Mideast future? 'Like lava after the eruption'
By Eric Heyl
Published: Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, 9:17 p.m.
Yigal Carmon is founder and president of the Middle East Media Research Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that disseminates translated versions of Arabic and Persian publications and broadcasts over the Internet.
Carmon, a former Israeli government counterterrorism adviser, spoke to the Trib regarding the fallout from the anti-Islamic video purportedly made by a California man that has prompted violent anti-American protests in Islamic nations.
Q: In your opinion, why has the reaction to this particular video been so fervent and widespread?
A: Well, first of all it was incited. It was incited by the Egyptian media, because (the video) was out there for months and no one paid any attention to it until a week before (the anniversary of the) Sept. 11 (terror attacks). Then the Egyptian media began hammering on it.
Q: What do you believe was the purpose or motive of the Egyptian media in doing so?
A: That's a big question. I believe one element was (to take advantage of the) Sept. 11 (anniversary). ... Another is the movie itself, which I don't want to dismiss altogether (as the cause of the uproar). I mean, it's garbage, bigoted stupidity. It's insulting.
Q: Does there seem to be any recognition at all in the Islamic world that no matter how insulting the video might be, it's the product of a private citizen and not the United States government?
A: Yes, of course. They know it as a matter of fact, but they don't accept it as a valid distinction. This is the discourse: It is America that is engaged in war against Islam, not on terrorists, so it doesn't matter (that the government wasn't involved in making the video). They say we need this international law against blasphemy against all religions, and of course monistic religions. If there is no law, then (blasphemy) is the responsibility of the state. Instead of (accepting) freedom of speech, they say (the government) may not have (made the video), but it didn't do anything to prevent it.
Q: Do you believe American embassies will continue to be at risk for the foreseeable future?
A: Yes. I said today to a congressman that the future (for embassies) is (to bolster their) defense (and) defensive strategies. (Ambassadors and their staffs) should never feel relaxed. If a day passes without anything happening, it's not a normal day; it's an abnormal day.
Q: What do you think the future holds for the Middle East?
A: In the Middle East, everyone has been at each other's throats for hundreds and hundreds of years. The future is a Middle East in a boiling situation like lava after the eruption, with America (having) the same status as Israel — being blamed for anything and everything. The region is beginning its march to join humanity, which I'm thinking of as a good thing, not a bad thing. But there are no shortcuts to history.
Q: How long do you anticipate this march will take?
A: It will be decades.
Q: So expect additional uprisings against America in the future?
A: Definitely, definitely. America will continue to be the scapegoat.
Eric Heyl is a staff writer for Trib Total Media (412-320-7857 or email@example.com).
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Spring training breakdown: Red Sox 4, Pirates 1; Orioles 9, Pirates 2
- Analysis: Kesler still on Pens’ radar as Shero aims to bring back ‘Big 3’
- Allegheny County Democrats endorse several incumbents in primary
- Wrestling programs look ahead to NCAA tourney
- Starkey: Steelers know when to say goodbye
- Latrobe hospital source of fuel spill
- Pirates’ big risk with pitch-heavy draft focus might soon pay off
- ‘Un-American’? That’s Harry Reid, the Senate’s lowly smear artist
- Consensus on how to notify data breach victims lacks
- Outdoors notices: March 9
- Consumer borrowing increased by $13.7 billion in January