The real reason behind the cartoon upset?


Sari Hanafi, an associate professor at the American University in Beirut, said for Arab governments resentful of the Western push for democracy, the protests presented an opportunity to undercut the appeal of the West to Arab citizens. The freedom pushed by the West, they seemed to say, brought with it disrespect for Islam. Hanafi said the demonstrations "started as a visceral reaction — of course they were offended — and then you had regimes taking advantage, saying, `Look, this is the democracy they're talking about.'" The protests also allowed governments to outflank a growing challenge from Islamic opposition movements by defending Islam.”


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