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"As Muslims, We Must Condemn These Acts..." Watching Benghazi From Rabat

In no uncertain terms, the editor-in-chief of Moroccan daily Le Soir/Echos condemns the violence at US embassies in nearby Muslim capitals.

A medina in Morocco
A medina in Morocco
Saâd A. Tazi

-Editorial –

RABAT - The assassination of diplomats and ransacking of the American embassies in Libya and Egypt, after an anti-Islam American film was posted on the Internet, must be condemned in the most forceful language. The desire to muzzle all those who do not share the same viewpoint is a delusion that can lead to dramatic situations like those on Wednesday.

The explosion of violence in Benghazi and Cairo is certainly not as spontaneous as some would like us to believe. Maybe it is an outlet for expressing a crisis of confidence or identity crisis or something else -- and the film, allegedly financed by a group of racists, is being used as an excuse to justify a reaction to an attack that has nothing to do with the official policy of the United States.

As Muslims, we must condemn these acts, which only encourage our detractors, who are happy to seize any chance to propound their absurd theories. These theories, each more absurd than the next, are legitimized by the fringes of society who are presented as representatives of the Arab Muslim world as a whole.

As intelligent people, we have a duty to listen to -- and accept the point of view of those who do not share our opinions; or simply to ignore these opinions, without giving them more importance than they deserve. This is not to glorify these opinions, but to accept that they exist. If we choose to demonstrate their limits, we will do so with intellectual counter-arguments and discussions, but never with violence.

We will not succeed in re-establishing the vision of a rich and humane civilization by adopting a defensive attitude. Reacting to every piece of nonsense produced anywhere on the globe is a waste of energy, and does nothing to diminish the amount of such nonsense. But if this energy were used wisely, in a positive, tolerant spirit, it would be the best weapon against those who seek to discredit us.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

A Decisive Spring? How Ukraine Plans To Beat Back Putin's Coming Offensive

The next months will be decisive in the war between Moscow and Kyiv. From the forests of Polesia to Chernihiv and the Black Sea, Ukraine is looking to protect the areas that may soon be the theater of Moscow's announced offensive. Will this be the last Russian Spring?

Photo of three ​Ukrainian soldiers in trenches near Bakhmut, Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers in trenches near Bakhmut, Ukraine

Anna Akage

Ukrainian forces are digging new fortifications and preparing battle plans along the entire frontline as spring, and a probable new Russian advance, nears.

But this may be the last spring for occupying Russian forces.

"Spring and early summer will be decisive in the war. If the great Russian offensive planned for this time fails, it will be the downfall of Russia and Putin," said Vadym Skibitsky, the deputy head of Ukrainian military intelligence.

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Skinitysky added that Ukraine believes Russia is planning a new offensive in the spring or early summer. The Institute for the Study of War thinks that such an offensive is more likely to come from the occupied territories of Luhansk and Donetsk than from Belarus, as some have feared.

Still, the possibility of an attack by Belarus should not be dismissed entirely — all the more so because, in recent weeks, a flurry of MiG fighter jet activity in Belarusian airspace has prompted a number of air raid alarms throughout Ukraine.

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