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Sunday, February 5, 2006
Cartoon Protests Spread to Lebanon
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 8:15 am

Via the NYT: Protesters Set Fire to Danish Embassy in Beirut

Muslims protesting caricatures of Islam’s prophet set fire Sunday to a building housing the Danish Embassy in Lebanon as security forces fired tear gas in an attempt to stop the protesters.

Thousands of protesters took part in the protest but only a small group of Islamic extremists tried to break the security barrier, prompting troops to fire tear gas and water cannons to disperse them, said the official.

Troops also fired bullets into the air and over the protesters’ heads. Demonstrators attacked policemen with stones and set fire to several fire engines, witnesses said. Black smoke was seen billowing from the area. They also burned Danish flags.

Of the many things that are striking about this entire situation is that the divisions we are seeing are not as much a straightforward Islam v. the West situation, but rather on that is showing us divisions within the Islamic world itself. For one thing, if this was a monolithic response, we wouldn’t see Lebanese soldiers willing to subdue the protesters.

And then there is this statement from the Lebanese PM:

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Fuad Saniora also urged calm.

‘’Those who are committing these acts have nothing to do with Islam or with Lebanon,'’ said Prime Minister Fuad Saniora. ‘’This is absolutely not the way we express our opinions.'’

The statement from al Sistani in Iraq that I noted on Friday can be added as well.

Not that there haven’t been state-level responses (e.g., Iran).

Certainly this rage at what is perceived as blasphemy is at least in part the direct result of the lack of education in much of the Muslim world and the continuation, something deliberately by some regimes, of wholly traditional ways of life by the citizenry.

It has been said that the the Muslim world needs its own Enlightenment, and these events underscore that fact quite clearly.

And on the US front, I would note that calls for tolerance in the face of the offensive within our own society are often mocked, but what we are seeing over these cartoons is what a society looks like when tolerance isn’t a key value.

Filed under: Global Politics, Religion | |Send TrackBack

1 Comment »

  1. Those of us who Germany has taken away passports to attend a Teheran research session of the law edicted by Reinhard Heidrich at the Wannsee conference know
    of what they speak if they never use or mention Hebrew forged terms(two examples:[ 1.] the the Walther & Herbert Bush clan attending a church or chappel always at the eve of a decapitation strike or else a bridge bombardement in Baghdad; [2.]Catholic Cross in the air Imitations: a smile to all those of us who don’t hail the Hebrew language of a Pope & Priest decoy as the shadow CINC Kerry did on all tv screens during the burrial(”pompes funebres”) of Roni Reagan in Washington and Arlington.
    I welcome instead the “international festival of cartoons” of “Farid Mortazavi, graphics editor of Hamshahiri”(compare please: Anthony Browne, The Times, February 07 2006 ,”Cartoons”"World leaders rally round as crisis deepens”) which will in a nice try _d_r_a_w_ us the proof that the Western World [_ _— actually —_ _] _i_s__or__i_s__n_o_t_ so free as they pretend. Till today the Western world reacted with interdictions to the Reasons and Causes about the Wannsee Conference Decisions even when it is in form of a funny _Not-Hebrew_ cartoons festival in Teheran(Iran).

    Comment by h. daumier — Tuesday, February 7, 2006 @ 6:07 am

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