A fuller way of combining both would be:
The showing of a movie, specifically to rile up people who would otherwise not have cared, is the application of power to send a political message.
Yes - the message is being generated by a system that uses religion as a major ideology. ~~The system is also populated and maintained~~ edit: The system contains both actors actors who care little for religion, but completely for economic/political/personal gain, and actors who are acting irrationally under a set of irrational data.
Either way, this chain of thought is more likely to immediately generate a flame war, in a thread mourning the loss of Vile Rat.
Both the answers are simplistic responses to a complex problem which covers geo politics/religion/culture and all sorts of real world barriers.
As distasteful as analogies are - if an engineer said the internet was 0s and 1s he would be correct.
But it wouldn't be usable for long run discussions, and vague enough to generate tonnes of noise over signal.
Religion is in the chain of events, but it's just a carrier. That's why I think it's not about religion but totally related to the political tensions. They just needed an excuse to take violent actions. It could have been something totally different for the exact same effect, an official insulting an inhabitant, a driver doing a hit and run, a cultural misunderstanding...
I'll admit my original reply was a little bit of an aphorism for the sake of the punchline.
MUST BE THOSE IGNORANT SAVAGES AND THEIR MYSTICAL NONSENSE
Or are you suggesting that the invasions of Iraq / Afghanistan can be seen as "attacking their culture"? If that's your point, you've actually demonstrated that the root cause is in fact religion, because there really isn't much else that Afghanistani and Iraqi culture share with Egypt and Libya..
Gaddafi was hardly a beacon of good government, but debt-slavery to the IMF and open doors to the ransacking of national resources by western corporations is hardly an improvement. Not to mention little things like the incidents of ethnic cleansing.
Anyway, I reject your premise. To win that war they had to have wide support from the general population of Libya - there were no foreign troops on the ground, it was Libyans fighting Libyans.