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abuayisha
 
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Quote abuayisha Replybullet Topic: The Embassy Attacks
    Posted: 15 September 2012 at 6:57am
An Egyptian's Voice on the Embassy Attacks
Moez Masoud has been writing on Facebook ever since the attacks this week on the embassy in Libya. He is a prominent Egyptian broadcaster and a religious leader who is connected with more than a million followers. Masoud talks to Dick about the uncertain atmosphere in Egypt and the Arab world. He says he speaks to young Muslims and counsels them to have the conviction of the Prophet Mohammed and act with his character.
 
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Ron Webb
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Quote Ron Webb Replybullet Posted: 15 September 2012 at 1:34pm

I generally ignore links to streaming media (sorry, but I just don't have that kind of time); but I gave this one a try.  I got as far as about the 16 minute mark, where I heard this exchange:

Interviewer: "If one of the kids who reads your blog, follows you on Facebook, were to see you on the street, and say 'Okay, Moez, a bunch of my friends are down at the embassy, confronting the Egyptian police, and condemning this film; and I feel like I ought to be with them, but I'm not sure if I should.'  What would you say?"

Moez Masoud: "That's a very interesting question..."

Really?  Masoud then goes on to discuss this as if it is a tough moral dilemma.  No, it isn't!  The only correct answer is, "Not only should you stay away from the embassy, but you should probably stay away from those friends as well."

Quite apart from the criminal behaviour of many of the protesters and the wisdom of not associating with that, and apart from the absurdity of even wasting any time on this insignificant and amateurish film, what possible connection does the US embassy have to it?  It's like Christians protesting at mosques around the world because some Muslim somewhere committed a crime.  It is the height of anti-American prejudice and bigotry.

If Masoud is representative of a "moderate" influence on Muslim youth, then it's no wonder the Muslim world lurches from crisis to crisis. 



Edited by Ron Webb - 15 September 2012 at 1:36pm
Addeenul ‘Aql – Religion is intellect.
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abuayisha
 
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Quote abuayisha Replybullet Posted: 15 September 2012 at 2:28pm
Ron what I understood from Masoud's answer isn't that it is a "tough moral dilemma" but, as in any democratic society people have not only a right, but a duty to have their voices heard through protest.  Masoud's "dilemma" is that he doesn't believe the protest is likely to be carried out without trouble, thus how to appropriately advise a young facebook kid who is himself conflicted about joining the protesters.  Masoud ends by advising the kid not to join the protest in this hypothetical question posed to him by Dick Gordon.
 
 
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abuayisha
 
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Quote abuayisha Replybullet Posted: 15 September 2012 at 3:22pm
Originally posted by Ron Webb

If Masoud is representative of a "moderate" influence on Muslim youth, then it's no wonder the Muslim world lurches from crisis to crisis. 

 
Rhetoric has consequences and in today's world it is a dangerous precedence that individuals of your ilk seek to intentionally blur the line between violent radicalism and mainstream Islam.
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Quote Ron Webb Replybullet Posted: 15 September 2012 at 6:04pm

Originally posted by abuayisha

Ron what I understood from Masoud's answer isn't that it is a "tough moral dilemma" but, as in any democratic society people have not only a right, but a duty to have their voices heard through protest.  Masoud's "dilemma" is that he doesn't believe the protest is likely to be carried out without trouble, thus how to appropriately advise a young facebook kid who is himself conflicted about joining the protesters.  Masoud ends by advising the kid not to join the protest in this hypothetical question posed to him by Dick Gordon.

Talking about a "duty to have their voices heard" gives more credit to this inconsequential trash than it warrants.  I can find much more offensive (and much better presented) anti-Muslim screeds on the Internet any day of the week.  Singling out this particular item for public protest only gives it a whole lot of richly undeserved publicity, which is exactly what this guy wants.  On that account alone the youth should be advised not to fall into that trap.

If you want to register your protest, then go to Youtube and post your critiques there.  At least you will be directing your comments to the person who posted it, which is more effective than targetting embassies that had nothing to do with it.

Which brings me to the main point, and the one which both you and Masoud seem to be missing.  Here is Masoud's analysis as he presents it to this hypothetical youth:
"The part of you that wants to go is the part that wants to object, and it has every right to do so, in the same way that a Jewish person (say) would object to an improper citation of the Holocaust or something; and that is a good part in you, and I would like to see you nurture that. And the part of you that doesn't want to go is the part that does not approve of the way in which this objection is being expressed -- you don't think you should break laws, you don't think you should use curse words -- and I completely condone you in all of that.  And so I would say why don't we together ... come up with alternative suggestions with which we can have it our way?  Where we can object, and at the same time be civilized and actually be representative of the Prophet Muhammad, as we object to the improper characterization of the Prophet Muhammad?  We want to have his character while we 'defend him' and represent him."

So where is the part of him that recognizes and condemns the blatant anti-American prejudice and stereotyping?  Apparently it's okay with Masoud to direct his anger against the US Embassy, merely because the perpetrator happened to be American.  This is exactly like the enmity that peaceful Muslims constantly endure just because many terrorists happen to be Muslim.  One would think that Muslims of all people would be especially sensitive to the injustice of this guilt by association.  How can Masoud be so blind to it?  How can you?

Addeenul ‘Aql – Religion is intellect.
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abuayisha
 
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Quote abuayisha Replybullet Posted: 15 September 2012 at 6:34pm
Originally posted by Ron Webb

  One would think that Muslims of all people would be especially sensitive to the injustice of this guilt by association. 

 
A rather safe and convenient oversimplification of events in the middle east and across the Muslim world - 'they hate us because of our freedom' screed.   
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Ron Webb
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Quote Ron Webb Replybullet Posted: 16 September 2012 at 7:12am

Originally posted by abuayisha

Rhetoric has consequences and in today's world it is a dangerous precedence that individuals of your ilk seek to intentionally blur the line between violent radicalism and mainstream Islam.

IMHO it is these protests that blur the line.  When I watch news reports that show thousands of angry Muslims rioting outside an embassy, especially over such a trivial issue, it certainly looks like extremism to me.  It is very worrying that a supposedly mainstream representative of Islam would want to "nurture" this inclination, even if ultimately he advises against it.

By the way, I understand what you mean by "blurring the line", but in fact there really is no line between mainstream and radical Islam (or any other faith).  There is a continuum of gradually increasing extremism: from mere attendance at these demonstrations, to joining in the chorus of slogans and chanting, to confronting and taunting the police, to picking up a stone and smashing a window, and so on.  Crowds like this tend to amplify hostility and suppress rational thinking, which is yet another reason to stay away.

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abuayisha
 
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Quote abuayisha Replybullet Posted: 16 September 2012 at 9:32am
Originally posted by Ron Webb

 but in fact there really is no line between mainstream and radical Islam (or any other faith). 

Well Ron, you hold a very extreme position, and sadly your bigotry is exactly what radical groups use when recruiting.  This thread, ideally, is for comments on the interview I posted, and not entertaining your hatred of Islam (or any other faith).
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