So on 9/11 enraged Muslims have killed a U.S. ambassador and assaulted the Egyptian embassy. This morning brought news that similar groups of the professionally enraged have attempted the same in Yemen. And predictably, we are witnessing the same self-flagellating members of the ruling class here in the U.S. reminding us once more that "Islam is peaceful" and these are "extremists." Apparently, this is to prevent us rubes out here in flyover country from drawing the entirely logical connection between the deepest beliefs of these excitable young lads and their actions. We are supposed to believe, instead, that the same people who insist that women must be subject to FGM and the sartorial equivalent of the burlap sack, that you may convert to Islam but never away from it, that Bin Laden is a martyr rather than a murdering thug, and so on have such finely honed sensitivities (sensitivities which are, evidently, not dissimilar to those of a land mine) that we do well to keep from offending them with provocative films and free speech critical of Islam, its "prophet" and its "holy" book.
I'm all for acting like a civilized person and not deliberately sticking a finger in anyone else's eye. Why unnecessarily provoke the perpetually provoked? War is a dirty business best avoided when possible, etc. That being said, it is better to die for freedom than to live in slavery and sometimes all some people understand is the business end of a gun. With such people, treading lightly is seen as weakness rather than forbearance and begets more of the same.
Moreover, it seems to me that the sort of people doing these atrocities are doing them specifically as expressions of Islam. Not being an Islamic scholar, who am I to tell them they are wrong? Moreover, Islamic institutions, such as Al-Azhar University (located, not coincidentally, in the recently much more Muslim Brotherhood friendly confines of Cairo) which are presumably full of Islamic scholars are telling them they are correct. So who is the fool here? It's past time to stop telling ourselves pretty lies and recognize that the views of the embassy raiders and ambassador killers have become the mainstream of the Middle East. That may be a scary reality, but at least it has the benefit of being reality rather than hopeful wishing.