They once again seem largely concerned not that people have been unjustly victimized and even killed; they’re concerned that Islam’s image has been tarnished. From AP, with thanks to JE:
BEIRUT, Lebanon – 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.
The drawings, first published in a Danish newspaper then reprinted in other European publications, sparked outrage across the Islamic world. Protests turned violent in recent weeks in Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Afghanistan.
But many in the Middle East watched the stone-throwing, flag burnings and embassy attacks with sorrow. Some “” including governments, religious leaders and newspaper writers “” 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.
Kuwait’s parliament has urged restraint, saying “irresponsible acts” make the outpouring of emotions Muslims have shown for their religion and prophet “look like aggressiveness and destructiveness.”
Iraq’s top Shiite political leader, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, said only peaceful protests should be held. And the Saudi ambassador to Washington, Prince Turki al-Faisal, told The Associated Press in Dallas that the violence is “unhelpful and in many cases unnecessary.”
“Our prophet himself was insulted, violence was inflicted upon him when he preached his message to the idolators and nonbelievers, and he met that violence with forgiveness,” Turki said….
Well, that’s not the whole story, but let it pass.
“Those who use violence are overreacting,” said Saleh al-Igrazi, a 35-year-old Iraqi dentist. “They give a bad impression of Muslims, who are shown to the world to be troublemakers and even terrorists.”