Former ambassador Dr. Jack Perry has lived it.
"Frankly, I think that we were much more secure and safe as an ambassador during the cold war," he said. "We're going through another period when, I think diplomats are targets as opposed to peace makers in the eyes of all of the fanatics."
Before coming to Davidson College in the 1980's, Perry served in the Foreign Service under seven different presidents, and left as the ambassador to Bulgaria.
He was shocked after learning about the attack on the embassy in Libya.
Perry said, "Oh that's just terrible. I never saw anything like that during my active duty which was from 59 to 83 a good long stretch."
Charlotte attorney Mo Idlibi is an advocate for local Muslims.
Last year, he offered legal advice to Imams who were kicked off a plane on their way to Charlotte to attend a conference.
Idlibi feels an anti Islamic film originally blamed for the violence goes a long way in stoking the fires of hate.
"What this film maker has done is triggered an uproar. The movie that he's created is blast famous. It's defamatory. It's disrespectful on every level," Ilibi said. "We always have to respect each other. We've got to live in tolerance."
The attack It may be the planned work of Al Qaeda near the 9-11 anniversary.
Dr. Perry worries that the lines of religion and politics may be blurred.
" If they're born and reared as a Muslim one understand that and see it from their point of view and they can see it from our point of view if they think about it."