Terrorism Against Feelings

The controversy over the anti-Islam YouTube film, “The Innocence of Muslims,” isn’t going away. Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri called for mass demonstrations last week, and yesterday thousands of Muslims converged outside Google in London to demand the removal of the YouTube clip:

A protest by 10,000 Muslims outside the offices of Google in London today is just the first in an orchestrated attempt to force the company to remove an anti-Islamic film from website YouTube in Britain. …

That’s an odd quote: “Terrorism is not just people who kill human bodies, but who kill human feelings as well.” On the surface, the speaker seems to be criticizing terrorism, when in fact he’s justifying it. If mocking a religious figure like Mohammed is considered “terrorism,” that would legitimize a violent response. He’s saying you can’t end terrorism against people unless you also end “terrorism against feelings.”

Another protester interviewed in the article said basically the same thing:

Self-employed businessman Ahmed Nasar said he was worried the video could lead to violence in Britain in the same way as it had abroad. “If you push people too far,” he said, “You will turn the peaceful elements into violence.”

Yet another attempt to blame the victims for Islamic terrorism instead of the perpetrators. And these aren’t isolated opinions. The Organization of Islamic Conference, a group that represents 56 Islamic states, called for a global ban on insulting Muhammad at the United Nations last month, claiming that offensive speech could “provoke people to violence.” Not that there’s any chance of a global speech ban actually happening, but it’s a campaign that many Muslim leaders — including ones considered “moderate” — are invested in.