Though predictable, I am disappointed that hotheads have taken to violence and torched the Danish Embassy in Beirut. Yesterday angry crowds in Damascus attacked the Danish and Norwegian Embassies, smashing the place and burning part of the building.
The lack of security in Damascus reflects poorly on the Syrian government. Since time immemorial, host kingdoms or nations must provide the ultimate protection for envoys, ambassadors and diplomats. Nations have gone to war because of such serious breach of diplomatic protocol. The embassy compound is always considered as foreign land to the host nation.
The second part of my disappointment is that the Arab Muslim hotheads in resorting to violence, admittedly because of extreme provocation by some European press, automatically become the culprits rather than the aggrieved, while the provocateurs become the victims.
Very soon the world will condemn those rioters rather than the irresponsible European and New Zealand media for villifying a non-Christian religion. In fact, this role reversal has always been the formula of the Israelis in manipulating the world's opinion against the Palestinians.
It explains in part why in most Western nation, the Palestinians have been viewed with distaste for their violence while the Israelis are admired for their resolute. In fact it should be the other way around. But alas, the Palestinians always pick up the Israeli bait all too easily and predictably.
Remember a man by the name of Ariel Sharon who deliberately went to Temple Mount on the eve of one Israeli Knesset election, and how the Palestinians reacted and sent him to Israel's prime minister seat?
Not too long more to go, the European media will become 'freedom' martrys rather than sensationalists trying to boost their daily circulation or rightwing newspapers spilling their dislike for Muslims through the hypocrisy of 'freedom'.
If the Muslims want to adopt the hurtful way, yes, hurt the Europeans in their pockets. Boycott their products but don't ever resort to violence. Why do you think the Danish newspaper who started the irresponsible provocation finally apologise after initially refusing to do so? Alta Foods, the giant Swedish-Danish diary product company had been applying enormous pressure on the Danish government. The company is suffering severe losses in its half a billion dollar Middle East market.
Look at what the New Zealand Prime Minister has to say about 2 Kiwi newspapers following the European caricature bandwagon - Gratuitous! The word means 'without cause', 'needless', 'unnecessary', 'unwarranted' or 'unjustified'.
The Kiwis also have a hundred million dollar plus market in the Middle East. That aside, PM Helen Clark is also a damn good person. She disabused the arguments that the publication of the caricature was about press freedom. In more blunt terms Clark had basically told the 2 newspapers 'Bullshit!' Clark said:
"New Zealand press is free and politicians don't say what the press can print and what it can't. It is a question of judgement and I don't think myself either the publication nor the reaction to it, do anything to bring communities and faiths together here or around the world."
As I mentioned, the European claim about 'freedom of the press' has been super hypocritical, when it had practised restraint on issues relating to the Jews and Israelis. Helen Clark has merely highlighted that hypocrisy once again.
But remember KTemoc's advice - no violence, just boycott Danish products!