[Mb-civic] Mid-East press appalled by siege BBC
michael at michaelbutler.com
Sun Sep 5 10:55:56 PDT 2004
Mid-East press appalled by siege
Editorial writers throughout the Middle East have reacted with revulsion at
the loss of life in the Russian town of Beslan, accusing the attackers of
tarnishing and distorting the image of Islam.
One Saudi paper suggests that the perpetrators might have won over converts
to their cause had they attacked a military target, rather than a school
full of children.
Commentators in Iran, while similarly appalled by the events, nevertheless
criticise the Russian government's handling of the crisis, suggesting that
the option of negotiations should have been exhausted before other action
A lesson in terror at a children's school - What happened at the ill-fated
school is not only unjustifiable and unacceptable, it also provokes anger
and revulsion among Muslim public opinion, since it tarnishes the name of
all Muslims and distorts the image of our noble faith.
An ugly crime against humanity - What happened at the Russian school is a
reprehensible crime against the whole of humanity and the perpetrators
should be called to account.
These children and their teachers had committed no crime to justify their
lives being endangered and their blood shed. If this terrorist group had
chosen a Russian military barracks, their cause - if they had one at all -
would have been more credible and many would have sympathised with them.
What happened is the absolute opposite: the world reacted to the crisis with
humanity, and the only loser is the side to which they [the hostage-takers]
Saudi Arabia's Al-Watan
The phenomenon of terrorism which is threatening societies is not a sudden
development. It was born and propagated by the policies of violence and the
call to violence. It cannot be eradicated except through rational action and
moderation. What happened in Russia is an example of military failure. The
military option and other failed tactics must be reviewed.
Iran's Arabic-language Al-Vefagh
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami expressed his outrage at the terrorists'
inhumane act. The incident was one of the most heinous types of terrorist
acts. It clearly demonstrated the savage behaviour of terrorists. However,
Russia's handling of the crisis is open to question. The Russian government
should have exhausted all possibilities before resorting to force to free
the hostages. In fact, what happened on the ground cannot be regarded as a
victory against terrorism.
Iran's Tehran Times
The Russians showed that when faced with these kinds of crisis, they would
resort to methods which the hostage-takers themselves adopted - that is,
responding to aggression with greater, fiercer aggression. These methods are
exactly what those in power want in order to justify their state aggression
This event is similar to the Moscow theatre hostage-taking incident when
the Russian government - without giving any consideration to the number of
people who might be killed and merely in order to end the crisis - organised
an all-out attack to end the incident at any price. The American
government's method in fighting terrorism also follows the rationale of
using aggression in the face of aggression. But will these aggressive
methods put an end to terrorism? And will they not result in new acts of
aggression, in which innocent individuals lose their lives? It should be
noted that the root causes of terrorism are the political and economic
inequalities throughout the contemporary world.
Further operations by the separatists should be expected. And these will
doubtless be met by Russia reacting - a reaction which will once again set
in motion the cycle of violence.
BBC Monitoring , based in Caversham in southern England, selects and
translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the
Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/09/05 10:57:56 GMT
© BBC MMIV
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