February 17, 2006:
Syria's attempt to leverage Moslem anger, over the Danish cartoons of Mohammed that have recently been published in some Western newspapers, seems to have backfired. By permitting the protest demonstrations against several Western embassies to turn into riots, the Syrian government appears to have been attempting to refurbish its connections with Islam. But some analysts in the region believe that the actual result has been to encourage anti-government Islamic extremists. This pattern is being seen in many Moslem nations, most of them run by dictators that normally do not allow free expression by the people.