The replacement flag read, "There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger."It is clear that today is September 11th.
Others expressed more general grievances about U.S. policy, chanting anti-American slogans and holding up bits of a shredded American flag to television camera crews in front of the embassy....
The U.S. Embassy said in a statement Tuesday that it "condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims -- as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions."
"Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy," the statement said. "We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others."...
It is not clear which film upset the protesters in Cairo.
Interesting statement about rights. The Embassy did not articulate a right not to have your feelings hurt, though at first look, you might think that it did. In fact, it affirmed the right of free speech.
It carefully conveyed the distinction between the U.S. government and those who make films. The filmmakers have a "right of free speech." They don't mean to say that the right is a "right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others" even though the words appear in that sequence and in fact we do have such a right.
They're trying to say some people "abuse" their right to free speech, and that the U.S. government thinks that although there is a right, it's bad to use it in a way that hurts feelings that arise from religious beliefs — or as the U.S. government awkwardly puts it: hurts "the religious beliefs of others." A film insulting a religion doesn't hurt beliefs. How do you hurt beliefs?! You hurt feelings.