The temperature in the muslim world is rising as the chain reaction set off by newspaper cartoons of the prophet Mohammed gain strength.
The Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus were set on fire by crowds of angry Syrians on Saturday. While police used water cannon on demonstrators outside the French embassy and cordoned off America’s, they appeared powerless to protect the Scandanavain pair, despite the Norwegian’s demand for extra police. Norway’s foreign minister deplored the fact that it seemed the crowds had been allowed to ransack the empty building, and he reminded the Syrian authorities of their responsibilities to protect diplomatic premises and their staff. There were more peaceful protests elsewhere, from London to Tehran, where the Islamic republic is considering the future of Iran’s trade ties with Denmark and Norway, and any nation whose press has reproduced the cartoons. After quitting the West Bank and Gaza strip Norweigans and Danes are now being advised to avoid Syria, and because their building in Damascus housed the Norweigan’s embassy, the Swedes are getting sucked into the mess, too.