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Uprising reveals relationship US has with the Arab world: Queen's University expert


Queen’s University political studies expert Christian Leuprecht is available to talk the turmoil over the American-made video denigrating the Prophet Muhammad spreading to Yemen and Iran. Already four Americans have died in Libya – including the US ambassador and three of his staff. Iranians have also tried to converge on the Swiss Embassy.

“We don't have enough information to know whether these are genuine groundswells of popular discontent expressed in the form of mob rule, or whether these are orchestrated attacks that are simply using the film as a pretext,” says Dr. Leuprecht. “What is certain is that it shows the rather ambiguous relationship the US has with people in the Arab world; which shouldn't come as much of a surprise since the US spent decades backing ruthless autocrats throughout the region. America has never been popular in the region and these mobs confirm it.  Of course, they don't necessarily express a majority opinion.

“The irony is this: Given the choice, every single one of those protestors would probably move to the US; but without that choice, they're quite happy to trample on free speech (by denouncing this substandard movie) and instrumentalize the prophet Mohammed to advance their own ends.”

Please note Dr. Leuprecht can do interviews in both French and English.

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Anne Craig at 613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca or Michael Onesi at 613.533.6000 ext. 77513 or michael.onesi@queensu.at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

Follow Queen’s News and Media Services on Twitter: http://twitter.com/QueensuMedia.

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Last updated at 3:43 pm EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
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