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Last Updated: Monday, 6 February 2006, 12:56 GMT
Press urges end to cartoon riots
Protesters storm the Danish embassy in Damascus on 4 Feb
Embassy buildings were torched in Syria and Lebanon

Lebanese papers condemn the sacking of the Danish embassy in Beirut and accuse their government of failing to take responsibility, with one remarking that "the rioters themselves appeared to have been better organised than the authorities".

Many Arabic commentators agree that the protests in Lebanon and Syria have gone too far, with one Damascus paper arguing that the storming of embassies "is not in the Syrian style".

But an Algerian commentator remarks that the riots suit Syria because it "has every reason to want to divert the world's attention" from the inquiry into the killing of former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri, in February 2005.

LEBANON'S THE DAILY STAR

The rioters themselves appeared to have been better organised than the authorities... The fact that the official response was so slow, confused and unco-ordinated is an indictment of a disorganised Interior Ministry... The damage that the rioters did - both to Lebanese property and to the image of Islam - was far worse than that done by the cartoons... All parties will need to work together to strengthen the government, making it more accountable and capable of providing security to its citizens.

FAYSAL SULAYMAN IN LEBANON'S AL-SAFIR

Great, some Muslims have attacked the Danish embassy, set it on fire, destroyed some cars and attacked public and private property... In fact, information was available for days about a demonstration and expected riots, but nobody wanted to assume responsibility for the confrontation. Political decision-making was non-existent; therefore, decisions made on security were weak.

NABIL ABU-MUNSIF IN LEBANON'S AL-NAHAR

The attack was simply an advanced attempt to blow up Lebanon and set it on fire. It was a most dangerous overstepping of the red line established exactly a year ago.

ABD-AL-FATTAH AWAD IN SYRIA'S AL-THAWRAH

The storming of the Danish and Norwegian embassies is not in the Syrian style of protest... This is why the scene looked strange to the moderate Syrian temperament... Whatever Muslims have done is a reaction... to insults directed at the Prophet and to numerous and successive past wrong-doings.

ABDELKRIM GHEZALI IN ALGERIA'S LA TRIBUNE

It is no coincidence that it is only in Damascus and Beirut that the embassies of Denmark and Norway were set ablaze and nowhere else... Syria, which is in the hot seat because of possible repercussions following the international inquiry into the assassination of Hariri... has every reason to want to divert the world's attention and have the world focus on another issue... It is time to stop exploiting the anger of the masses to achieve political goals such as saving a party or regime. Such action can also be viewed as another form of blasphemy.

ABD-AL-BARI ATWAN IN UK-BASED AL-QUDS AL-ARABI

We hoped that the protests which took place in most Arab and Muslim countries would be peaceful and would refrain from any sort of violence... Such actions are not justified and are regrettable... Resorting to an economic boycott is not only civilised and lawful, but also effective, because what hurts Western governments the most is that which has an impact on their economy.

MAHMUD AL-RIMAWI IN JORDAN'S AL-RA'Y

What happened in Beirut yesterday was a bad sign... No rational person wants the legitimate anger to rebound on us... We, the majority of Muslims, are for dialogue between civilisations and cultures and for strengthening understanding and co-operation between peoples.

MUSIB NU'AYMI IRAN'S AL-VEFAGH

Are those angry young men who burnt Danish flags and tried to enter the embassies of those countries ignorant demagogues? ... When we think about the matter, we find that the crisis has covered up a lot of problems among Muslims themselves and given a real impetus for believers to unite in order to distinguish friend from foe.

ABD-AL-AZIZ AL MAHMUD IN OMAN'S AL-WATAN

The Islamic nation endured a lot of insults last year... But, regrettably Denmark has been on the receiving end of the Muslims' belated anger. I wished that this anger were directed against America, which is the actual cause of our humiliation and degradation.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.




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