Bridging The Gap… Danish Cartoons Again

A very important update on the Syrian Blogsphere was the Bridge the Gap in Blogspace project, started mainly to get bloggers from all over the world a bit closer, bloggers who believe in peace and mutual understanding. Ayman from The Damascene Blog says…

Moderate and open-minded people exist on both sides and the craziness we are now witnessing makes it of utmost importance for them to get in touch and start a healthy and civilized debate. There can be no better place for such a debate than the web, and the flourishing blogging phenomenon provides a very unique opportunity to let people learn about each other and discuss topics of common concern.

While this new project comes as a response to the violent escalation of the Danish Cartoon Row, The Syrian blogsphere continued trying to cope and react to the trauma of the violent assaults against foreign embassies in the heart of the capital, Damascus. Violence occurred when angry protestors to the depiction of the Prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper burnt down 4 embassies, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Chile.

Ayman from The Damascene Blog says he was ashamed, shocked and bitterly disappointed at what happened.

What happened in Damascus today is just shameful. I had expected the protest to be peaceful and civilized. Mobs ran into the streets, shouted and attacked embassies, without realizing the severity of the damage they inflicted to “their” cause and to Islam's image. Mobs controlled the protests today, and people who were there to peacefully protest were shocked and had to hide in their homes. I felt a bitter disappointment.

Ammar Abdulhamid from Amarji points out that…

Each time a demonstration goes awry in Damascus, the event often takes place on a weekend, involving empty buildings and minimal, if any, civilian casualties. Even last year’s incident in Mazzeh, when an alleged “terrorist” cell attacked a UN headquarters, the building had been empty for years, albeit a woman bystander was killed. This and arrested in Beirut as well for involvement in the riots that took place there, not to mention the burning of the Danish embassy there as well.

Suggesting that the regime is the player behind these violent acts, Ihsan seems to agree on that theory…

While I’m 100% convinced that the Syrian Regime had a hand in what happened. I still cannot understand the concept of being driven like a sheep. To me, those people who were sabotaging and burning the embassies seemed like stupid sheep led by a smart shepherd.

Most Syrian bloggers were keen on stressing the fact that these demonstrations do not in any way reflect the Syrian people. Sinan from MFLS says…

However it's necessary and very crucial for the rest of the world to understand that these actions do not, I repeat, do not in anyway reflect what the Syrian people really believe, or at least what the elite in here believe.

Just like The Syrian Brit, who's a Syrian expatriate, renounces these attacks by saying

These acts were carried out in the name of Islam, under the guise of defending it… What a sickening farce… I say to all those bastards who attacked the Embassies and burnt flags and vandalized properties… Not in my name… Never…

Yazan sees these attacks as directed at the very image of Syria.

No, they were not attacking Danish or European “out of line” freedom of speech, they were not even taking revenge for the prophet, they were attacking the heart of Syria. The civilized idea of Syria.

And Omar Salaymeh from Earth to Omar calls for all the rational people to work together to save this image.

We, the rational, should work together to show the world that there’s more to Arabs than what they see on television. If I learned anything from the cartoon fiasco, it’s that our views, beliefs and culture are not well known to the west. I think this whole situation could have been prevented if there wasn’t much ignorance on both sides of the table.


  • DHH

    I believe these attacks were a CIA covert operation to give America a reason to include Syria in their “axis of evil” list. It is a common modus operandi of this Agency to foment instability through local operatives. The cartoon issue is being used as means to an objective: corporate-American control of the region.

  • We picked up the cartoons first on a Dutch website run by a right wing politician called Geert Wilders. (See Wikipedia entry for his biography) Freedom of speech is fine but we do need to realise it is wrong to promote racism and Islamophobia while hiding behind the veneer of so-called western values. I personally deeply resent the idea that all Muslims are terrorists. The truth is that the vast majority are decent people just like anyone else. Now we see pictures of British troops beating young Iraqis. So much for democracy and liberation!

  • DHH

    With regards to the cartoon issue: There are limits to freedom and there are responsibilities that come with freedom. You are free to smoke, but not in my face. You are free to eat, but not from my plate. You are free to be happy, but not at my expense. You have to know what you can and cannot do with freedom.

    Showing disrespect for someone’s religion is offensive, and using the “freedom of speech” excuse is uneducated and ridiculous. Freedom does not mean that you can do anything you want.

  • Rick Kirby

    By Dennis Prager

    (Dennis Prager’s nationally syndicated radio show is heard daily in Los Angeles on KRLA-AM (870). He may be contacted through his website:

    “The rioting in France by primarily Muslim youths and the hotel bombings in Jordan are the latest events to prompt sincere questions that law-abiding Muslims need to answer for Islam’s sake, as well as for the sake of worried non-Muslims.

    Here are five of them:

    (1) Why are you so quiet?

    Since the first Israelis were targeted for death by Muslim terrorists blowing themselves up in the name of your religion and Palestinian nationalism, I have been praying to see Muslim demonstrations against these atrocities. Last week’s protests in Jordan against the bombings, while welcome, were a rarity. What I have seen more often is mainstream Muslim spokesmen implicitly defending this terror on the grounds that Israel occupies Palestinian lands. We see torture and murder in the name of Allah, but we see no anti-torture and anti-murder demonstrations in the name of Allah.

    There are a billion Muslims in the world. How is it possible that essentially none have demonstrated against evils perpetrated by Muslims in the name of Islam? This is true even of the millions of Muslims living in free Western societies. What are non-Muslims of goodwill supposed to conclude? When the Israeli government did not stop a Lebanese massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982, great crowds of Israeli Jews gathered to protest their country’s moral failing. Why has there been no comparable public demonstration by Palestinians or other Muslims to morally condemn Palestinian or other Muslim-committed terror?

    (2) Why are none of the Palestinian terrorists Christian?

    If Israeli occupation is the reason for Muslim terror in Israel, why do no Christian Palestinians engage in terror? They are just as nationalistic and just as occupied as Muslim Palestinians.

    (3) Why is only one of the 47 Muslim-majority countries a free country?

    According to Freedom House, a Washington-based group that promotes democracy, of the world’s 47 Muslim countries, only Mali is free. Sixty percent are not free, and 38 are partly free. Muslim-majority states account for a majority of the world’s “not free” states. And of the 10 “worst of the worst,” seven are Islamic states. Why is this?

    (4) Why are so many atrocities committed and threatened by Muslims in the name of Islam?

    Young girls in Indonesia were recently beheaded by Muslim murderers. Last year, Muslims — in the name of Islam — murdered hundreds of schoolchildren in Russia. While reciting Muslim prayers, Islamic terrorists take foreigners working to make Iraq free and slaughter them. Muslim daughters are murdered by their own families in the thousands in “honor killings.” And the Muslim government in Iran has publicly called for the extermination of Israel.

    (5) Why do countries governed by religious Muslims persecute other religions?

    No church or synagogue is allowed in Saudi Arabia. The Taliban destroyed some of the greatest sculptures of the ancient world because they were Buddhist. Sudan’s Islamic regime has murdered great numbers of Christians.
    Instead of confronting these problems, too many of you deny them. Muslims call my radio show to tell me that even speaking of Muslim or Islamic terrorists is wrong. After all, they argue, Timothy McVeigh is never labeled a “Christian terrorist.” As if McVeigh committed his terror as a churchgoing Christian and in the name of Christ, and as if there were Christian-based terror groups around the world.

    As a member of the media for nearly 25 years, I have a long record of reaching out to Muslims. Muslim leaders have invited me to speak at major mosques. In addition, I have studied Arabic and Islam, have visited most Arab and many other Muslim countries and conducted interfaith dialogues with Muslims in the United Arab Emirates as well as in the U.S. Politically, I have supported creation of a Palestinian state and supported (mistakenly, I now believe) the Oslo accords.

    Hundreds of millions of non-Muslims want honest answers to these questions, even if the only answer you offer is, “Yes, we have real problems in Islam.” Such an acknowledgment is infinitely better — for you and for the world — than dismissing us as anti-Muslim.

    We await your response.”

  • Rick,

    1. Since Palestinians have been targeted by Israeli soldiers, which I have NEVER seen demonstrations against, do we therefore consider all Israelis and Jews as supportive of slaughter and death? Do all Americans and Christians have to apologise for Colonialism, Slavery and Genocide of Native Americans to prove they are not supportive of the past?

    2. Why do Israelis ONLY target Muslims? Israel even goes outside of the bounds of it’s region to strike Iraq (in the past) and threatens to do the same to Iran. Has it done the same to non-muslims countries posing nuclear weapon threats?

    3. How can you use a “Washington-based group that promotes democracy” to determine the level of freedoms in Muslims countries. Do you forget that USA with it’s large prison population is the biggest invader of other countries, including those invasions based on falsifications.

    4. Why are so many atrocities committed (or has involvement of) by Christianity and the West. Slavery, colonialism, Vietnam, Rwanda, Iraq, etc. On a side note, how many “Young girls” were murdered and/or raped in America by Americans last year?

    5. Why did Bush refer to Christianity in his election campaign and in his War on Terror? Why are Muslims persected and stereotyped in the West, which your questions aim to do? Why is it that the nature of your questions that can be pplied in essence to those of many nations and religions ONLY focus upon Islam. Before you questions others, I suggest you question yourself.

  • werty_y


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