The other day, I wrote a brief piece called “Muslim Logic” in which I illustrated the fundamental Muslim syllogism:
If P, then Q, that is
If you make fun of P (the Prophet!) then Q, the fruiter bits of the Q’ran take over, and mayhem, murder, arson ensue, and “leaders” right out of Evelyn Waugh’s Black Mischief get their turbans in a twist.
Illustration: take one 13-minute film guying Mohammed and, BOOM, you get demonstrations in Cairo, Yemen, Tunisia, the murder of 4 U.S. diplomats in Libya, and the bleatings of Emperor Seth (aka President Karzai of Afghanistan).
The film in question was said to by “Sam Bacile.” The quotation marks are necessary because it turns out that the actual filmmaker was not said Bacile, identified by The Wall Street Journal and other outlets as an “Israeli-American property developer” who raised “raised $5 million from about 100 Jewish donors,” but a Coptic Christian. Tom Gross, among others, has pertinent reflections on the story.
Whether the silly film had anything at all to do with the murder of four U.S. diplomats on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks seems to me unlikely. Noteworthy, however, was Egypt’s President Morsi’s demand that the U.S. “put an end” to the film. Barack Obama seems uncertain whether he regards Egypt as “an ally” (the State Department says, yes, Egypt is an ally), but he should be absolutely clear about the proper response to Morsi’s demand that we “put an end” to a film, even a silly and (to some) offensive film. The response I would make (and it is one reason I will never be a successful politician) is short, Anglo-Saxon, and describes an anatomical impossibility.
I can understand that President Obama might forbear to use such language. But his meaning should be similarly unequivocal, all the more so since Morsi is not some tribal hooligan unacquainted with the niceties of American law. As my friend Andy McCarthy reminded me, he was partly educated in the the U.S. and three of his children were born here. He knows exactly what he is asking for: the triumph of Islamic law over the U.S. Constitution, an ambition that Andy describes with eloquent and sobering precision in The Grand Jihad and in his new ebook-only work, Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy.