Tonawanda News


September 16, 2012

DUVALL: Noting civility in Arab world

Those who seek to portray President Obama as the leader of the “blame America first” crowd got a little ahead of themselves last week.

As Mitt Romney rushed to a microphone to condemn the Obama administration for its response to vandalism and heated protests outside the American Embassy in Egypt, he failed to acknowledge, much less unpack, even the slightest nuance of the situation.

Hard-line Muslims in the Middle East were outraged, as they are wont to do rather frequently, by an amateurish video posted online portraying the prophet Mohammad as an imbecilic pedophile. 

We’ll set aside what the response would be from the Christian right were the religious shoes swapped in this equation. I concede it wouldn’t be massive violent protests but it would be quite severe. After all, we’re talking about a part of America that is fighting an imaginary war over Christmas.

But let’s dissect the Muslim outrage and the response RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said was “sympathizing with attackers in Egypt.”

First, I’ll offer the full context of the statement made by the American Embassy in Cairo:

“The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. ... Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

Mitt Romney’s response: 

“It’s a terrible course for America to stand in apology for our values.”

Excuse me? Since when is religious tolerance not an American value?

This isn’t a question of a president’s foreign policy — it’s much more basic than that. This is a question about how we want the rest of the world to view us. I, for one, applaud diplomats who, rather than hunker down and hurl invectives at those who dare question America’s free-speaking ways, instead encourage civility and attempt to foster understanding where there is presently only conflict.

Text Only
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On lines blurred, crossed and nonexistent It strikes me more and more how blurry the lines have gotten in all facets of our world, large and small.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • OUR VIEW: Arson suspect never deserved bail Two of the 11 fires reported on Fifth Avenue could have been prevented with some jurisprudence in evaluating whether the suspect, Michelle Johnston, deserved to be offered bail. Given the obvious nature of a repeat offender who was charged with nine felony arson counts, bail never should have been offered in this case.

    July 25, 2014

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014