Protest photo by the AP via Voice of America

Last week, an anti-Muslim movie produced in the U.S. influenced protests and attacks in Libya, Egypt, and several other countries. In the aftermath of the protests in Egypt, VOA spoke briefly with Said Sadek, Professor of Political Sociology at American University in Cairo.

According to Sadek, it’s important to realize that majority of people (in any religion) are not extremists but are rather caught by extremists that “try to push the silent majority into extremism, and suspicion, and intolerance.”

These extremist groups often single out media products and use them for their own messages. “There are many sites and many films and books against all religions… Why do you all of a sudden [shed] light on a particular film and ignore the others? This has to be a politically motivated process.”

Unfortunately, many members of civil society do not understand how these media products are produced.  As Sadek explains,

There is a misunderstanding in Muslim countries [about] the relationship between government and media. They still believe it’s like in autocratic regimes, the government orders the media to do this or to do that. President Obama did not order that movie about Islam is made. In fact, he is being accused in America that he is pro-Muslim.