When Muslim mobs rioted in protest of the Danish cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad in 2006, American Islamists were critical of the violence, but made a point of giving as much attention to their offense at the cartoons themselves.
Their reaction Wednesday to the murder of America's ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three aides, was a stronger, unequivocal condemnation. Mobs attacked the U.S. Embassy in Cairo and a consulate in Benghazi, Libya ostensibly in an angry reaction to a new film that ridicules Islam and its prophet.
Key details remain unknown. Egypt's violence may have more to do with the desire to win the release of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman from an American prison, a goal new President Mohamed Morsi has expressed publicly. Several reports indicate that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was a planned terrorist attack which used the uproar over the film as cover. The presence of rocket-propelled grenades and other weaponry is considered unusual.