by Garth Cilliers

The impact of troublemakers

Islamophobia increases tensions

Terry Jones
terry jones.jpg

The islamaphobic actions such as the notably insulting video produced in America, cartoons in a French publication and anti-Islam protest in Germany have turned the Muslim world into a place antagonised against, if not dangerous for Westerners. This is also impacting on domestic politics and policies across the Western world. 

The senseless decision by a daft individual to ridicule one of the major religions in the world has had repercussions beyond imagination. It released anger against the US that struck far and wide in more than 30 countries.
The American ambassador in Libya and three colleagues died in an attack on a consulate.In  Eight South African citizens were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan as a direct result of the movie being made.
On the heels of the video -- 'Innocence of Muslims' by extremist, Coptic Christians -  the French magazine Charlie Hebdo published cartoons of the prophet Mohammed. The French government immediately ordered several of its overseas missions closed in anticipation of protests by Islamic radicals.
German officials fear that anti-Islam protests by far-right groups in Berlin, last month, may have prompted last Friday's attack on the German embassy in Khartoum. Authorities are bracing themselves for possible violence in Germany and are stepping up security. 
The impact, however is much wider than just the immediate security situation. The conflict triggered by the video also unleashed a debate in many Western countries about how far societies are prepared to go in defending the freedom of expression.
In practical terms it has already impacted on the decisions of governments. The German government decided to block American extremist pastor Terry Jones from visiting the country at the invitation of far-right groups.  Jones attracted global attention in 2010 when he threatened to burn copies of the Q'oran.
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