Open Question to Muslims

Let me preface this post by saying I know very little about Islam.

After reading the news about the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Libya and the U.S. embassy in Egypt, I’m really starting to wonder about how the attacks fit together with “mainstream” Islam. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here are the facts as I understand them.

  • Morris Sadek, an Egyptian-born Christian who lives in  the U.S., made a movie which shows the prophet Muhammad having sex and calling for massacres. At the risk of stating the obvious, Sadek’s movie does not represent the views of the U.S. Government.
  • This “movie” is not being shown in movie theaters, but is available online.
  • Many (all?) Muslims consider any depictions of the Prophet to be offensive.
  • In response to this video, armed protesters in Libya, presumably Muslim, stormed the U.S. Consulate there, killing a U.S. State Department official and burning much of the consulate. Additionally, some 2,000 protesters in Cairo, Egypt stormed the U.S. Embassy, hauled down the U.S. flag, ripped it and burned pieces of it. They tried to raise a black flag with the words: “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.”

Here, then, are my questions for any Muslims who happen to read this.

  • Do the actions of these protesters represent “mainstream” Islam? If not, do you condemn their actions?
  • If you are an American, do you believe Islam is compatible with the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech and of the press, even if that means someone like Sadek has the freedom to insult the Prophet?
  • Why does it seem that, whenever sometime burns a Koran or insults the Prophet, there are some Muslims who retaliate by destroying property or killing people that have nothing whatsoever to do with that?