The headlines this week are all focused on the violent protests of Muslims against a film called "Innocence of Muslims" (just search it on youtube if you want to see some videos) which apparently depicts Muhammad as a liar and pedophile. I say 'apparently' because I didn't even bother to watch it as the movie seems to be of low quality anyway.
The film itself is not the issue I want to discuss. It sounds to me to be just a cheap, but apparently effective, way of drawing attention. Still, I'm completely against censorship. I think that people has the right to say, write, draw or film stupid things and also the right to be criticized by doing it, as long as they are not actively inducing people to be violent or discriminate anyone. From my point of view, also, there would be no problem with protests full of people holding signs, shouting or even swearing against it. However, physical/destructive/murdering violence is completely unjustified. Actually, just ignoring it would be much more efficient. But why it wasn't simply ignored? Are people so dumb that they fall over and over again in the same manipulative stunt? Always?
One of the reasons is that people in fact like to fall for these stunts. The movie was just the excuse, as religion usually is, that people wanted to liberate their violent nature in the worst way. Don't be fooled, humans are still as violent in nature as they always have been. Without a moral code, or with one that justifies violence, hell is always going to break loose. The solution for this is obviously education, knowledge, culture, but that's something to discuss in other posts.
Another reason is that this is the perfect opportunity for leaders to increase and test their influence over the masses. To gather more power. If I was a political/religious leader, I also would not ignore that movie as it should have been (I will not add 'unscrupulous' as an adjective to leader because this is more the rule than the exception). That's what Hitler did with Nazism. That's what the Catholic church did during the Crusades and the Inquisition. That's what happens all the time if you pay enough attention to spot it.
The greatest problem is that, when religion is involved, some senseless convention seems to determine that we should be less critical about that. We should not. Killing people in protest is much worse than offending someone with words or picture. Infinitely worse and completely unjustifiable. And that applies to Islam, Christianity, Judaism or even Buddhism and to any -ism we can think about. Are you angry? You have the right to be. Swear, but don't hurt.