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Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Michael’s Picks (special Middle East protests edition)

by Michael De Dora

* As you have probably already heard, protests in Egypt and Libya have left the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other Americans dead.

* Meanwhile, protests against the film have now spread to the U.S. embassy in Yemen. Just great.

* Here is a 13-minute clip of the movie that supposedly caused Egyptians to storm the United States embassy in Cairo.

* Before the protests in Cairo, the U.S. embassy there released a controversial statement that said, “Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy.” Once protests started, the embassy stood by that statement on Twitter.

* Despite what Mitt Romney and Reince Preibus would have you believe, the White House did not approve of that message, and later disavowed it.

* Speaking of Romney and Preibus: Republicans were not happy with their responses, nor was Obama.

* Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin takes an inside look at how the public relations disaster at the U.S. embassy in Cairo unfolded. Also, the New York Times has put together a nice timeline of events here.

* Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi has reportedly asked the Egyptian embassy in Washington, D.C. to take legal action in the U.S. against the makers of the film Innocence of Muslims.

* The Libyan protests were originally tied to those in Egypt, but now it appears they might have been planned to happen on the anniversary of Sept. 11.

* And to close on a positive note: take a look at these powerful photographs of Libyan residents protesting this week’s attacks and tell me your heart is not warmed.


  1. This is the only place I have seen these images of people in Benghazi supporting us and denouncing the attacks.

    They need to be all over the American media.

  2. Philo, what do you mean by "supporting us"? Are you being personally under attack or something? Or do you mean supporting U.S. foreign policies which are disastrous in the Middle-East? Or better, supporting the fact that the U.S. backs Israel's colonial policies which only create resentfulness in the "Arab" world against these policies?

  3. A small remark: Egypt is (mainly) in North-Africa; Libya is a North-African Country.

  4. Went to watch the video and it was marked private. :S

  5. Thanks to Michael De Dora for once again providing us with a
    good round-up of articles concerning an interesting topic.

    I particularly liked the link to the photographs of the Libyans
    protesting the attack. It is a very good counter-weight to
    the usual garbage spread by people like Sam Harris.

    There are some very good commentaries concerning Harris's views on topics such as this by Theodore Sayeed at the following links:




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