Gardels: One difference between previous episodes and this one, as you alluded to, is that it comes in the wake of the Arab Spring. Now the masses are free to speak their minds and have elected their own leaders such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
The Islamists are now the mainstream – and they are as angry and insulted, as what used to be seen in the West as the militant margins.
Hirsi Ali: What we are seeing in the wake of the protests in the Arab world is an aversion to tyrannical rule whether it is a secular dictator or a religious monarchy. Where the dictators fell we saw – and I have always said this – a strong vote for a system of government informed by political Islam. The mainstream Brotherhood never made a secret of their commitment to a political and moral framework based on Islamic law. So it should not surprise us in the least that the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood are insulted by unflattering depictions of their moral guide.
Gardels: The Muslim-majority country closest to the West is Turkey, a democracy and also a member of NATO. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said, “Insulting the prophet cannot be considered as freedom of expression.” On this, there is no compromise.