(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) THE RAGE across the Middle East over a blasphemous film made by a US-based Israeli is taking its toll.
The situation is getting further compounded as Western leaders, especially, are busy playing a ballgame rather than making urgent efforts to extinguish the fire. Rather than beating about the bush and trying to penalise the mob, which is out in many of the Arab capitals venting out their anger, what needs to be done is to take to task the characters that indulged in the alleged blasphemous act. There was no need to be judgmental on a religious issue by unscrupulous and shady filmmakers, provoking a virulent reaction at a time when peace and security across the world are quite fragile.
The attacks on US missions in Sanaa, Cairo, Benghazi and Tripoli are quite unfortunate, and reflect the psyche of the mob to go overboard with express political, religious and at times too personalised intentions. The issue gets out of proportion when such sentiments are not channelised in a leadership manner, and left to be handled at large by opportunist elements. This is exactly what has been happening over the uproars on blasphemous cartoons, biased scripts on religions and jingoistic policies of major powers against the Muslim world. People take to the streets and vent their anger when they are convinced that their respective governments can't be trusted with the issue, and they would make effort to play down the harshness of the issue that has hurt them eloquently. The politics of warfare, in which the US and its allies unnecessarily and on flimsy grounds invaded and occupied Iraq and Afghanistan, has already resulted in buoying radical sentiments across the region. The failure of the West to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli impasse is another factor that serves as fodder to extremist elements.
The tragic killing of US envoy to Libya Christopher Stevens and other staff is condemnable. The regional leaders have exhibited immense responsibility by distancing themselves from the crowd, and making it categorical that it should be seen as a reaction to an irresponsible act of the California-based filmmaker. At the same time, they made it clear that violence is reprehensible and will not be condoned under any pretext.
The restraint policy of the United Arab Emirates is especially laudable. By calling for moderation, tolerance and rejection of all forms extremism and terrorism, the UAE has just shown the way. Similarly, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who has termed the anti-Islam documentary as disgusting should initiate legal and libel action against the filmmakers in order to send down the message of justice and fairplay under the domains of peaceful coexistence. The vandalism against foreign missions, meanwhile, has to come to an end. For street rage could easily be hijacked by extremist elements for their nefarious designs.