TIME Magazine: Anti-Islam Filmmakers Are 'Islamophobic' But Deadly Rioters Just 'Orthodox Muslims'

The caption accompanying a September 13 TIME magazine photo slide tags the filmmakers behind "The Innocence of Muslims" as "Islamophobes" while those rioting in the Arab street supposedly in reaction against said film are merely "orthodox Muslims.":


A mysterious video produced by a group of largely unknown Islamophobes in the U.S. roiled a parallel set of Salafists (orthodox Muslims) in the Middle East and sparked attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions in Egypt, Libya and Yemen. Protests raged for a second day in Cairo and kicked off in Sana‘a, Yemen’s capital. Meanwhile, in Libya, government officials struggled to account for the lapse in security that led to the destruction of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, the country’s second city, and the death of U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens.

Of course, "orthodox" means "right teaching," which may be the exact opposite of what TIME wants to communicate. If violent protests are the mark of theologically orthodox Muslims, that suggests they are acting in accord with the tenets of their faith, not contrary to it.

What's more, the term "Islamophobic" is certainly a loaded, derogatory term. If the filmmakers and the Salafists are "parallel" to each other, wouldn't the loaded, derogatory term "Islamofascist," popularized and defended by the late Christopher Hitchens, be applicable to the angry mobs in Libya and Egypt?

Explained Hitchens in a classic 2007 Slate article (emphasis mine):

Both movements are based on a cult of murderous violence that exalts death and destruction and despises the life of the mind. ("Death to the intellect! Long live death!" as Gen. Francisco Franco's sidekick Gonzalo Queipo de Llano so pithily phrased it.) Both are hostile to modernity (except when it comes to the pursuit of weapons), and both are bitterly nostalgic for past empires and lost glories. Both are obsessed with real and imagined "humiliations" and thirsty for revenge. Both are chronically infected with the toxin of anti-Jewish paranoia (interestingly, also, with its milder cousin, anti-Freemason paranoia). Both are inclined to leader worship and to the exclusive stress on the power of one great book. Both have a strong commitment to sexual repression—especially to the repression of any sexual "deviance"—and to its counterparts the subordination of the female and contempt for the feminine. Both despise art and literature as symptoms of degeneracy and decadence; both burn books and destroy museums and treasures.

Fascism (and Nazism) also attempted to counterfeit the then-success of the socialist movement by issuing pseudo-socialist and populist appeals. It has been very interesting to observe lately the way in which al-Qaida has been striving to counterfeit and recycle the propaganda of the anti-globalist and green movements.

[...]

There is one final point of comparison, one that is in some ways encouraging. Both these totalitarian systems of thought evidently suffer from a death wish. It is surely not an accident that both of them stress suicidal tactics and sacrificial ends, just as both of them would obviously rather see the destruction of their own societies than any compromise with infidels or any dilution of the joys of absolute doctrinal orthodoxy. Thus, while we have a duty to oppose and destroy these and any similar totalitarian movements, we can also be fairly sure that they will play an unconscious part in arranging for their own destruction, as well.

Yup, sounds like the reactionary thugs burning Cairo and Benghazi to me.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters