JERUSALEM, Israel -- In following media reports over the past week on Islamic attacks on U.S. embassies across the Middle East, about half blamed a low-budget film that defames Islam's prophet Mohammed. The news agencies that bought into this theory either outnumber or out distribute those that don't.
Even the White House and State Department finally admitted the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, had nothing to do with protests against the anti-Muslim film, as they originally claimed.
The film, as tacky and ridiculous as it is, seems just an excuse to vent pent-up anger boiling just below the surface throughout the Islamic world.
But truth doesn't always sell newspapers or raise TV or Internet ratings. News editors and producers know this and so do Islamists. It's increasingly easy to spread propaganda, with traditional news outlets bolstered by Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
Fifty years ago, sensational reporting was mostly found in tabloid newspapers. Today everyone with a smart phone can be propagandized in the twinkling of an eye.
So if the spoof on Islam and its prophet aren't to blame for the rioting and mayhem, what is?
That information is also available, but it takes a little more time to read and digest than a tweet or a sound bite. Even a cursory look at the underpinnings of Islam reveals a lot.
Islam is more than a religion. It is an ideology whose end goal is domination and the elimination of Western culture and way of life. Non-submission to Islam is punishable by death. Its core ideology is not peaceful coexistence or tolerance of other faiths. In short, it is an ideology based on hate.
Take, for example, the creed of the Muslim Brotherhood: Allah is our objective; the Koran is our constitution; the prophet is our leader; jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.
That ideology is in stark contrast to Judaism and Christianity, both based on biblical truths, both valuing human life and seeking to preserve individual freedom.
An integral part of Islam is Sharia law, preferred by many if not all Muslims over the West's Judeo-Christian-based way of life.
Sharia, meaning "path" or "way," lays out Islam's perception of life. Muslims believe Sharia comes directly from their god. Under Sharia, honor killings are acceptable, adulterers may be executed by stoning, a thief's hands may be amputated, husbands may beat their wives and anyone who abandons Islam may be executed. Just off the top, Islam doesn't appear to be a peace-loving "path."
So what is undergirding all the violence against U.S. embassies and consulates across the Middle East?
Less than a day after the attack that killed American Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three of his staff members, even some of the main news agencies figured out it was preplanned and the film a convenient excuse to cover up a terror attack.
As the rioting spread from one Islamic society to another, many media members continue to blame the film. But the truth is Islamists often find any excuse to vent their anger, even against one another. This internecine fighting can be seen in Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, and Jordan where Sunnis, Shiites, Salafists and other Islamic sects fight and kill one another.
One would think President Obama's outreach to the Muslim world, articulated in his Cairo speech shortly after taking office in 2008, would have endeared America to Islamic regimes. Why near the end of his first term are U.S. embassies under attack in Arab countries?
Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton embraced the so-called Arab spring, praised the overthrow of secular governments, such as former U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, and supported the takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists.
Obama calls Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan one of his closest personal friends. Since taking office in 2003, Erdogan has steadily guided Turkey's formerly pro-Western secular government toward an Islamic republic that embraces Iran, bashes Israel, and supports Hamas and other terror groups.
It seems President Obama -- and Secretary Clinton's -- outreach to Islamic regimes hasn't yielded the desired results, evidenced by the murder of four American diplomats in Libya.
That silly film is just another excuse to vent hatred against the U.S. and its way of life. Despite all the friendly rhetoric, that's a fact evident for those willing to look below the surface of media hype.