Editorial: Free speech right must also come with accountability



The eruption in the Middle East last week is directly attributable to an anti-Islam film called “Innocence of Muslims.” Under cover of Middle East protests of that film, some hard-line Islamic groups used the opportunity to stoke anti-American flames and, in the case of Libya, kill the U.S. ambassador.

Anti-American rage is spreading through the Middle East , especially the Arab Spring nations of Egypt and Libya, but unrest is also being registered in Yemen.

The Arab response to the movie was predictable. There are many instances in the past of Muslim reaction to what they consider the West’s blasphemy, such as author Salman Rushdie’s “The Satanic Verses” and the publication of anti-Muhammad cartoons in a Danish newspaper.

In 2010, a Florida pastor named Terry Jones wanted a “burn a Quran day.” At the request of the Army, Jones called off the day but has persisted in anti-Muslim vehemence. In fact, Jones has been showing this film to his congregation and praying for the filmmaker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who obviously made the shoddy, amateurish production to inflame Muslims. He seems to be a Coptic (Egyptian) Christian and is closely associated with American evangelicals, such as Jones and the film’s adviser, Steve Klein, an insurance agent who likens himself to James Bond in ferreting out Muslim terrorists in California, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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