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Geography Education
Geography Education
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography students and teachers. http://geographyeducation.org
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Anger Over Film Fuels Anti-American Attacks in Libya and Egypt

Anger Over Film Fuels Anti-American Attacks in Libya and Egypt | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Protesters upset over an American-made video denouncing Islam attacked the United States Consulate in Libya, while Egyptian demonstrators stormed over the walls of the United States Embassy in Cairo.


The idea of anti-U.S. protests in the Middle East and Northa Africa on the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 was initially quite shocking. As always, a greater understanding of the cultural context and timing helps explain (not necessarily justify) the situation. The video produced by "Sam Bacile" that has sparked the controversy is truly reprehensible and as cultural insensitive as it gets. Still, the protests, by blindly lashing out at the United States embassy, only exacerbate the cultural problems. 

UPDATE: This public gathering of Libyan's in Benghazi to apologize for the death of Chris Stevens is quite poignant.  


Questions to Ponder: How does one single YouTube video impact geopolitics?  Culturally speaking, what makes this such a powerfully charged issue?  Will this issue become fodder for the election? 


Tags: MiddleEast, political, culture, Islam, religion.

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Don Brown Jr's comment, September 18, 2012 3:33 PM

This video effects geopolitics in the region in a number of ways as the US may find itself bearing the brunt of the Islamic world reaction from this video since the producer was a American. The fact that Jewish donors provided funds for the film will likely further strain relations between Israel, the United States and the Islamic countries. Likewise in the upcoming 2012 election how both parties choose to address this while trying to appeal to “Christian” voters will add another layer of complexity to this issue.
This video is a clear example of just how interconnected the world we live in today really is and how a single actions can affect many others creating unforeseen consequences. Hopefully the lesson that can be learned from the “Innocence of Islam” U-Tube trailer is that people need to be more cultural sensitive when it comes to displaying public information that can be easy diffused around the world. The largely negative reaction from the global Muslim community has shown us that we cannot afford to be ignorant or cultural incentive to others in an increasing globalized and connected world. However another lesson that both the US, Libya, Egypt and the world at large should take note of is that nations should not become the focal point of acts of violence due to the actions of a few individual whether it is a terrorist or Sam Bacile. We in the West need to take into account that in the Muslim world there isn’t really a separation between church and state like there is in the here so religious matters affect every aspect of society. We should also take into mind that this was also the case in Europe not to many centuries ago, remember the Middle Ages and the inquisition.
Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 17, 2013 2:03 PM

Protestors were upset over an American made video denouncing Islam and attacked the United States Consulate in Libya and demonstrators stromed over walls of the United States Embassy in Cario. The video was insensitive and sparked anger throughout many. With the way the internet reaches and how social media works many more people in far reach areas are able to view these videos and create problems like this.

Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, October 31, 2013 7:31 AM

On the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th in the United States, anti-U.S. protestors attacked Benghazi due to their anger toward an American-made YouTube video that denounced Islam.  It is amazing to see the impact that one single Internet creation can have.  It shows the power that particular media and social outlets such as YouTube and Facebook have.

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Back to the Future: "The Libyans!"

Why in the United States popular culture of the 1980's would the evil villains are portrayed as Libyans?  How has the perception of Libya changed over the years?  With the toppling of Qaddafi's regime and his death, how do we see Libya today?    

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 26, 2013 4:40 PM

I was with a high school trip in Italy in 1986 when the US attacked Libya.  One day all is calm, the next day there were heavily armed military state police, the Carabinieri, all over the place in the open wearng fully loaded assault rifles, bery scary for a 15 year old kid who was not subject to this back home in the US.  The attack by the US was done in response to Libyan active suport of terrorists in the 80's, specifically the Berlin nightclub bombings.  So it was the Libyans, along with the Soviets and Iran, who were the "bad guys" in the 1980s.  How times hae changed, with Qaddafi gone the Libyans are looking to return to normal realtions with the world.  Lets see if all parties involved can sit down and talk this one out to have a new start with a clean slate.