It's a sad fact that about seven billion people living in this world also include a large quantity of idiots.
Some of these idiots reveal their depravity by being attention whores with no other skill suitable to gain attention than provocation. Such annoying people are petty, pitiable failures, but they, too, have human rights.
Some of them fit into the category of "trolls", others display "unpopular" political symbols to annoy others, some burn crosses or books and finally, some of them go to the lengths of creating offensive videos.
These annoying people are representatives of the fallibility that's ingrained in mankind, not representatives of their country. No country should be blamed for its hardcore idiots as long as it does not empower them politically. That would be a most serious failure of the society, of course.
Annoying, potentially dangerous hardcore idiots are a permanent challenge and make alertness a necessity, but they are also a test of freedom.
A society or government could of course just get rid of these hardcore idiots - they're easy enough to identify. They could all be arrested, even executed for annoying others.
We don't do this.
If we did, we would empower our government to arrest annoying people. A highly problematic side effect of this would be that the government would arrest people who annoy the government. There would be political prisoners, and thus the society would not be free.
Countries which did burst the shackles of such a dictatorship only recently should be able to appraise the importance of not empowering their government to arrest annoying people. As a consequence, these countries should be able to appraise the need for tolerance the most.
Sadly, revolutions do not automatically create a great sense that freedom has a price. At first, it looks for free. It's not. Freedom requires tolerance, and the ability to bear that certain issues cannot be handled decisively without a restriction of freedom.
Everyone who lives in a free society should remember that his or her freedom is also the freedom of others, and when others lose freedom, so does he or she.
We should help Arabs to understand that we suffer from our hardcore idiots just as much as they do, but this suffering is the price of our freedom. To not pay this price means to drift back to tyranny. To demand that others stop being so tolerant equals demanding that they drift into tyranny.
I believe this is what needs to be communicated the most - to all free or freed societies. It's the talking point that should be applied, not primitive gut feelings about revenge or power fantasies.
So far all reactions of politicians to the recent events have been disappointing to me. These events are not about religious tolerance. they're about tolerance and freedom in general. The problem is one of majority vs. idiots, not of our societies against their societies. I wish some politicians of heavy foreign political weight would address the real issue as above, probably with more polite words about the idiots to avoid that the media focuses only on obscenities.
related: A permanent challenge for societies