RABAT - The assassination of diplomats and ransacking of the American embassies in Libya and Egypt, after an anti-Islam American film was posted on the Internet, must be condemned in the most forceful language. The desire to muzzle all those who do not share the same viewpoint is a delusion that can lead to dramatic situations like those on Wednesday.
The explosion of violence in Benghazi and Cairo is certainly not as spontaneous as some would like us to believe. Maybe it is an outlet for expressing a crisis of confidence or identity crisis or something else -- and the film, allegedly financed by a group of racists, is being used as an excuse to justify a reaction to an attack that has nothing to do with the official policy of the United States.
As Muslims, we must condemn these acts, which only encourage our detractors, who are happy to seize any chance to propound their absurd theories. These theories, each more absurd than the next, are legitimized by the fringes of society who are presented as representatives of the Arab Muslim world as a whole.
As intelligent people, we have a duty to listen to -- and accept the point of view of those who do not share our opinions; or simply to ignore these opinions, without giving them more importance than they deserve. This is not to glorify these opinions, but to accept that they exist. If we choose to demonstrate their limits, we will do so with intellectual counter-arguments and discussions, but never with violence.
We will not succeed in re-establishing the vision of a rich and humane civilization by adopting a defensive attitude. Reacting to every piece of nonsense produced anywhere on the globe is a waste of energy, and does nothing to diminish the amount of such nonsense. But if this energy were used wisely, in a positive, tolerant spirit, it would be the best weapon against those who seek to discredit us.
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