A dastardly attack in Libya
The barbaric attack on the US consulate in Libya’s Benghazi city that led to the shocking death of the US ambassador and three others is entirely condemnable. The ambassador and embassy staff were killed on Wednesday when a fundamentalist mob armed with guns and rockets stormed the American consulate, angry over a film deemed offensive to Islam and allegedly mocking the Prophet Mohammad. Such an overwhelmingly violent reaction to the film in question was uncalled for, though the provocation may have been grave. Even if the film is offensive to Islam, the protests against it could have been peaceful and the point could have been conveyed to the United States government and the film-makers with decorum. The loss of life was uncalled for, especially of those who had nothing to do with the film. Equally, it is condemnable of the film-maker to have made a film that could be perceived as insulting to Islam and likely to inflame passions. The film-maker could not have been unaware of the incendiary nature of the film, given that it talks of the Prophet in an extremely disparaging manner. The dubious role of fundamentalist Christian groups based in the United States, which have been linked to the production or eventual distribution of the movie, is most unfortunate. It would appear that the fundamentalists of one religion have succeeded in provoking the fundamentalists of another.
The US, in particular, must not be knee-jeck in action when reacting to this violence. It must remember that the majority of the Libyans have condemned the attacks and that only the fringe elements were responsible for it. It must, therefore, not use the attacks as a provocation to interfere in the new Libyan government but give it a chance to untangle the mess by itself. While working towards ensuring the punishment of the culprits, the US must also crack down on fundamentalist groups within it which incite hatred between communities and are responsible for waving the red flag in the current instance. Without doubt, it is necessary to probe who the culprits were, to find out if they have any links to terrorism and to ensure their just punishment. What takes precedence, however, is the necessity of ensuring, in the aftemath of this event, that another cycle of violence, particularly a religiously inspired frenzy and bloodbath, is not unleased. It is necessary to maintain peace at all costs.