Embassies Under Attack
Defending a faith through the use of violence and murder seems rather curious. If the followers of Islam still believe that by terrorising the world over a book or a film they deem offensive to their religion they will embellish its image, they have some serious thinking to do. If they are convinced that intimidation and storming embassy compounds is the best way to heaven, they’re probably in for a bad surprise when their time in this world is up.
The attacks on American compounds in Egypt and Libya – with the latter reporting the assassination of the ambassador – over a film seen as offensive to the prophet cannot, however, be perceived as a reflection of national trends that overwhelm entire populations. They were conducted by sinister minorities and they serve a purpose.
In Egypt, a power struggle is in full swing between radical religious forces and a majority vying to save their country from falling into the clutches of Wahabbism. Some opponents to Islamist rule are prepared to accept military rule as the only antidote to the bearded bigots, a path that can only lead to more religious extremism.
Islamists have been granted limited power by their military masters, mainly to deflect public frustration that would otherwise have landed squarely at the feet of the generals.
The conspiracy that continues to grip Egypt and aims to destroy all traces of the admirable revolution can never be ruled out when attempting to analyse current events. Drowned in a wave of complaints and failures, the rulers of Egypt today aim no more than to avoid having to face another mass uprising that could rattle them and eventually dislodge them in the style of Mubarak. Taking the attention of the masses away from volatile areas of explosive potential is unquestionably a top priority. Allowing female harassment to reach such worrying levels is an example that has scored well.
Why not capitalise on a third-rate film that any Muslim with solid faith would dismiss with a wave of the hand in the manner a persistent fly would be dealt with? Why not seek to rally hired Islamist free-lancers for a few hours of muscle flexing at the U.S. embassy, after Washington has sent its tacit okay, and stage a farce of spurious Islamist outrage in the style of the Danish cartoons? This way everyone’s attention is conveniently deflected away from Mr Mursy and his military commanders and the West’s hatred of Islam becomes the new centre of attention.
Some will see me as taking the conspiracy theory a bit too far and I recognise their argument. I would, nevertheless, ask you to consider why nothing coming from Washington over the embassy incidents smells of rebuke, let alone a threat of some form of retribution to the Egyptian authorities for failing to provide adequate protection.
The bulk of the Egyptian people, the instigators of the greatest and most peaceful revolution in history, repudiate the embassy attacks. But the American authorities can now convincingly claim that Egypt has become a ticking time bomb in need of extraordinary measures, including supporting its new ‘government’ and probably upholding all clandestine business with the military still the effective rulers.
In the meantime, the Egyptians, who one day believed the free world would help them in the attempt to emulate their political system, are discovering that the United States has an entirely different agenda.
Do not be fooled by the embassy attacks. It is but another sordid chapter in a long-winded saga with many chapters yet to unravel.
12 September, 2012