Haroon Moghul, a Ph.D. Candidate at Columbia University and Fellow at New America Foundation and Center on National Security at Fordham Law, sits down with Don Lemon of CNN to offer a more balanced view of the protests occurring in some Muslim nations since September 11th of this year, when Ambassador Stevens was killed in Libya.
Moghul explains that he believes in free speech, but also believes it is important to respect what others hold sacred. He also offers a deeper look into the root causes of the protests which have been portrayed in the media as violent and destructive:
“I think we have to be fair when we look at the protests and what’s happening. An overwhelming majority of Muslims—from the grassroots to the Muslim leaders, and the religious leaders and political leaders—have condemned the violence and condemned the protests, and even if you look at the people who are protesting, an even smaller percentage of them are protesting violently…
“I don’t think the protests are REALLY about the Prophet Muhammad, I think they have a lot more to do with local politics, with American foreign policy and with feelings of humiliation and being basically not treated with dignity, not treated as part of society, as being able to politically participate… So there are a lot of feelings of marginalization and alienation and I thnk this move is more of an excuse to come out to the streets and vent these feelings, and these kinds of gestures are pushed by extremist vioices and political leaders in order to push their own cause forward.”
Moghul also notes that there have been tens of thousands of people protesting against the killing of Ambassador Stevens and against the violence, making note that the media chooses to portray what people are used to seeing from Western media: violent Muslims, instead of this vast majority of people who are peaceful and very much against the violence that happened last week.