I would be more sympathetic to Muslims’ anger at the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad if it were not accompanied by rampant violence and threats, and if it weren’t being so cynically and opportunistically manipulated by Islamic leaders for their own ends.

In Beirut, for example, the burning of the Danish embassy seems to have been orchestrated by pro-Syrian elements who are already under fire for their campaigns of assassination against anti-Syrian Lebanese leaders. And in Iran, President Ahmadinejad himself is taking the lead role to distract from continuing popular discontent with the exclusion of reform candidates in the recent election and anger over his failure to deliver the economic reforms he campaigned on.

As with his nuclear threats and now with his offensive and ridiculous attempts to link Jews to the publication of the Danish cartoons, Ahmadinejad is willing to go to any length to distract attention from the real problems facing his country. And that is the real desecration in this whole story.

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