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ANALYSIS: How to view the anti-Islam movie protesters

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Anti-islam movie protesters burn a US flag.

EDITOR’S BLOG. A few years back, I had decided to travel through the Middle East – a flight to Beirut, over the border to Syria and on down to Jordan, with the wonderful desert city of Petra. But, like so many times before, violence erupted and Syria was erased from the world map that travelers have to pick from. The trip had to be cancelled.

Before the uprising in the Middle East took off that has overturned leaders in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and, it appears, soon in Syria, there were various other outbursts of violence, generally targeted against the United States, but also Denmark.

Now it has happened again. This time, it was an extremely bad and cheap movie, mocking Prophet Mohammed, that appeared on the internet and set the Muslim world on fire once again. In Libya, the United States’ ambassador was killed as the embassy was stormed by furious protesters. Since then, in a time span of only a few days, violence has spread far outside the Middle East – reports come from Malaysia, Indonesia and from African Muslim nations.

Of course, it is an extremely bad idea, and against international law, to blaspheme and abuse any religion or people. But, nevertheless, the burning of embassies and killing of foreigners can not be tolerated. Particularly not over such a lousy piece of production as this so-called movie. It is a qualified guess that many of these protesters haven’t even seen it. But as news about the protests spreads, the protesters’ legitimacy somehow seems to increase, due to the fact that they are religious protesters. This is a big mistake. Reasonably, millions of Muslims around the world feel ashamed as they watch the evening news and see these, rather few, troublemakers and religious fanatics on the screen burning flags and adding to an already instable world.

They should be viewed as exactly that, troublemakers, in the same way as football huligans are, and not be given the opportunity to speak, in their violent manner, for all Muslims and their cause. That would be to diminish Muslims in general in a manner they do not deserve.

The editor of the Traveling Reporter works as a business news editor, and is a frequent traveler. When not doing any of that, he spends time on his boat and tries to figure out where to travel next. Two of his top destinations are the Philippines and San Francisco. Email Erik! Follow the Traveling Reporter at Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Chime In, Pinterest, Google+, Weibo, Storify, Facebook, Traveldudes, Myspace.