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Host: Scott LaMar

Radio Smart Talk: A local perspective on mideast protests and violence; PA's elk herd

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Sep 18, 2012 1:49 PM

Anti-US-Tehran-thumbnail.jpgRadio Smart Talk for Wednesday, September 19:

Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Pakistan...Muslims in these countries and more than a dozen others have been targeting U.S. interests and government facilities with protests that have sometimes led to violence over the past week.  In Libya, U.S. Ambassador Christpher Stevens was killed.  Meanwhile, although "friendly" forces in Afghanistan have been turning their weapons on American soldiers since 2007, the attacks have increased recently and Americans are wary that they'll be targeted more now.

The rage is in response to an obscure film on YouTube, produced by an Egyptian-American, that depicts the Prophet Muhammed in a negative way.  Protestors believe the U.S. government should ban the film they find blasphemous.

Rocky_Mountain_Bull_Elk.jpgOn Wednesday's Radio Smart Talk, we'll get a local perspective on the anti-American protests and violence from Dr. Mehdi Noorbaksh, Associate Professor of International Affairs at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology and Joyce Davis who has written extensively about the Middle East. She is a former foreign correspondent and editor for NPR and Knight Ridder Newspapers. She is now president of the World Affairs Council of Harrisburg.

Also, Pennsylvania's elk herd is growing.  So much so, that limited hunting of the animals is now permitted.  But most Pennsylvanians would rather just enjoy seeing an elk in the wild.  Would you?  Would you know where to go to see an elk?  We'll learn more about Pennsylvania's elk herd from Jerry Feaser of the state Game Commission.

Listen to the program:



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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-09-19 08:38

    Email from Listener 1

    I'm curious as to why there was no violent reaction to the film 'Religolous', (sic?) a Hollywood production, which was much more broadly viewed than this youtube video. That film was also very insulting to Islam.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-09-19 08:39

    Email From Thomas

    Perhaps these violent easily antagonized societies have oppressive leaders because that is the only way to keep them from burning embassies. Perhaps if America would not have decided to be world police Yeah Mohmar Qudaffi would still be alive, but so would Chris Stevens.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-09-19 08:39

    Email from Kathy in Dover

    1) The founding fathers were not dealing with the technology we have today that touches a global community. A review might be a good idea.

    2) When it comes to freedom of speech--the issue here is not WHAT we are saying, but HOW we say it. Freedom also carries with it responsibility.

    3) I saw the long clip of the YouTube video. I'm not Muslim, but the content was disgusting.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-09-19 08:40

    Email from Duane

    We often forget in America that freedom of religion is a pillar we were founded on. Why speak I'll of a people when a core value of ours is held in such asteem?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-09-19 08:42

    Email from Cathy

    I understand there was a film made by Bill Maher that was very unfavorable to Islam and other religions but there were no repercussions overseas-any comments? Also could your guest address the rise in Sharia Law as these new sects become more and more powerful.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-09-19 08:43

    Email from Brad

    I think that the phrase “clash of cultures” seems like too broad and stark an explanation (perhaps even a bit simplistic). It almost implies that there such a difference in fundamental beliefs that the chasm between peoples cannot possibly be overcome. Instead, is it not more likely that the current unrest is a reflection of differing experiences? As more people in mid-eastern societies interact on a broader basis with the western countries – economic, intellectual , social , judicial – might they not begin to assimilate some of the values that we cherish?

    That cross societal assimilation of ideas seems to be something that other countries recognize and consider to be a real possibility – for instance Chinese leaders a restricting information on the internet for example.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-09-19 08:45

    Facebook Message from Thomas

    The other day the British comic Ricky Gervais tweeted, "I see Atheists are fighting and killing each other again, over who doesn't believe in any God the most. Oh, no..wait..that never happens." Yes, the video is terrible. So was the desecration of the Buddhist statues in Bamiyan, Afghanistan. There is a double standard that Islam needs to address. They need to accept the fact that other faiths are going to depict their Prophet, if for no other reason than to educate themselves about Islam, without going off the deep end about how the infidels are disrespecting them. Please know that I am not saying that the video was in any way educational -- it was despicable as well as amateurish, and was clearly, to my mind, hate speech of the worst sort. I believe it was the intention of the author to incite violence around the world, especially during our election cycle. But the Muslim extremists walked right into the trap.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-09-19 08:50

    Email from Listener 2

    This particular topic is quite frustrating because it is so basic to our American cultural values rights. I think the major questions to ask are: At what point does one person’s opinion overstep its bounds and become potentially dangerous to other Americans in the US and around the world? And why don’t we have any laws against hate speech when it becomes inflammatory and terroristic in nature? If we are to be the so called “tolerant” society based on freedom of religion and speech does that mean we should be able to cause a war by opening our mouth? The internet did not exist when our founders wrote our constitution and bill of rights, and they could never have foreseen the world we now live in. Would they actually think this is okay?

    They came here to escape religious persecution. Yet in present day we are tolerant in allowing the same verbal persecution of others.

    Just as protesting a funeral is not ok, neither is allowing hate to flow from our borders.

    Just because Americans can say anything, doesn’t mean we should.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-09-19 08:55

    Email from Barbara

    I’m an American Muslim. I converted in 2004 (on my own – was not married), and out of 1.7 billion Muslims, it’s something like 0.001% are rioting.

    The guy Joe who wanted to go on about “we don’t burn their things” – well no…..we just have soldiers that kill 2 entire villages of women and children and then we Americans just shake our heads and say “poor guy, he has PTSD” but if a Muslim had done that, it is immediately “terrorist.” It is FORBIDDEN to kill an innocent person in Islam, so anyone who does so – the chances are the scholars would say they have removed themselves as Muslims. I wish that people would go and honestly TALK to a Muslim and learn what the religion teaches and forbids, instead of learning it from hate sites.

    It is VERY disconcerting right now that SO many people are unable (unwilling) to even want to learn. A friend of mine of over 20yrs messaged me on FB about this stuff, and did ask for a copy of the Qur’an but then kept posting quotes and ugly things and I told them, “Look, you know me, and you don’t do anything to me, but what about someone who does NOT know me? What if they want to hurt me based on things you might be saying or posting?”

    It’s very scary, and the very Prophet they are mocking handled HIS persecutions with grace and humility and tolerance – so these people rioting are NOT even following what the Prophet had done.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-09-19 09:04

    For more information on Elks in PA, please copy this web address and past it in your browser's address bar:

  • Mary img 2012-09-19 09:15

    There was talk about European countries over the past couple hundred centuries oppressing Muslim countries. What about the conquest by Muslim
    peoples' in centuries past with the spread of Islam? And what about the
    very real and present persecution of Christians and other non-Muslims in
    the Middle East and other countries with Islamic dominance? Will the U.S.
    be able to co-exist with such countries? I don't think its co-existence that they seek.

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