The rage and fear that is stoked is real, but it is only a by-product, not a popular groundswell of real thought or desire. The political rage and false populism of Middle East extremists and American fundamentalist groups are equally manufactured.
Already under criticism by Republicans, President Obama will have to explain his policies in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, and Syria. He will also have to explain the lack of protection for U.S. consulate personnel in Benghazi.
We must ask ourselves, both as Muslims and as responsible global citizens: What is the most effective and responsible way to respond to an offensive film or cartoon or other form of expression that has gained popularity for one reason or another?
As the American presidential campaign swings into high gear, recent events in the fabled city of Timbuktu remind us of the very real social and cultural costs of religious and political fundamentalism.
Amid increasing calls to enforce a misunderstood concept of sharia by the clergy in Pakistan and other Muslim countries like Indonesia, reports such as Transparency International's should give those proponents pause.
The battle among Muslim progressives and Muslim fundamentalists is a family affair at heart. I've argued to progressive Muslims that the battle needs to be fought within families, beginning with simple candor on the part of progressives.