This situation makes obvious something that is often ignored when we discuss our laudable First Amendment tradition. When we protect vile and ignorant speech like this film, it is not a cost-free social choice.
All too often pundits focus only on what politicians say, how well or poorly they say it. Sometimes they even vaguely mention the "performance," but for the most part they ignore what a politician's face and behavior tell us -- if we only pay attention.
Who can blame politicians for guarding their right flanks? However, the stakes are much higher for Obama.
We must go beyond the facile media explanations about intolerant Muslims and start to explore the complex political, economic, historical, and cultural circumstances that have contributed to these particular protests that are taking place in these particular geographies.
The challenge for post-revolt governments in the Middle East and North Africa is harnessing the revolutionary energy and channeling it from street into pluralistic politics.
If history is any indication, travel will almost certainly flatline. Americans are concerned about being targeted abroad. Totally understandable.
In the global age, it is no longer just dictators or overzealous elected head of states with power of preemptive strikes can direct history to the edge of an abyss, but also fruit vendors and lousy filmmakers.
Morsi will prove President Obama's statement, that Egypt is neither ally nor enemy, to be the more realistic expression of the post-Mubarak situation, and that is regardless of the somewhat pathetic attempts of the White House to "explain" this very true and sober assessment of the situation.
No matter how strong one's principles of religious freedom are, there is no excuse for violent actions taken by individuals on the grounds of defending their faith from outside criticism.
My beef with all these so called champions of free speech who feel so strongly about broadcasting their hateful views, yet run for cover when threatened: Why do these people leave innocent Americans to pay the price of their irresponsible acts? Why don't they man up?
Rage can be used against us and it certainly can be used to harm others among us. If we get upset every time a moron makes a vile movie about Islam, draws a cartoon of the prophet or makes intentionally inflammatory statements, we are in trouble.
Egypt's militant soccer fans, one of the country's largest civic groups, have emerged from a week of street agitation politically strengthened as they seek to chart a course in the post-Mubarak era.
Egypt is testing with a partial lifting of a ban on fans attending soccer matches whether or not the country, after 18 months of political volatility, has finally returned to a more peaceful resolution of political and moral issues.
Protest is a conversation. It's been a strange, often frustrating, sometimes easy to mock, but essential ethos of American protest movements like #OWS and the Tea Party. And if you think about it, true conversation is democracy.
By facilitating peacetime conflict prevention from the ground up through trust- and relationship-building, a more sustainable peace between Copts and Muslims is possible.