Watching the events of the last 10 days makes it hard to have much confidence in the sanity of the human race. After Friday prayers in Pakistan – the day of Love for the Prophet in which an estimated 19 people died and 200 were injured – protesters burned down two cinemas to express their outrage about Innocence of Muslims, a work that was made available only on YouTube, not in cinemas. It's as logical as smashing your computer because you object to what's being shown at the local Odeon.
But things could have been much worse. Even though so many lives have been lost, there was another side of the story that escaped us – the fact that a very tiny proportion of Muslims actually went on the streets. In France, Muslims showed restraint after the publication of cartoons by Charlie Hebdo. In Egypt and Tunisia, the governments intervened to stop the riots, while in Yemen and Pakistan, the military prevented rioters reaching western embassies. More hopeful was the action by cheering crowds that swept through Benghazi, in eastern Libya, clearing the strongholds of Ansar al-sharia, the militant group thought responsible for the death of US diplomat Chris Stevens a week ago.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment