Members of the South Africa Muslim Community take part in a protest march in Cape Town, South Africa, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2006 in solidarity with Muslims around the world over published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. The march took place with no incidents reported.
ASSociated Press: Muslim Leaders Urge Calm Over Cartoons
Many Arab governments, Muslim religious leaders and newspapers have been calling for calm in the protests over the Prophet Muhammad cartoons, fearing the violence of the past weeks has only reinforced Islam’s negative image in the West.
No major demonstrations took place in Mideast and North African cities Thursday, suggesting the fervor was easing. But it wasn’t clear whether the calm would last. A test may come after weekly Muslim prayers on Friday, when at least one large protest is planned, in Morocco.
There will also be a major weekend protest, Saturday, in London.
But many in the Middle East watched the stone-throwing, flag burnings and embassy attacks with sorrow. Some â€” including governments, religious leaders and newspaper writers â€” are trying to put on the brakes on the outrage, even if they feel Muslims are right to be angry.
“They committed a crime when they violated our prophet’s sanctity,” Mohammed Abdel-Qaddous, a prominent Egyptian writer on Islamic issues, said Wednesday at a forum organized by the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo.
“But if we set their embassy on fire, as happened in Syria or Lebanon, we will then be responding to their crime with another crime,” he said.
There is NO excuse for violence against foreign embassies in this FLAP. But, will cool heads prevail this weekend?
Muhammad Caricature Watch: Syrian Protesters Set Danish Embassy Ablaze Over Cartoon