Should Muslims get more offended by Syrian atrocities than Prophet attacks?

Published September 17th, 2012 - 11:21 GMT
The young girl beheaded in Syria
The young girl beheaded in Syria

On the day that Hizbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah, called the infamous anti-Muslim film the ‘worst attack on Islam’, another more sinister video has emerged. 

Alongside this new video is an image that should shock the Arab world but so far there have been no riots or embassy attacks. The picture shows a small girl in Syria, beheaded. Syrian regime forces were allegedly responsible for the gruesome murder of this young girl.

The video, which was uploaded to YouTube several months ago, shows a Syrian man covered in bruises and scars. Assad’s soldiers appear to be whipping and slapping him while they insist that he calls Assad ‘God.’ It’s an extreme form of blasphemy for a Muslim to be involved in.

Syrian bloggers and activists were quick to point out the hypocrisy: a silly video of actors insulting the Prophet sparked chaos across the Arab world but such brutal human rights assaults have been ignored.

One Syrian tweep started to categorize the pictures and videos as ‘insulting to Muslims’ and ‘non-insulting to Muslims’, putting the beheaded girl in the latter category. So the question remains: why has a b-list film, insulting the Prophet Muhammad, caused so much more outrage?

The answer may have more to do with government policy than a group of amateur actors. Although the attacks on the US embassy in Libya were apparently planned before the release of the film, the two events were not unrelated.

Those countries that felt the most intense reaction were the recent ‘Arab-Springers’: Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Tunisia. They have felt resentment towards the West and the US for many years as leaders that were seemingly endorsed by American presidents, perpetrated terrible acts at home.

Yemen has also felt the side effects of US drone attacks, resulting in numerous civilian casualties. So just as these countries took their independence and regained their dignity, they feel themselves mocked and vilified by the US. It’s a potent combination and the effects have been shown around the world this week.

Yet still the atrocities in Syria continue with a growing vacuum of complaint from the Arab world. Activists say if they could inspire even half the outrage of the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ movie, the situation would quickly improve. 


Do you think Muslims overreacted to the Prophet attacks? Should there be more outcry about Syria? Tell us what you think below.

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