The latest series of protests, occasioned by an anti-Islam film, may give the impression that the Muslim world is experiencing a major surge of anti-Americanism — but the real picture is more nuanced.
These protests did not draw large crowds, as promised by Egyptian Salafist leader Yussuf Borhami and Iran’s “Supreme Guide” Ali Khamenei had promised.
The Cairo protests drew a few hundred people — a meager show compared to the million-strong crowds of the Arab Spring.
And President Mohammed Morsi went on TV to warn against transforming protests over the film into “an attack on the United States’ people or government.”
Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat al-Shater went further, warning that “some elements” were trying to use the controversial film as an excuse for undermining Egypt’s security.
And Cairo journalist Adel Hammoudah was even more trenchant. “Why protest over a film about Mohammed?” he demanded. “Mohammed was not an Egyptian.”