by saying “Muslim lands are occupied, Muslim countries are strafed; and children murdered because of their religion are always Muslim children. The more dialogue is emphasized by some, the more Islam is damaged.”
Another newspaper, Yeni Şafak pointed to the timing of the movie and place of the attack and published the news as “Deep Impact on Arab Spring”. Around the same lines, defining the current restless situation in Libya and spreading reactions as the success of ill-wishers, daily Türkiye marked the provocative intentions behind the event. Mentioning a different dimension of the event, Cumhuriyet and Taraf included two American ships and 50 Terror experts sent to region in their news.
The Prime Minister described both the movie and the killing of ambassador as an explicit provocation and warned the Muslim society about not falling into the trap.
It is obvious that yesterday the world witnessed another serious event. Neither the movie was limited to Muslim world, nor stayed the attack in the borders of Libya. The answers to all these confusing questions matter since they may give shape to future policies.
Ali Hussein Bakeer, USAK Researcher on Middle East and Africa, has defined the attack as not a mainstream reaction. He said “Although religion is a sensitive subject, most Libyans, Egyptians, and Yemenis condemn the attack and they think that if there is going to be a reaction it should be in a more useful, productive way. The new regimes are trying to control such excessive, violent attacks but it will take some time since they may be provocative or coming from anti-regime groups. Therefore, America and other countries should react in a reasonable way and revise their existing policies since sometimes they are following an imbalanced policy when the matter is about a Middle Eastern or Muslim country, which causes reactions in public.”
Bakeer, answered the question on the possible increase of anti-Americanism and made a notable remark: “There is no such a thing as anti-Americanism but ‘anti-American policies’. America and other western countries are acting in a double-manner. If they change their inconsistent policies toward some countries and produce a new, friendly, peace-oriented policy, both sides –US and Middle Eastern Countries- will benefit from it.
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