Monday, February 06, 2006
Protesters Torch Danish Mission in Beirut
This is really beginning to annoy me. I am stunned at how stupid - yes stupid - the Islamic community are behaving. I understand to some degree why they are upset. I also think that free press allows the Danish paper to print what they want - but they could have used better judgment.
I keep hearing how peaceful Islam is supposed to be; and how violence is strictly forbidden; how they are being stereotyped because of the violent extremists; etc. This would have been a great chance for the leaders of Islam to scream out to their followers to protest peacefully. However, taking over buildings by armed men, burning down the Mission, violent protests, etc does nothing to support the Islam claim of peace.
I believe that Islam is a peaceful religion, but once again the leaders of the faith failed. The first time is by not being much more vocal and active and constant in renouncing terrorism. This time by not screaming out against the behavior of these - probably few in the scheme of things - followers.
Protesters Torch Danish Mission in Beirut Over Caricatures of Muhammad; One Reportedly KilledBy JOSEPH PANOSSIAN
BEIRUT, Lebanon Feb 6, 2006 (AP)Ã— Muslim rage over caricatures of the prophet Muhammad grew increasingly violent Sunday as thousands of rampaging protesters undaunted by tear gas and water cannons torched the Danish mission and ransacked a Christian neighborhood. At least one person reportedly died and about 200 were detained, officials said.
Muslim clerics denounced the violence, with some wading into the mobs trying to stop them. Copenhagen ordered Danes to leave the country or stay indoors in the second day of attacks on its diplomatic outposts in the Middle East.
In Beirut, a day after violent protests in neighboring Syria, the crowd broke through a cordon of troops and police that had encircled the embassy. Security forces fired tear gas and loosed their weapons into the air to stop the onslaught.
The protesters, armed with stones and sticks, damaged police and fire vehicles and threw stones at a Maronite Catholic church in the wealthy Ashrafieh area a Christian neighborhood where the Danish Embassy is located.
Flames and smoke billowed from the 10-story building, which also houses the Austrian Embassy and the residence of Slovakia's consul. Protesters waved green and black Islamic flags from broken windows and tossed papers and filing cabinets outside.
Witnesses said one protester, apparently overcome by smoke, jumped from a window and was rushed to the hospital. Security officials said he died.
Thirty people were injured, half of them members of the security forces, officials said, making it the most violent in a string of demonstrations across the Muslim world. All the injuries were from beatings and stones.
Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said before meeting with top Islamic leaders that about 200 people were detained, and police said they included 76 Syrians, 35 Palestinians and 38 Lebanese.
The first apparent victim of the political fallout from the violence was Interior Minister Hassan Sabei, who submitted his resignation. It was not immediately clear if the resignation was accepted...
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